Hoops of hope

Published: Oct 04, 2019, 07:00 IST | Fiona Fernandez

Basketball enthusiast and leading photographer Rohan Shrestha's new book is a salute to lesser-known Indian hoopsters

A basketball game in progress in Nagpada
A basketball game in progress in Nagpada

How did the idea to create Home Court come about? Was there a trigger for it, or did it happen organically?
I have always been fascinated with my country, its rich history, culture and its diverse people. So, it was a no-brainer to come up with the idea of shooting the sport I love, across the nation.

Guide
Rohan Shrestha

The research for this book would have involved plenty of legwork…
The team, comprising Manan Dhuldhoya (the book's author), Gopalakrishnan R and I, had to undertake extensive research in terms of locating places, especially from a visually appealing perspective, and from where we could source the best stories around basketball heroes. A lot of work also went into where their homes and surroundings are; some of these locales were nearly six hours from main cities. But more importantly, the visuals we captured are unbelievable. Overall, it's been a fantastic learning experience.

Which was your toughest, most challenging section in the book and why?
One of my most challenging, and not to mention, favourite sections were shot in Sikkim. It was our first canvas to paint on. We went with empty heads, not expecting it would turn out to be as wonderful as it was. Its people made it more attractive as they were warm and welcoming, and made
us comfortable.

Tell us about your love affair with basketball. And who will you be cheering for at this weekend's NBA game?
My love affair with basketball started in the 1990s, the Michael Jordan era. I was a big fan. School began at 7 am, so I would wake up at 5 am to catch the play-offs, especially when the (Chicago) Bulls were playing. However, post the Jordon era, I stopped watching it because the Lakers kept winning every game and it kind of got boring as I wasn't a Lakers fan but then the LeBron era emerged. The NBA provides lots of inside stories of rivalries of teams and it was great to catch up with all of that again as I went into college. I don't support a particular team though I did live in New York for a bit, so I am partial to the (New York) Knicks. For this weekend's game I will be supporting the Sacramento Kings [over the Indiana Pacers].

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