January on a beach in the Andaman Islands with model Sheetal Menon; February at a wildlife sanctuary in the company of tigers; March looking deep into the eyes of Shah Rukh Khan; cocooned with a Czech model in April; May working for a cause with children; and in fantasy land with Deepika Padukone in June.

The coveted Kingfisher calendar by Atul Kashekar

For those who associate Kingfisher more with bikinis than beer, it will be a battle to get your hands on the UB Group’s swimsuit calendar. “It goes completely out of control and reaches the point of (being) ridiculous when industrialists and politicians say they wouldn’t even mind the previous years’ calendars," laughs lensman Atul Kasbekar. This year, a contest on the calendar’s website will offer one to the person who comes up with the craziest reason for wanting to possess the page-turner.

The DSP Merrill Lynch calendar features wildlife

Glamour and nature seem to be the running themes for most calendars, and since the former goes hand in hand with films, photographer Dabboo Ratnani has had it easy for the last eight years. All it takes is a studio, props and phone calls to his friends from the industry. “I use two stars for every month, but the industry is big and it does get awkward when I can’t have some of the stars in my calendar," says Ratnani. While the Bachchans, Shah Rukh and Hrithik Roshan get pride of place every year, Ratnani has included newcomers Ranbir Kapoor and Neil Nitin Mukesh in the 2008 issue.

The Pink Charity calendar shot by Subi Samuel

Samuel has worked overtime this year—a second calendar features film personalities such as Shah Rukh, Arjun Rampal, Karan Johar and Priyanka Chopra, all for a good cause. The Pink Charity Calendar by Dalbir Bains, of Mumbai lingerie store Boudoir London, and the British high commission, wants to raise breast cancer awareness, so every picture comes with a cancer factoid. “We’ll follow this with other initiatives through the year," promises Bains. The Mumbai-only calendar will be available at the British Council Library, Crossword bookstores and Boudoir London for Rs500. Proceeds will go to the women’s cancer initiative at the Tata Memorial Hospital. Coffee chain Mocha Coffees and Conversations has its own calendar cause. They are supporting the Brain Tumour Foundation (BTF) calendar, a series of pictures created by children from the foundation. Proceeds from the sale of the calendars, available at Mocha’s Mumbai outlets, will go to the BTF fund.

The Marching Ants almanac by Subi Samuel

While Jatin Kampani’s images for K Raheja Universal are glamorous, the construction firm also wanted the theme to be eco-friendly, and its calender focuses on natural forms of architecture. So, models pose with faux nests, anthills and beehives.

For some, a calendar will always be about fun and games. Last year, it was a spoof on Hollywood; this year, Vikram Bawa is shooting one for jeweller Yogesh Jasnani with a Kama Sutra theme. To be shot in a palace, he says the “arty" pictures will be “bold but not overtly sexual".

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