Two’s company

Anjali Jhangiani
Saturday, 10 June 2017

From professional to personal life, Anjali Jhangiani explores the dynamics of working as a duo in various fields and what goes into making a fantastic partnership

Think about how burgers and fries belong together, how milk and cookies were meant to be, how sad the world would be if macaroni had never met cheese? Just like these awesome duos, there are some professionals who are really good at what they do, but are even better when paired with their partners. There’s no sidekick-main hero equation here, they are equals. They might have different fortes but when they work together, they’re brilliant. 

Don’t you just love watching the ‘food explorer’ duo Rocky and Mayur through all their culinary adventures? Their awesome on-screen chemistry results from a friendship that dates back to 1976. “We met as neighbours and lived five houses away from each other. We worked together to raid neighbours’ homes for food even then! A friend of ours was planning to do a TV show on food and travel and said he knew no one else who ate or travelled as much as us.. that’s where our journey on television started,” reminisces Rocky.

After the success of Highway On My Plate, the duo is now hosting Food Xpress on Living Foodz. Mayur says, “Together, we make even the hardest of work a lot of fun! Our shoots are filled with laughter, entertainment and pulling each other’s leg. We have completely opposite tastes. Rocky is a meat lover, who loves spicy food and scuba diving and I am a vegetarian who prefers not so spicy food and likes to go mountain climbing and trekking. In no way do we ever try to compete with each other, which is what makes us so compatible. We have our fights, but after a few punches, they are over and forgotten over a few beers and some great food!”

When it comes to dividing the workload, Mayur looks after the finance, networking, communication, human relations and marketing; while Rocky undertakes the ideation, planning, administration and sales. 

But their professional partnership is an extension of their friendship. “We have always been close, so this doesn’t affect our relationship much. We spend all our free time together and even go off on holidays together, so in our case it’s just how we live. Thankfully, we haven’t taken on any traits of each other. In our case, nature has ensured we were, are and will always remain very different animals!” says Rocky, adding that working alone and independently is too boring so that’s off the table for the duo. 

The awesome twosome will be hosting another upcoming show on Living Foodz, but ask them about their future plans and they say, “We are just two friends who eat a lot of food, laugh together and enjoy bringing smiles to each other and to those watching. We hope to keep laughing together for as long as the world allows us. When it doesn’t, we will sulk for a bit, then pick up our fishing and camping gear and head off for a holiday together where we will eat, drink, chat and have many more laughs together!”

I think the most important aspect of any successful partnership is trust. We trust each other completely, from a point of view of finance, competence and so on,” says Uma Badve who along with her college bestie Shruti Agarwal started the popular Mexican restaurant in the city called Picantos.

“Shruti and I met during Std XI in 2000. We were in the same prep class and we hit it off immediately. We had actually started talking about doing something together that time itself. It took us till 2013 to be in the same city together again. We met for dinner and decided to be entrepreneurs,” she narrates. 

Both the women have strong entrepreneurial natures and the fact that neither of them was shy of hardwork made them the best partners. “Since we knew each other for so long, we knew what ticked the other person off and even if there was a disagreement, it wasn’t egoistic. It was professional and the goal was always to better our business,” says Uma. 

Explaining how their partnership worked, she says, “In our case, we initially started working on everything together, in the planning phase that is. Once the outlet was up and running, we divided the work according to our mutual strengths.”

Shruti believes that their friendship grew with their business. “We got closer, and would never miss talking to each other everyday. We spent much more time with each other than we spent with our husbands! Thankfully, we are one big happy family. My husband, hers, and us often go for holidays together and largely never run out of topics to talk about,” she says. 

While Uma claims that she has definitely learnt to think more objectively, Shruti says that she, on the contrary, was inspired from Uma’s passion for food and picked up on her people skills. “Uma could walk up to people and start a conversation when they came to the restaurant. She connected with people and that is what brought them back to the restaurant. She always has a positive attitude, which is really important to run a business,” says Shruti. 

The bottom line is that they prefer working as a duo as it’s much more fun to work with someone who understands their strengths and helps them with their weaknesses, than work independently. 

When they met only to share workload, they ended up in a hit partnership. Sachin Sanghvi and Jigar Saraiya are on their way to become one of the legendary duos Bollywood has seen, and who knows, Hollywood doesn’t seem like a far-fetched dream for them too. While Jigar says, “Our relationship is like our parents’ marriage, it is understood that we have to be together all our life. There is no ambition in this combination. It’s like we have sworn till death do us apart. We eventually find a mid way in case of a difference of opinion”, Sachin expresses, “We are not just partners in crime but also in rhyme. We talk about the progress of a project only during meetings. We are family now, so with or without music, Sachin will always be followed by Jigar. There are no roles. When one of us is exhausted with ideas, the other one takes over.”

They believe that they complement each other well since both of them have different skill sets and it is the amalgamation of their varied qualities that reflects their music. Sachin says, “There is no set formula. Sometimes Jigar has an idea and I build upon it, and vice versa. We can both arrange, compose and ideate. Nothing is planned, it is a creative process. We look for the “take back home” element in a song first, like what the song wants to convey or a hook line that can become the identity of the proposed song. It all revolves around that one hook element and we building up to or breaking down from that point. Our lives revolve around our studio space which we refer to as ‘The Hub’ where we have a single laptop that we both work upon individually. If I have an idea, I go there and work and Jigar does the same.”

They share that there’s not much difference between their professional and private lives. “We understand each other’s temperaments very well. I can look at Jigar’s face and know what he is thinking and feeling very accurately,” says Sachin, who believes that he has started listening to John Mayer only because Jigar is obsessed with the artist. And Jigar, who despises junk food, finds himself ordering something that Sachin would eat (unhealthy) and beat himself over it after the food has arrived and he has to eat it because he doesn’t like to waste. 

“We have differences of opinions but then we realise that our bond is too strong and goes beyond the music,” says Jigar, and Sachin adds, “I think creative arguments and fights only help us making songs that we are proud of. Making music is like a shared responsibility. And to answer your question, we will always be a duo.”

The duo are working on the music for some much-awaited films like Ishq Vishq 2, Simran, Bhoomi, Haseena, and more. 

The hottest DJs in the city, Anuj Vaidya and Gaurav Kumthekar, aka Anuj and Garry, are known to get the dance floor on fire when they work together behind the console. Having met at a music institute a long time ago, the two soon became friends and decided to work together. “The main reason for our collaboration was that we both loved the same kind of music and wanted to do something in it. Our music style is similar, we both do our homework (study about new music trends. Basically we agree on being well prepared before our set so that we can concentrate more on performing rather than just playing,” says Garry, adding, “If we’re working on a set, we both have to find new music. Anuj does the effect part of the set while I study the track pattern and sort out the new playlist. But when we’re performing, I mostly do the playing part while Anuj does the effect and Mcing, which I think is the X factor of ‘Anuj & Garry’.”

The duo is often seen talking on the set too. “Right from what kind of tune goes into the track playing at that moment to how hungry we are, there’s never any awkwardness or anything like that between us since we have been friends for more than 8 years,” he adds. 

Since they’re such good friends, working seems more like hanging out with each other. “Even when we’re not working, we hang out together since we have the same group of friends,” says Anuj. 

Spending so much time together has resulted in Garry moving on from playing on CDJs to Ableton, and drinking tea, like his partner. Garry, on the other hand, has contributed towards improving Anuj’s fashion sense and converted him to be an extrovert. 

Though the two do solo gigs off and on, the partnership is the real deal. “As off now, working independently is not on the agenda,” confirms Garry. 

Follow the writer on Twitter @purplesaga

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