Why we chose Bombay… with Saif G
As we come to the end of April, with a new Elska edition a week away, I wonder if we’ll ever get back to India for another issue. I certainly would like to return, but if we did , what city would be choose? To answer that, I’m going to go into why we chose Bombay in the first place and what other cities were considered.
1) Delhi – This is the city that most foreign tourists end up in, partly because it’s near the great Taj Mahal, and partly because its sister New Delhi is the country’s capital. But during our research, time and time again people told us that Dilliwalas are awful people – rude, arrogant and exceptionally superficial. I’m sure it’s an exaggeration and perhaps even plain wrong, but it was enough to put me off.
2) Calcutta – I’d always been intrigued by the Bengali capital. Perhaps it’s due to my Catholic schooling where every day we were asked to pray for the Pope and “Mother Theresa and the starving people of Calcutta”. Seriously, it was only ever those two my church focused on! Anyway, the feedback I had was that it’s an amazing city, but not one recommended for your first time in India due to the extremes of life here… so it was put on the shelf.
3) Pune – I actually got contacted by a boy in Pune wanting to be in Elska Magazine. I kinda fobbed him off, saying that I’d consider it if he could find some more boys to take part. To my surprise, he did. But even though 2 ½ million people live in Pune, I didn’t think that even a fraction of readers would have heard of it, so I rejected it for the sake of marketing ease.
4) Amritsar – Just when I was almost sure that Mumbai would be the choice, one of the boys who would be photographed for the issue almost swayed us away. Why? It’s ‘cos he said that the most beautiful men in India are from Punjab, and its most beautiful city is Amritsar. I was certainly intrigued, but with a small population (by Indian standards) of under a million, it seemed a risky choice. Plus, with nearly all of India’s actors and models from this rather light-skinned state, we’ve probably already seen enough from Punjab.
5) Mumbai – As the biggest Indian city, it seemed like a safe bet that we’d be able to find enough guys to participate here. Indeed two of the guys in the issue, Anzie V and Saif G, came to our attention before we even decided to come to India at all. With two guys under our belt before we even started looking, I was excited. So for those of you thinking it’s a waste of time to ask us to come to your city, know that we definitely listen to your requests, and like with Mumbai, we may even follow through.
To see more of Saif G and to read his story, pick up a copy of Elska Magazine issue (10) Mumbai (India).