Happy, sassy and vibrant. Like Play, like the calendar. As Miss Universe India 2010 Ushoshi Sengupta’s passion project Play is ready to roll out season four, the party has begun with a limited-edition calendar that has been exclusively shot with The Telegraph and Ptron at Hyatt Regency Kolkata. Ahead of its launch today, Ushoshi tells us about the concept and what’s in store this year.
What’s the concept of the calendar?
Play as a brand represents a movement to break from the ordinary, get over the mundane and celebrate the rebel. Our idea was to bring together some of the city’s disruptors, creators and rebels together. Hopefully every season we can recognise a new pioneer. Play calendar is an ode to self-made people who have chalked their path.
Must have been a lot of fun putting it together...
It was very exciting to get all six talents onboard. Shaheb has been a rebel in his choices of films and the characters he has played so far. Ushasi is an incredible actor and with her latest Gobhir Joler Maach, she has disrupted her television good-girl image. Sneha is one of the most dedicated and hard-working women I have met and she continues to inspire me in her yogic journey.
Niranjan was the first one we approached not only because of his phenomenal content but because of what he truly represents. Inclusivity. His art is beyond the gender norm.Iryna is an incredible writer, poet and translator and she has worked with Nobel laureate Olga Tokarczuk. I met her while she was documenting a series about women in India. Just not a phenomenal writer but also an extremely gorgeous and humble woman.
This is also the first time you feature in a calendar! This must be special!
Oh yes! Indeed. This one is special! One thing that brings all of us together is our passion for our art and the rebel inside who refuses to give up!
(L-R) Niranjan M, Ushasi Ray and Kanishk Seth
What’s the plan with Play this year?
This is our first season at Hyatt Regency Kolkata and we are super excited to move to a new venue and have the opportunity to explore the beauty that Hyatt is. There are a lot of interesting posethings lined up for Play this year and I am extremely grateful to Kumar Shobhan, GM of Hyatt Regency Kolkata, for guiding us through this.
Talking of calendars and dates, what are the most memorable dates for you? And, is there an iconic calendar you’d like to be a part of?
I think the most memorable date for me is June 10. That’s also my baby sister’s (Saheli) birthday. I don’t think I have ever been so excited in my life. She is my greatest joy and biggest cheerleader. I am not sure about a calendar but I guess someday I would like to be on the Times 100 list! I mean what are dreams if they don’t seem challenging enough? (Laughs)
Ushoshi and Iryna Vikyrchak
When you are shooting with friends who are equally crazy like you, the shoot has to be super fun. A bunch of good-looking people making every frame look like something out of an international fashion magazine... Usho, Tina, Sneha, and like-minded creative people can create magic. December is my favourite month. Winters in Calcutta are the best, with rooftop parties, barbecues, bonfires, family picnics and the warm sun on a winter afternoon — Shaheb Bhattacherjee, actor
Ushoshi, Shaheb and SnehaNiranjan and Ushasi
The lightness and grace with which Usho and her team organised this project and all the impressive people she brought together in this colourful shoot was the most enjoyable part. I can’t wait to turn to May! It’s been my favourite time of the year in Ukraine with its softness between fresh green spring and hot sunny summer. This May I have a deadline to finish my debut novel manuscript. I can’t decide if that is intimidating or exciting, but probably both — Iryna Vikyrchak, Ukrainian writer
Shooting with this amazing team and sharing frames with these talented people was the most amazing part for me. November is my favourite month because it’s my birthday month — Niranjan M, content creator
Niranjan and Ushasi
As an actor I am always excited to be a part of fashion projects and I think Play for me is just that. It was an absolute blast to shoot with the whole gang. I love October because it’s my birthday month — Ushasi Ray, actor
I loved working with the most enjoyable crew with all the beautiful people around me! November is my favourite month because it is my birthday — Kanishk Seth, cricketer
The most enjoyable part was working with a team of women who are all entrepreneurs in their own respective ways and just bring together a universal purpose of delivering recreation, fun and entertainment and putting in so much hard work to make people happy... — Sneha Ghosh, artist
Ushoshi and Niranjan
Tina Mukherjee, creative director
Working on this project was just pure fun. Most people associated with the calendar are very close friends and so it was easy to visualise it, keeping all their personalities in mind. Also having the best team onboard always makes things easier — Tina Mukherjee, creative director
Kumar Shobhan, general manager, Hyatt Regency Kolkata
We are delighted to associate with Play fest and are looking forward to the calendar launch. Hyatt loves local and we are happy to have been able to provide this platform to promote local talent. The shoot showcased the celebration elements of the hotel at The Bar, Incog, beverage-inspired winter pop-up and the party suites — Kumar Shobhan, general manager, Hyatt Regency Kolkata
Sumita Vachher, make-up pro
It was an absolute delight to work for the Play calendar. This is my first time in Calcutta and I was really excited to work with the team. The looks I created for the shoot were very subtle, easy on the eyes and brought out the natural beauty of the talents. The hair done by my team was all glamorous and had abig-hair vibe — Sumita Vachher,make-up pro