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A great gift… with Faraz A from Mumbai

Faraz was the last guy shot for the Mumbai issue, although he was one of the first guys found for it. The thing is, he’s a really busy guy, very dedicated to making the first LGBT Indian silent film S i s a k. When we did finally get together, he helped make a perfect goodbye to Elska’s Indian adventure.

Faraz knows the city exceptionally well, and what I really mean is that he knows the best shops, the best restaurants, the best cafés, the best everything that the city has to offer. When we met in Kala Ghoda, I was at once in love and annoyed that I hadn’t found the neighbourhood sooner. He took me to this fantastic café where we had hot chocolate and some sort of ridiculously good cake made out of ground cashew nuts. Then he showed me around the rest of the area while I shot him, directing me to all the other places I’d missed out on and now wouldn’t have the time to see. In the end, Faraz gave me a great gift: a huge list of reasons to come back to India. One day I hope I will, and you better be there waiting for me, Faraz!

To see more of Faraz A and to read his text, pick up a copy of Elska Magazine issue (10) Mumbai (India).

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A Sari and a bindi… with Rehaan D from Mumbai

First of all, I didn’t ask Rehaan to put on a sari and a bindi. It was all his idea. And I didn’t ask him to mention dressing in “Indian drag” in his story, but he did. Nor by the way did I ask Colin C to wear lederhosen in the Berlin issue… do you think I wanted to get a complaint letter from some arsehole about how culturally it was inaccurate for a Berliner to wear them?! Chill the f*** out!

Now that my ranting is out of the way, I introduce you to Rehaan D. Our shoot together was one of the most interesting shoots I ever had. We met in Worli Tip, an extra colourful part of Mumbai set on a disconnected bit of land under the Sea Link Bridge. It’s an amazing place that you must see if you go to Bombay, but it’s still so undiscovered and hard to get to that the locals will look at you like they’d never seen a foreigner before.

Then we went to Rehaan’s neighbourhood, set in the Dadar Parsi Colony, almost next door to one of the world’s rare remaining Zoroastrian temples. I tried to go inside by the way, but it’s for Parsis only.

And then we were in Rehaan’s house, where he cooked us some breakfast and tea before stripping off for the camera… and then getting dressed up again in his grandmother’s clothes. His story, by the way, is in the form of a letter to her, and it’s one of my favourite stories every written for Elska Magazine.

To see more of Rehaan D and to read his fantastic story, pick up a copy of Elska Magazine issue (10) Mumbai (India).