Author and columnist Shobhaa De tells Hitlist why her cousin -- the late Gautam Rajadhyaksha -- was a cut above the rest

His death was extremely sudden... he was fine till 3.30 this morning. Gautam has left behind some wonderful and immortal memories.

He will not only be in the hearts of the people, but also their homes in the form of the beautiful portraits that he has shot. He shot those images with such love and grace. He was truly great.

The magnificent thing about him was that whoever walked into his studio, be it a model, a wannabe star or JRD Tata or Sachin Tendulkar, he made everyone feel like they were the biggest stars. 

People said it was the lighting, the soft focus etc, but it was actually his magical ability to make everyone he came across feel privileged, special.

He has shot me many times. But every single time is memorable. He had a simple mantra: to make anyone came to him to be photographed look good.
He did that to the best of his ability. He was not trying to project himself through the photographs.

Unlike some photographers who treat new comers shabbily and behave as if they are doing them a favour, Gautam treated everyone with a lot of tehzeeb and courtesy.

For me, it is not just the loss of a brother but also a friend and confidante. I have terrific memories of us growing up together.
We shared common passions, and even had the same taste when it came to cuisine, photography and even movies. There was never a dull moment with him.
Whenever we got together, we would talk for hours. And then we would call each other and continue the conversation. I don't have that kind of rapport with any of my relatives. It is a huge personal loss for me.