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Say Cheese!

Umesh Sabharwal's creations.

POLITICAL RIVALS parade before him to be framed, teachers queue up with students to say `Cheese' and those unable to give a nuptial edge to their life line up to cheat their rough angles - Umesh Sabharwal is a busy man these days with the just-finished Delhi University elections, and now Delhi State elections all vying for his Nikon's attention.

"In the university elections, glamour became an important criterion when Shalu Malik vanquished her rivals with her looks. I clicked her photographs. It was followed by Ritu Verma success. Soon the word spread that pictures clicked by Umesh guarantees victory. This year prospective candidates for NSUI and ABVP lined up before my studio. I clicked both Ragini Nayak and Niharika, number one and two for the secretary post respectively. There are instances when candidates have got themselves clicked by other photographers only to return to me," says a confident Umesh. In this year's DUSU polls, he says, "I went for close ups and checks instead of the usual plain whites, as I feel this look creates greater empathy."

Umesh has graduated to big league as well with names like Sushma Swaraj, Sahib Singh, Prem Singh and D.P. Yadav falling for his adroit art. "I shot the portfolio of Sushmaji for the famous battle of Bellary. Initially, she was apprehensive when I insisted on make-up and certain poses but once she saw the results she praised my skill no end. When I shoot a political personality I take care of his image and try to frame the person in motion."

Umesh is so obsessive about his craft that he has even named his daughter Konica and is ready to share the secrets of business with the youngsters. "I have lived in penury and mastered the craft myself over the years. Now just looking at the face of the subject I can make out the treatment it demands. So I am ready to educate the youngsters who want making photography a career," says Umesh.

Interestingly, to mark Teachers' Day every year, he clicks pictures of students on discounted rate. "When I found myself in a position that I could give something back to the society, I decided to shoot students on Teachers' Day every year at reduced prices. The response is so overwhelming that we end up shooting 2,000 students every year."

Umesh says he does not refuse anyone on the day. Well, what to say but all cheers to the man and his thought!

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