Yesterday was a big day for the team. We handed in all the files for the outdoor exhibitions. Quite a simple exercise one would imagine, right? WRONG!
The gods of rain, traffic and rotten luck decided to team up and pull out all the stops to prevent us from getting to our vendor in Manesar (about 45 clicks out of Delhi).
Traffic snarls are quite common in our great city and Prashant was quite unperturbed when I arrived 30 minutes late to pick him up from his house (we had plenty of time to reach Manesar from Vasant Kunj and we were both looking forward to lunch with Hardesh Dhingra (who will take care of our outdoor print production) at his photography and printing studio in Manesar.
A quick hop across the border and we picked up Adil from Gurgaon. All quite uneventful until he asked “how much longer?”
“Another 20 minutes!” replied Prashant, confidently.
2 hours and 2 kilometers later we would reflect on Prashant’s answer as I finally pulled my car out from what was Haryana’s biggest traffic stalemate and into a gas station. The road was waterlogged only for 100 meters but created a huge bottle neck at an intersection (we even saw an abandoned and half submerged bus). No big deal. Happens all the time right? How about a puncture as well, with no room to maneuver to the side forcing us to crawl ahead, less we suffer the wrath of Haryana’s motorists. Adil kept getting out to take photographs and I toyed with the idea of leaving him there, but that couldn’t happen: he could walk faster then we could drive. He even got to add to his long-term project of shooting lonely television sets.
Cracking jokes like rescheduling the appointment for the next day (considering that was how long it would take us to reach) and less then gifted IAS officers lightened the mood and after getting fleeced by the puncture repair guy we finally reached the studio at 4.45 pm.
Finally, some production news:
The studio is fantastic and Hardesh has a top of the line printer available in the market. He spoke about all the various specs and the great things possible with it and we knew we were at the right place for high quality vinyl printing.
The file transfer took some time and Adil and I got a tour of the facility – a huge studio for automobile photography, a smaller one for lesser subjects, a floor for printing and hi res work, a guest room on the top floor with a lounge, pool table and a multi-gym and one heck of a multilevel terrace. Layouts and display stands for outdoor prints were discussed and debated and we decided to do a few test prints to get things rolling.
Adil and I took a break and decided to hang out on the terrace for a few minutes. A huge explosion greeted us outside and it turned out that the neighboring office’s transformer had blown up. The usual crowds gathered and everyone got to go home early. We had no such luck. Meanwhile back downstairs test prints were well on their way. After making the necessary corrections to a few prints we decided to call it a day and prepared for the long journey back.
We had to resolve a few queries about displays/ signage and other fixtures so we decided to stop by our design consultants Jayanti and Jyoti Rath’s place in Gurgaon. They were all too happy to help us and gave us some fantastic ideas for signage and for displaying artist statements among other things.
We made it back home by 10.45 pm, a long day battling the forces of the traffic demon and coming up with brilliant ideas for displaying the work.
Yet, tomorrow is another day…