Why is Bandra the perfect backdrop for Luxe blogger Riaan George
Luxe blogger Riaan George, gathering fans for his FB posts, on why he decodes his work life and how Bandra is the perfect backdrop
Riaan's Journo Episodes: Following up with one luxury retail industry CEO for an interview. Sent her my questions two weeks ago, requesting for an accompanying photograph in business formal attire to illustrate my feature.
A few days ago she tells me: OMG Riaan, I'm so excited for this interview, I have gone out and done a photo shoot to send you my latest photographs.
Today, I receive a bunch of glamorous, saucy photographs in front of clothes racks and window displays, but there's no sign of any interview attached in the mail. Me (on the phone): Hey, thanks for your photo shoot for the business feature, but where is the interview?
She: Oh shit, I forgot the interview only.
Me: Passed out...
Those who follow luxury blogger and journalist Riaan George's (Urban Eye) Facebook page waits daily for his slice-of-life, witty status updates about his interactions with PR executives and just-the-man-on-the-street in Bandra, where he lives. He has become famous for his self-deprecatory "passed out" signature and his funny-but-not-nasty outlook. For him, the Facebook posts became an extension of a column he wrote for a daily paper, but his aim in putting these out is a much more well-meaning one. "Along with looking at these incidents in a light way, it's also about putting out what works with journalists and bloggers and what doesn't. For example, don't call me and say 'I will give you this and this gift. Please give me coverage'. It just doesn't work that way," says the 35-year-old, about the famed for favours fashion industry.
But George, who has been blogging and writing for almost 15 years, says he cannot forget that he belongs to the industry. "So, I change the gender, or the industry I am mentioning, just so that it doesn't get too obvious. I also don't want to mock anyone. They are doing their job, after all."
The PR episodes have worked in two ways for George — his friends and colleagues joke about minding their words so as to avoid getting featured in one of his posts, and PR firms now approach him in exactly the manner he wants them to. "Ninety per cent of people are professional. But 10 per cent think they can bribe you, and they want the world. Recently someone called me and said, they are giving me a two-night stay, but wanted three blog posts, three Facebook posts, seven Instagram posts and 10 tweets. Does that mean I can't breathe?"
George also delights followers with his observations about the usual Bandra resident. "I have many incidents in autos. I was in an auto last year, and told the guy to speed up to follow a BMW which I thought was Salman Khan's and he said, 'Salman drives a Range Rover, don't you know?" At the end of the day, George hopes to break the myth that all his followers seem to harbour.
"They think I am a millionaire! They message me, 'you take an auto?' For an aspirational young person in a small town, all this seems so fancy. So these episodes just go to show that I am a real, normal person."
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