By Viral Bhayani
This was almost a nail-biting finish-- Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma are finally married. The last couple of weeks have been a roller coaster ride for the fans of both the cricketer and the actor. When is it happening? Where is it happening? What are they going to wear? Who will be on their guest list? The list of questions was endless, and neither of the stars were confirming anything.
It all culminated into a massive headache for entertainment journalists, and more importantly for the paparazzis. After all, it is the most-awaited wedding of the year. And there's no way we could have missed a shot.
The photographers of Bollywood work on two simple principles-- hard work and patience.
There's no way we can lose our mind even when things go awry and not as planned. Luckily, the Anushka-Virat wedding story was no mystery as we already knew that they would soon be getting married. In this case, I followed a lot of celebrities on social media. I knew this will be the best way to find more information about the venue and the probable time they would tie the knot.
In some cases, the stars like to publicise themselves and want to get importance-- considering there is tight competition. So they spread information which leads us to capture them. But in most cases, it is pure investigative journalism.
Recently, Rani Mukherjee celebrated her daughter Adira's birthday. I had no clue where the party would happen. So this is what I did. I had one photographer on the day of the birthday constantly monitoring Rani's movements. Another photographer was stationed around Juhu to check for any celebrities' cars. Yes, we know every celebrity's car plate number by heart and more or less get our leads through that.
But these days, stars often travel in cars used by their security to fool us.
There are also other ways to get your information, the body guards and drivers of celebrities are always there to make those extra bucks. You can either take them out for a drink or regularly tip them with gifts and cash. Sometimes, a caterer or even a waiter at a party can come in handy with tips. But as principle I don't bribe anyone. In, fact I just reported about a fraud driver of a leading actress who used to regularly tip photographers on her whereabouts for cash.
I read at least 8 newspapers daily as well as go through a dozen gossip websites to know about all the happening events. For the Virat-Anushka wedding, I did the same. Tracked all the news that I could lay my hands on.
Trust me, the entire event is a mystery for us. Mumbai is a big city but we have to figure out the venue at any cost. Some of the artists even change the venue at the last minute to escape the papparazzis. It's exasperating at times, like in the case of Justin Bieber who came to Mumbai and nobody knew when he would arrive. So all you do is wait, wait and well, wait...
(The author is a Bollywood photographer)