Many of us crave to have a tiny slice of the glamour world. A few of us get there from slices to ounces. Very few live it. But then the contrast in the glamour world is not quite obvious. There are stars and then there are men and women who are integral part of the glitz, but still far away from living it.
36-year-old Somnath Ganesh has seen it all, but does not live glitz. He is the driver of a caravan which transports actors from one place to another while shooting. And while he knows he cannot change places, he is contented with transporting celebrities, living with their massive egos and silly tantrums.
In the job for the last three years, Ganesh wanted to be part of Sandalwood as a technician, but fate led him to take the road.
"I entered filmdom when Upendra started shooting for his film, Omkara. I was a driver and my job was to pick up the cameras in a car and deliver to the required destination. Later I upgraded myself to be a caravan driver," said Ganesh, who has driven almost all the stars in the Kannada industry.
"There was a time when caravans were brought down from Chennai for which they used to pay a lot of tax. Caravans were introduced in Bangalore four years ago. Now, I have teamed up with some of them and I am glad that we no longer have to hire a caravan," he said.
He surely has a big job in hand; making sure that the stars feel at home when using his caravan. "We try to cater to as many facilities so as to keep the stars happy. It is not about just having a TV, DVD, bathroom, air-conditioning, and seating arrangement for make-up and other facilities. Stars want more and come up and tell us what they would want us to keep in a caravan and we are more than happy to provide the facilities," he said.
Ganesh's life is also equally busy like the stars and he is off from home for many days. "I like to ride the stars to their destination and find happiness in it. I don't get bored. Even though I am a worker and they are stars, we are still a family. I have travelled all over Karnataka. Of course, I do miss my family sometimes but I have chosen to be in this job and I would not like to crib about it," he said.
Though Ganesh has been with many stars, he always looks forward to actor Shivarajkumar. "If given a chance, I would like to drive Anna Shivanna around the world in my caravan. I am a big fan of the hat-trick hero. The moment I get a call that he is using my caravan, I get excited. He is one actor who treats his co-stars and all workers in the team in the same manner," he said.
Ganesh and others are now planning to have a caravan association. "In fact, we just had a meeting so that we bring in some regulations for caravans," he said.
For Ganesh, the good part of being a caravan driver is that he travels to lot of places with the stars. But he states that there is a negative side to it too. "It gets difficult when some stars are particular about certain things. A few actors even crib if the air-conditioning is not working properly and they keep questioning," he said.
A BA graduate, he wants to move on in life than just be a normal caravan driver.
"I would want to buy a posh caravan so that I can bring in more facilities and make the stars feel more comfortable. I have heard a lot of caravans outside Bangalore. I want to see more benefits and make it a mini home for celebrities," he said.
As the year 2013 is all set to, City Express is moving away from the normal year-ender stories. Instead we present some unseen faces of Bangalore, who have been excelling in their respective fields, to make a living. In the next one month, we will bring stories of lesser-known people through our series 'Unseen Faces - 2013'.