Pink and blue coloured hair, big glasses and evident love for food, that’s how you define Shefali Pandey.
Pandey has a natural tendency to observe the most mundane of things and bring out its creative or at least the funny side. A US returned professional and a Gujarati, Shefali loves the Indian rickshaws and her #RickPics, a project she has been passionately following nearly two years is an interesting, serious but subtle peak on sexism and love for cinema.
What began as a fun thing in 2019 has now metamorphosed into a visual documentary which focussed on drama, laced with sexism in the autorickshaws. Maybe this is the trend across India but Shefali has focussed on Ahmedabad auto rickshaws in this interesting documentation. Her witty caption lend humour to her visual documentation.
The drama and sexism ingrained in our lives reflected inside the rickshaws of Amdavad. In a picture of Kangana Ranaut in a rickshaw, she writes “Mandir outside. Devi Inside. Blessed All Around. #ThisAhmedabadLife” In another ride, she clicks a picture of Salman Khan from Dabangg and she writes, ‘Macho men of the street’.
Of course, Shefali uses auto rickshaws only when she commutes so she gets to see a lot of them. A respectable professional known for her creativity and a spunky digital agency that handles quite a few celebrities as well. The so far single-in-the-city Shefali never fails to notice the hyper masculinity of man and ironically the glammed up women who are either shy or sensuous in their shaadi wear. “In autos, the men are cool and the women wear mehendi and maang tika. The men ride bikes and wear jackets, the women dress up for marriages, either theirs or others.” she told Vibes of India.
Indians are influenced by Bollywood and Amdavad is no exception. Rickshaws with colourful bright lights are donned with pictures of Sonam Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Shahrukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor and most favourite of all, Salman Khan.
Over the years the hand painted pictures have transitioned to quick printed posters. Madhuri Dixit, Aishwarya Rai, of the past are replaced with Alia Bhatt, Sonam Kapoor. The masculine Salman Khan is often overshadowed with action king Tiger Shroff–what has remained unchanged is Amdavadis’ love for cinema, actors and drama in their liquor-free life.
Shefali began her career with Conde Nast Traveller in New York, then shifted to Mumbai to work in digital marketing and eventually shifted to Amdavad to start her own company. “Mera career graph ulta hain. Most people start from Amdavad and wish to escalate to New York.” she laughs about her career graph. Apart from the digital media company she has also co-founded Mahila Manch, a firebrand stand-up comedy group that addresses issues of women and of people living on the edges.