Three young men have managed to do what most of us only dream of.
By Nirmala Ravindran
July 9, 2010
From designing watches to reading minds, and being a virtual helping hand, three Bangaloreans decided to chart some unknown territories. Simply Bangalore talks to these young men to know what it took to turn their passion into their profession.
Story of design: Abhijit Bhansod
Abhijit Bansod is no stranger to fame. Having been part of the design team at Titan for more than a decade, he was also the brain behind the series of award winning watches from Titan. From the Jharoka watch, where he used Rajput and Mughal influences, to the Taj watch where he draws from the white marble as part of the heritage collection, his commercial designs have meant more sales for Titan.
On the non-commercial side, his studio ABD has been responsible for some real cutting-edge product design. From lights and furniture to photo frames, he has not left anything untouched. And the latest addition is the BPL studylite. It is a seamlessly designed LED rechargeable light, which is the first of its kind in India.
It has a six-hour battery back-up. If this was not enough, this has won him the Red Dot Award for Product Design from Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen, Germany, the largest and the most renowned design competition in the world. The other landmark achievement for Bansod is the opening of Design Katha, an exclusive studio showcasing his works in Whitefield, near Bangalore. Watch out for more from him.
In search of mandrake: Nakul Shenoy
Think of a shape, and Nakul Shenoy will draw it on paper for you. Try adding a colour to the shape (all in your mind) and he’s likely to say, “Try another colour, everyone goes for red.” Just when you’re suitably bewildered, he’ll ask you to hide a coin in one of your palms and put both out in front-and he’ll guess right the first time.
Forget the real coin and now just imagine the coin in one of your hands and he will guess that, too. Welcome to the world of Nakul Shenoy. “I can really read your mind,” he says. But for him, mind reading is only a part of the bigger show, which is a combination of hypnosis, auto suggestion, reading body language and communication. “I have my own bag of tricks. But at the end of the day, my only aim is to entertain, whether in a corporate set-up or otherwise,” he says.
An introduction to a comic strip super hero left five-year-old Shenoy with an ambition that continues till date-to be like Mandrake, the ultimate magician. “I started doing shows at the age of 15,” says the 32-year-old Shenoy. He admits that he got side-tracked into doing regular magic for a while. “But then I realised this was not what I wanted to do.” Unlike Harry Potter, who went to Hogwarts, Shenoy is self-taught. He is also planning a series of public shows, Beyond Magic, across the country to connect with a wider audience by just “gesturing hypnotically”.
Tweety bird: Nabeel Ziyaan
Unlike the fluffy yellow and helpless bird that needs assistance all the time, 26-year-old Nabeel Ziyaan is the one with the helping hand, and is often referred to as a ‘one man army’ by his friends. But most of his work happens in the virtual world, which is where Ziyaan can be found from dawn to dusk.
A self-confessed Twitter Bug, he is the one to look for if you’re in trouble and wired. So whether it is finding a place to live in, or a job or even project work, an internship-anything-he will surely find a way out for you. “I respond as soon as I get a call for assistance. I’m not idle even for a second,” says Ziyaan, who is also a freelance writer and brand consultant.
Ziyaan has over 2,000 followers on Twitter and was voted the 20th most popular Tweeter in 2009 (with nearly 50,000 tweets and active only from May 2009). “I read news online, there is no need to wait for 24 hours. I provide breaking news on Twitter much faster than any other broadcast network and I track everything on Twitter,” admits the man who is not tweeting only when he’s sleeping.
For someone who has made more than 40 real-life friends from Twitter and Facebook, Ziyaan refuses to think of himself as an Internet junkie.He says he knows how to maintain a balance. And his net buddies are now turning into his business partners. “To ignore the power of the Internet is to ignore your own growth in terms of business.”