The man in white, a master sign-wallah named Chinnappa, has been painting oversize movie theatre signs and cutouts for a lifetime. The movie industry’s need for these objects is being gradually replaced by cheaper, easily printed vinyl signage, and so his business is slowly going away. Our friend Alex has decided to help him stay afloat by starting a business with him: Bespoke Bollywood.
At Bespoke Bollywood, you can have your likeness inserted into any Hollywood or Bollywood movie poster, and rendered in oilpaint on canvas. Or you can have him render any source material onto canvas in his unique, Bollywood style. We have just taken delivery of our first order, an 8×4 canvas based on the Slumdog Millionaire movie poster. We’ll post photos soon. These are huge, impressive, and very affordable, so if you want to do the same, contact Alex. !
SInce our arrival in India, I have been limited to, and quite happy with, a single vice: custom-tailored clothes. Raymond of India is the largest distributor of fabric in the country, moving unbelievable quantities of wool, cotton, linen, silk, and other ready-to-use textiles through their innumerable retail storefronts (sometimes multiple stores on a single street – you think Starbuck’s is ubiquitous back home? Meh !). We popped in one day just to check it out, and left having ordered 4 or 5 shirts, after having measurements taken and drinking hot chai with a half dozen store attendants. Each shirt, custom stitched with the fabric of our choice, was about 20 dollars in U.S. money. So this new vice is not as profligate is it may sound :)
Vice is no fun alone, and so I found a perfect co-conspirator in dear Mr. Andrew Cox. We have been endlessly darting in and out of Raymond for months now, having shirts of all kinds put together, and just recently, we commissioned a pair of three-piece suits. This was a fantastic adventure, throughout which the Raymond tailors were endlessly patient with us as we changed our minds, made adjustments, and generally made a confusing mess of things any time we entered the store. This adventure finally came to an end: last night was Andrew and Nina’s final hurrah in Bangalore, as they are moving to Italy; his suit had just been completed, and the tailor from Raymond made the delivery at 10:30 pm during our farewell party for our once-and-future Bangalore doppelgangers.