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V are like this only

As a rule, he just loves taking my pants off. — Aditya


VJ GAURAV Kapur is a face most people associate with Channel [V] and he has been branded by the channel itself as a "certified health risk to TV viewers". While the Head of Channel [V] Marketing, Aditya Thakur, is one of the few guys who actually get their hands dirty to make things work.

Gaurav and Aditya spend a considerable part of the calendar year together travelling, doing shows, and throwing parties. Gaurav is the "complete nutcase" as opposed to the "sincere family man" Aditya. So, how is it that they get along together?

ANAND SANKAR finds out.

Gaurav: I met him for the first time in a club. I tried to pick him up. I saw him walk in and I said, `Wow gorgeous, come home with me tonight!'

Aditya: (Laughs.) It was low lighting that day.

Gaurav: He was wearing a wig.

Aditya: It had to be the wrong day. (Laughs.)

Gaurav: (Getting more serious.) Aditya and my styles of work are totally different. He is a meticulous planner, writing things down in sheets of paper. Sheets for Gaurav, sheets for Amar, sheets for everyone... I am more of a spot thinker.

Aditya: Methodical, yeah, but doing things one's own way can get a bit unfair.

Gaurav: He has learnt to trust me over a period of time. The biggest compliment I ever got from him was when six people in a press conference got sheets and I didn't! It was like `I know you will handle it.'

Aditya: (Laughs.) It's actually a state of resignation. But it is also a state of acceptance, saying he probably hates to do it or abhi iska kuch nahi ho sakta... I am the head of marketing so we are mostly planning things that are about to happen. It's the events, press conferences, and figuring out what to do next. Sometimes even sales pitches.

Gaurav: What is the big deal with sales pitches? I have done everything in this channel, right from sweeping the floor to selling the brand. (Laughs.)

Aditya: We used him for sales pitches earlier and that's pretty good in fact. A lot of clients want to get a flavour of the channel. VJs to us are a face to the channel possibly a lot more than you can describe in words. To us Gaurav is a lot more descriptive of the channel than...

Gaurav: I think I am more a voice of the channel than the face because it's a better voice than face!

So who is bigger, channel or the VJ?

Aditya: Like he is saying, the voice and the face are the two things that interact very closely with the consumer. So in that sense, he is a huge connect point. We are the guys who package everything and bring it out, but they are the guys who have to go out and perform.

Gaurav: I think it is symbiotic. They both grow and they both can also be detrimental to each other. You put a bad person on air or a good person on air doing bad things, and your brand automatically sinks. So, I think it is pretty symbiotic.

Aditya: We don't really argue much really very honestly...

Travelling together...

Gaurav: I'll tell you what happens. This guy is one of the calmest people I've worked with, especially in marketing. Marketing is one place where you can sort of lose your head once every day and pop a vein because you are relying on the skills of people in other cities. You have liaison officers and everything and you have an event happening in this city and you have people who haven't done enough. People are laid back and they often can't meet deadlines.

Aditya: He is very interesting. I am this formal guy and work in a formal setup, but he will be calling in the volunteers and asking them to sing one by one. Then all of a sudden when I enter, he will go: `Aur ab hamare pratiyogita mein ek aur singer aa rahe hai, Aditya Thakur ko bulayiye.' (Laughs) I just cannot state my case.

Gaurav: (In splits.)

Aditya: As a rule, he just loves taking my pants off. (Laughs) I hate getting in the midst of these crowds and doing these awkward things. Strangely, he does manage to take care of all of them. I will get back at him one of these days.

Gaurav: He is planning this huge thing to... (inventing a word right there) chagrille me. (Laughs)

Aditya: In fact, we have had lots of fun. We (referring to the entire marketing team) have got him a lot of times before. (Laughs)

Gaurav: We have travelled a lot together and had some good times.

Aditya: We once tried to do a Coyote Ugly girls thing in Mumbai. We thought they were the real thing and American. I called these guys over for a small press thing and five minutes later, I realised what a huge mistake it was. (Laughs)

Gaurav: These girls were mad, man! They were something else. The guy who came with them had an accent and was probably from Dadar Parsi colony. What a con job.

Aditya: Then we couldn't help it and had to get on with it. We had called everyone, advertisers and the press. Everyone was getting hit on and he was like the show must go on.

Gaurav: Everyone left but we got stuck, and by the end of it, the girls were drunk and falling all over us and we were like `I have a girlfriend and you are married.' (Laughter all around)

Aditya: I got a bit of my return that day. (Laughs)

On hot chicks...

Aditya: Once, I was chatting up this interesting girl at a Fire and Ice party that we had. He went up and made an announcement saying: `Mr. Thakur, you are a 35-year-old. Don't chance it as you will suffer your first slip disc.' And that was the end of that.

Gaurav: He is actually one of my favourite whipping boys. It is a problem in this country that we can't laugh at ourselves and I love to laugh at myself and he is also one guy who doesn't mind laughing at himself.

Aditya: I don't think that kind of behaviour should be rewarded. It is bad enough to be 31, but it is worse to be announced as 35.

(There's so much laughter beyond this that one can hardly transcribe the rest of the conversation!)

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