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  • Dabboo Ratnani Calendar 2015

    Iconic Indian photographer, Dabboo Ratnani, brings us the best of Bollywood in his annual calendar, for the 16th consecutive year. The 2015 edition might be the best one yet. DESIblitz explores his portrayal of the B-Town beauties and beaus.

    Dabboo Ratnani Calendar

    "My shot is sexy. My shot is daring. My shot is gonna make news."

    The start of the new year means it is time to renew your calendar. And what better way to do this than with the star-studded Dabboo Ratnani Calendar 2015.

    At the start of each year, reknowned Indian photographer, Dabboo Ratnani, invites Bollywood’s hottest stars to a photoshoot for the upcoming calendar.

    Since its debut in 1999, the photoshoot and launch party have become a notable fixtures of the B-Town showbiz schedule.

    The 16th edition of the Dabboo Ratnani Calendar might just be the best one yet. DESIblitz explores Dabboo Ratnani’s unique and thought-provoking take on the Bollywood superstars.

    Vidya Balan

    Vidya Balan Dabboo Ratnani 2015This image arguably steals the show. Describing her image, Vidya says: “I’m wearing red lipstick, attitude and newspapers.

    “My shot is sexy. My shot is unpredictable. My shot is daring. My shot is gonna make news.”

    The setting and vintage furniture gives the impression of a 1950s Parisian cafe. The shades bring a sense of mysteriousness, as her facial expression is hidden.

    Yet sitting presumably naked behind her newspaper, she nonchalantly sips a cup of tea whilst reading a high-brow broadsheet. It seems that this woman has hidden depth.

    Akshay Kumar

    Akshay Kumar Dabboo Ratnani 2015There are two contrasting themes in this subversive take on the Khiladi star.

    The mini-tricycle implies the childish playfulness of a ‘big kid’.

    However, his formal attire, the upright posture of his torso, his rolled-up sleeves, his designer stubble, and the directness of his glare, exude a powerful masculine intent.

    Bipasha Basu

    Bipasha Basu Dabboo Ratnani 2015In her Wonder Woman-esque pose, Bipasha looks like she is ready for a new adventure, elegantly standing tall with her hands on her hips.

    Her eyes peer into the distance in wondrous awe of possibility. Behind her is the beautiful backdrop of a blue sky with whisps of white clouds and royal blue sea water.

    Elements of painting have been combined with the photography. Is she wearing the cape of a superhero, or the long dress of a princess? Either way, she combines power, purpose, and beauty.

    Arjun Rampal

    Arjun Rampal Dabboo Ratnani 2015Another of the more subversive portrayals, this character combines the craziness of the Mad Hatter, the effortless sexiness of a rock star, and the dark brooding nature of both.

    Even the body art, which escapes from below his crisp white tank top, communicates conflicting messages.

    However, the wings of an angel on his chiselled chest beam out like rays of light from under his low cut top.

    It is an image that works well in monochrome, which is a signature feature of Dabboo Ratnani’s portfolio.

    Priyanka Chopra

    Priyanka Chopra Dabboo Ratnani 2015She was the embodiment of female empowerment in her portrayal of Mary Kom in the biopic about the Indian Olympic boxer.

    In this image, she powerfully lifts the vintage car above her head. But without the muscular physique which she developed during the film.

    Instead, she looks slender, sexy, and feminine due to her figure, posture, and dress.

    The subversion of gender stereotypes, this woman has an inner strength, which should not be underestimated.

    Shahrukh Khan

    Shah Rukh Khan Dabboo Ratnani 2015The reinvention of Shahrukh Khan, sporting a torn and shredded physique with 8-pack abs, began with his role as Charlie in Happy New Year.

    There cannot be many female SRK fans who would complain about this. The rugged manliness is underlined by the boxing fist wraps and his scruffy yet sexy hair.

    King Khan is such a fixture of the Dabboo Ratnani Calendar that behind the scenes, he said:

    “The only way we get to understand the year has to come to end is when Dabboo’s calendar shots need to be done.”

    Alia Bhatt

    Alia Bhatt Dabboo Ratnani 2015Focussing on her face, the crimson red lipstick and grey glaring eyes draw you in. They maintain their sharp, contoured appearance, and have not been smudged.

    The flowing water, as it washes over her face, forms droplets of diamonds as it passes her lips.

    Her posture is assertive as she leans forward, chin on her hand, and direct and intense eye contact.

    Varun Dhawan

    Varun Dhawan Dabboo Ratnani 2015The beginning of a new journey in his life, this image could be interpreted as the entry into manhood.

    Yet the monochrome frame and limited lighting, give this image a dark and edgy film noir feel.

    The shot was actually taken on the set of Varun’s upcoming film Badlapur. Varun said it captured his whole dark persona in the film very well.

    Abhishek Bachchan

    Abhishek Bachchan Dabboo Ratnani 2015A suited and booted Abhishek Bachchan is larger than life.

    He is creating a storm as he stylishly strides through a vintage Mumbai boulevard.

    Like a true weather maker, he looks like man who will not change his course of action, no matter what the consequences.

    If you are in his way, watch out!

    Farhan Akhtar

    Farhan Akhtar Dabboo Ratnani 2015Funny and hilarious, Farhan Akhtar embraces his inner prankster.

    Dressed like a 1980s British gameshow host, he sports a coral pink suit, light blue shirt, and bow-tie.

    He mimicks singing into a microphone, only it is a shower head, as his audience of rubber ducks watch in amusement from their position perched on the toilet.

    Toilet humour at its finest.

    Dabboo Ratnani, true to form, provides us with another visually striking and intellectually stimulating set of artwork for his annual calendar, which is sure to activate all of your senses.

    Go out and get yourself one of these! It will definitely make being organised far more fun and exciting this year!

    British born Ria, is a Bollywood enthusiast who loves to read books. Studying film and television, she hopes to one-day produce good enough content for Hindi cinema. Her motto is: “If you can dream it, you can do it,” Walt Disney.

    All images courtesy of Dabboo Ratnani Photography



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