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Same to shame

Indian photographers are looking Westward for inspiration and calling it original, writes Bhawna Gera.

india Updated: Jun 25, 2006 16:12 IST

Some do it smartly, some do it shabbily. And they all call it inspiration. It is actually plagiarism — copying blatantly from the West. And it is not just musicians, filmmakers or authors, even photographers are lifting ideas from across the Atlantic.

Check out our own sex siren Bipasha Basu doing an exact J Lo on the left and Priyanka Chopra pouting a la Britney Spears on the right. Bipasha’s shoot is an ‘original’ photograph by the best known photographer of the film industry, Dabboo Ratnani and the one of Priyanka is by Rakesh Shrestha, another name to reckon with.

Pixel by pixel

The warning on Dabboo’s annual calendar of film stars is to shoo away copycats. It clearly mentions that all the photographs in the calendar are “original photographic works of Dabboo Ratnani” and are also subject to copyright.

Well, right from the artificial volume in the hair to the red & white tank top, the hot pants, the lace-up knee-length boots to even the bum angle — inspiration is dripping from every pixel of Dabboo’s picture of Bipasha, from his 2005 calendar.

We asked Dabboo about this picture and this is what he had to say: “It’s an exclusive picture for which clothes were done by Rocky S and a classic scooter was arranged. I wanted something unique and opted for a red and white scooter.”

Yeah, except that Jennifer Lopez is riding a plain white scooter.

Shot to shot

Rakesh Shrestha’s shoot of Priyanka Chopra, though not an exact copy, is styled completely on Britney Spears’ wallpaper. Check out the outturned flaps of the denim shorts in both the pictures, the angles of the arms of the girls, the tieups and the tassles in the cropped jacket and the denim boots… Rakesh recalls that the shoot was over in flat 20 minutes.

Yeah, we know why. About the way he shot the picture, he informs: “It was actually my concept for which I asked Komal Sahani to do the clothes.” Hmmm… He also says that he wanted everything to be spontaneous and didn’t want to make it look like a conscious effort. It must have taken quite some time to get that spontaneity, we bet.