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Remembering Jagdish Mali

In the mid ’90s Jagdish Mali (fondly called Jaggi by his friends)was one of the most sought after photographers in the city. He had set up his independent studio, after having worked with CineBlitz magazine. His studio was located in Aram Nagar 2, which was considered to be the haven for photoshoots as Mali had two other ace photographers, Rakesh Shrestha and Jayesh Sheth as neighbours.


Rekha was most comfortable shooting with Mali

Reticent and somewhat shy, Mali outwardly didn’t have the flamboyance that one expects from a glamour photographer. He was soft spoken and always smiling. But behind the camera, he was passionate and assertive.


Sridevi shot with Mohnish Behl, Sudesh Berry, Ronit Roy, Harish and Ravi Kishan  for the promotions of her film, Army

And perhaps it was this very nature of his that made Rekha and Jackie Shroff, some of the reigning stars of that time, so comfortable with him that they refused to shoot with anybody else.


The biggest pictures in Mali's studio were those of Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha

Whoever entered his studio, whether it was a star or a cub reporter, was treated equally and fed with samosas and endless cups of chai. At no point in his career, did his smile or demeanour change.


Jackie Shroff was another star who was loyal to Mali

Once age caught up with Mali, as is frequently the case in Bollywood, the man who was always surrounded by people, suddenly found himself alone. But when I spoke to him a few months ago, Jaggi told me how he hoped to get busy soon, instead of dwelling on his loneliness or sickness.


A young Saif Ali Khan captured by the ace photographer

He was suffering from severe diabetes. Jaggi will surely be missed.

All photos courtesy CineBlitz  

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