Mixed Dou­bles

Mamta Gau­tam 30 and Ra­jiv Subba 30 OWNER Dirty Hands pros­thet­ics com­pany, Ahmed­abad

India Today - - THE IDEAS FACTORY - By Devika Chaturvedi

Pros­thet­ics for films has al­ways scared me be­cause of the poor qual­ity. For Raaz3, I met the Dirty Hands team. I was ec­static at the qual­ity of their work.”

Vikram bhatt, Film­maker

When they ap­proached

Ra.one di­rec­tor Anub­hav Sinha with their work, his re­ac­tion was, “You are five years ahead of your time.” Na­tional In­sti­tute of De­sign grad­u­ates Mamta Gau­tam, an ar­chi­tect, and Ra­jiv Subba, a sculp­tor, are into mak­ing life-size sil­i­cone man­nequins that look as real as they get. Their stu­dio in Ahmed­abad, Dirty Hands, which they set up in 2008 with a loan of Rs 2 lakh from Gau­tam’s par­ents, has raised de­sign, struc­ture and hy­per­re­al­ism into an art. Aren’t their sculp­tures the sil­i­cone equiv­a­lent of Madame Tus­sauds’s wax col­lec­tion? Not re­ally, says Subba. Al­beit an ex­pen­sive el­e­ment, sil­i­con af­fords pos­si­bil­i­ties wax doesn’t, he says. “Wax needs a lot of main­te­nance and cor­rect tem­per­a­ture whereas sil­i­cone ma­te­rial is more re­al­is­tic. In movies, our sculp­tures can eas­ily re­place live body dou­bles,” he adds. Mas­ter­ing the art wasn’t easy. “There was no one to teach us how to go about it. Be­sides, we had to im­port sil­i­cone from the US,” says Subba. Prac­tice makes per­fect. And per­fec­tion comes at a price. Dirty Hands man­nequins start from Rs 10 lakh on­wards. Yet their turnover in 2011 was nearly Rs 50 lakh. Gau­tam says Dirty Hand’s team of “15 tal­ented and skil­ful in­di­vid­u­als” is now work­ing on build­ing life­like body parts. “The tex­ture, colour and even pat­terns of body hair will be as close to the real thing as pos­si­ble,” she adds. They made a Gandhi sculp­ture for Gandhi Re­search Foun­da­tion at Jal­gaon and many sculp­tures for the Jain Ma­hot­sav that was held in Ahmed­abad.

Ticket to Bollywood

Dirty Hands sculpts pros­thet­ics for films and has done work for six films in­clud­ing Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of wassey pur and Vikram Bhatt’s Raaz3.

Hand it to Them

Gau­tam and Subba are now work­ing on de­vel­op­ing pros­thetic body parts with sil­i­cone, which no one is us­ing in In­dia yet. Sil­i­cone looks more re­al­is­tic, is more flex­i­ble and is low on main­te­nance, un­like wax fig­ures. They also plan to cre­ate toi­let seats and shower ar­eas for el­derly peo­ple.

SHAILESH Raval/www.in­di­a­to­day­im­ages.com

SUBBA(LEFT), GAU­TAM

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