Me is Suhail Shaikh, born in India in 1969 and through various adventures living presently in France.
My thirst for toys was more than we could afford as a family so my grandmother taught me how to make toys myself from a very early age. My hands are my most precious best friends ever since.
Paper was the easiest available medium to make my own toys and when I graduated to aircraft and stuck to it, paper stayed as my partner. The complexity of compound curves was often attacked with intricate folds and tabs to get the smoothest surface possible. I had little or no reference material at that time, sometimes it was just memorised from a movie ( Star Wars, Blue Thunder) and often pages taken from old magazines. I couldn't bother myself with scale and built them around the 'parts' that were strewn around me. As a result of which the proportions are often awry. I remember the feeling of excitement when sitting down to make a model.
I have a condition called "Imaginus Planepartus Everywherus". The symptoms are that whether I'm in a supermarket, on the street or in someone's home, I see aircraft parts everywhere. Bottlecaps are spinners, bottle bottoms are cowlings, lightbulb packaging are canopies, earbuds are gun barrels, champagne corks are wheels and so on. During my early years my parents tried to rid me of this condition for my table was soon a scale model of the city dump. To this day, I have boxes of 'aircraft parts' in my basement, awaiting assembly.
Over the years I must have built about 40 or so different models...the Spitfire, Yak-9, Focke Wulf 190, Hellcat, Sopwith Camel, the entire 'century series' of jets starting from the Super Sabre till the F-117 Nighthawk, a huuuuuge Lancaster, a B-17 Flying Fortress...I could go on...as I did back then! Space was a problem and they either died natural deaths due to the prevalent humidity or they were occasionally given away.
I never thought of photographing them.
All of a sudden I noticed that I was actually sharing the planet with another very attractive gender of the same species. Then the education system required me to be more attentive and responsable and soon after I had to choose a slave driver and start contributing to the taxation system. In that storm of events and expectations I lost touch with the simple beauty of my paper model planes and all it brought me.
In the move from India to France, the few models I could salvage moved with me and stayed in boxes and several basements slowly disintegrating for about 20 years. I stayed away from those boxes out of guilt and shame.
And then one day I realised that there was something missing. A hole in me that only I could fill, with my own two hands.
Thank you for visiting my blog. Enjoy!