The Annual Calendar That Isn’t!!!

Once again, Dabboo Ratnani has released his “calendar”!  The annual event that makes NO SENSE!  But results in amazing photos.

If you are new to following Hindi film, here’s how it works:  celebrity photographer Dabboo Ratnani invites an assortment of famous people over to his house.  They hang out in his backyard and he shoots some high concept kind of image.  Or, if they are busy, he goes to the location where they are shooting and comes up with something on the spot.  And then sometime in January, there is a grand party with all the media and stars invited at a gallery to show off his “calendar”.  Which is really just 12 photos hanging on a wall.  THERE IS NO CALENDAR!!!!!!  The calendar is a LIE!!!!

And you can’t really buy these photos or even find official digital images of them easily.  It’s all hunting through the internet and sometimes settling for a weird image with glare from the glass.  As soon as the official show happens, the race is on to find as many of these photos in the best image quality possible.  And it is worth it because these photos are AMAZING!

(Some of Shahrukh’s shots from the last few Dabboo calendars)

And do you know why they are amazing?  Why they look so good and the biggest names all show up?  It’s not because Dabboo is a very good photographer (although he is), it’s because Dabboo has WORLD’S BEST DAUGHTER!!!  She’s just the most charming little girl, and he brings her to all his photoshoots and she hangs out with the stars and is right out of frame while they are making their “sexy” faces.  She’s getting kind of old now, but the two younger kids are still pretty tiny, so I think Dabboo has a back up plan.

Anyway, this year’s calendar!  Shahrukh, of course, to start:

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His waist maybe looks almost too tiny?  I know it’s just a perspective trick, but it may have been a mistake to go for that particular trick.

But I still like it better than Anushka’s shot.  She has amazing long legs, we all know this, but maybe if they are going to be bare, let more of them show?  Get them all stretched out in front of her with the perspective to make them look longer and all.  This way it just looks a little like she forgot to put on pants.

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I am also not terribly fond of Aish’s look this year.  Aish is of course incapable of taking a bad photo.  But this one, I just don’t know, it doesn’t feel like he had a real concept for it besides “have Aish look at the camera”.

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Actually, what it feels like is he reused the “hippy nature spirit” idea from Alia’s shoot with Aish.  Or maybe that is on purpose?  To show them as summer and fall?  Demeter and Persephone kind of thing?

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Parineeti, on the other hand, was very very high concept.  And also looks really cute!  I don’t know if the concept really makes sense (why would you be in PJs in the middle of the road?), but it is a super flattering pose and outfit for her.  And kind of fits with her bubbly and young personality.

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Sunny Leone made the calendar this year, which is a big deal for her!  Being in Dabboo’s calendar is a respectable thing to do.  After all, you are spending the day with his children!  And, like Aish, she looks great in photographs.

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If being in Dabboo’s calendar was a big deal for Sunny, that Sanjay agreeing to work with Dabboo is a big deal for Dabboo!  Sunny is just slowly getting back into the public eye, and while he takes okay photos, it’s never really been his thing.

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He went simple for Sanjay, probably knowing that Sanjay wouldn’t be comfortable with anything more and it would lead to a worse photo.  But he also went simple with Jacqueline.  Who seems like she would be fine with a higher concept shoot, but also this photo is so great, I can see why he just went with it, even if he had a bigger idea in mind.



Shahrukh didn’t go wet this year, but Dabboo got out the water buckets and hose for at least one star, check out the intense Ranveer looks!



And then there’s Hrithik.  Who is dry, but wearing gloves?  Whatever, his hair looks really good.  I always like him with the sharply trimmed sideburns.  Also, can anyone tell what the heck he is holding?



14 thoughts on “The Annual Calendar That Isn’t!!!

  1. It took me way too long to figure out that there was NO calendar. I kept asking, well what month was so and so on? I figured out pretty quickly that you couldn’t buy it. Also adding to the non calendar calendar, there are way more than 12 pictures!! Craziness. But I love all the different ways you hear calendar pronounced. As to Shah Rukh’s pose: I actually think perspective aside, he in fact has a very small waist!


    • I think he has a very small everything! Watching the deleted scenes of DZ, I was reminded again of what a matched pair he made with Alia. And then comparing how tiny she looked opposite every other actor, it made me start thinking about how teeny SRK must be to look well with her onscreen. Not just short, but with a small frame as well.

      On Sat, Jan 14, 2017 at 10:29 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  2. I thought I’d read somewhere in connection with last year’s calendar shoot, or maybe an earlier one, that there is an actual calendar, but Dabboo gifts it to the participants and industry people. It’s a collectible, and you can’t buy it anywhere. Seems that the whole thing started as a marketing gimmick 16 or 18 years ago, before Dabboo was so established and so famous himself, and has now become an EVENT. Also, there are 24 actors–2 per month.


    • I think that came up when I posted about last year’s calendar, and we agreed that the key would be to become friends with the least famous and most desperate of all the models, slowly gain their trust, and then once you have access to their house, find the calendar and steal it, never to be seen again!

      On Sat, Jan 14, 2017 at 10:35 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  3. I really feel silly now. Sorry – I left the Shah Rukh water-white-shirt photograph on one of your other posts, thinking you’d not seen it. Clearly you are extremely abreast of the film fraternity happenings! I am just going to come to your blog for all the latest from now on.


    • Oh, don’t count on my blog covering everything! I tend to drop in and out of the industry news. I follow Karan, all 3 Khans, and Amitabh on twitter. So anything they are buzzing about, I know. But I have weird gaps for other things.

      On Fri, Jun 16, 2017 at 1:10 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  4. Pingback: Dabboo Ratnani 2018 Report! | dontcallitbollywood

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