Books: A New Direction – Hindustan Times

Mozez Singh is many things: a filmmaker, columnist, producer, writer and director. So when he was approached by Assouline, a luxury lifestyle book publisher, to write a book about Jaipur, he jumped at the chance to add “author” to his biography. Assouline has a series of stunningly aesthetic beautiful travel books, on everything from St Moritz to Marrakech, including Splendor of Jaipur is the newest addition; Jaipur is also the first Indian city to be featured.

As someone who has written, produced and directed fiction, non-fiction, reality, fashion, music, current affairs and talk shows for television channels, as well as producing and directing television commercials and music videos, Mozez has been an avid reader since he was a child. With books all over his house, as he puts it, “the chance to be able to write a book was a big hit for me.”

Mozez Singh explains his name

So why choose Jaipur? “Well, Jaipur has culture, Jaipur has art, Jaipur has handicrafts, Jaipur has history, Jaipur has architecture, Jaipur has food, Jaipur has textiles and n It’s just a melting pot of East and West,” exclaims Mozez. While most people know and recognize Jaipur as all of these, the real challenge for the filmmaker was to present it differently.

royal treatment

To fully understand the city, Mozez had to think outside the box. “I had been to Jaipur several times, but my knowledge about it was quite superficial,” he admits. Whether it was going into people’s homes, exploring temples or looking for interesting artifacts, he spent four months simply doing his research before writing a single word from the nine pages he has. finally written.

“I had to kind of get into the heart of Jaipur, and for that I met a lot of historians, people who have lived in Jaipur for decades, and met a lot of people from the royal family; the current Maharaja of Jaipur, Pacho, was extremely welcoming and opened many doors for me,” he says.

Busy walkways in the Jawahar Circle garden (del Newma/AlamyStock)

Indeed, the foreword to Splendor of Jaipur was written by Sawai Padmanabh Singh, or Pacho, as he is called.

Eventually, Mozez chose to present Jaipur through its kings. “I basically joined the dots between all the kings who brought art and culture to Jaipur and chained their stories because this artistic expression is the part of Jaipur that I am most passionate about,” he reveals .

labor of love

Since the Coffee Table Book is so rich in imagery, Mozez spent nearly a year curating every extraordinary photograph and quote. “I must have done a million drafts until I finally hit a draft that made me happy,” he laughs.

Mozez’s book, Jaipur Splendor

He continues: “It happened to me at a really crazy time, because I was shooting my series and I had planned the book in such a way that I would not pick it up until after that. Then the second wave of the pandemic interrupted everything. , so I was shooting and writing and arranging the photography at the same time. It was really crazy because I was shooting 12-13 hours in the heat and dust in Bhopal and then coming back to my room and shower and then spending hours working on the book. I don’t know how I managed!

Are there more books in the works now that he’s been bitten by the virus? Maybe not quite yet. “My next project is a hip-hop feature film,” Mozez candidly divulges, “but that’s all I can tell you because I’m bound by 50,000 things about confidentiality.” All we can say is that it looks stunning.

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From HT Brunch, March 13, 2022

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