Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 6th 2015 Contents 7
Friday, February 6, 2015 • Issue 171
Valmiki Maharaj or just Val, as some may know him, is
probably best known for his role in Carnival -- primarily
as a costume designer for Tribe Carnival and then as an
event designer with Ultimate Events Ltd. He's also the
proprietor of Chutney Hut on Don Miguel Road, San
Juan, a big fêter and an avid tweeter (follow him at @in-
staval_tt). Metro Magazine managed to get Val to sit
still for a whole fifteen minutes, to give us an idea of
what an average day is like for him, now that we're in
the depth of the Carnival season.
7am: My alarm goes off. I turn it off and I go back to
sleep. It goes off again at least once after. And my alarm is
on my phone so when I pick it up to turn it off, sometimes
I look to see what messages I have and then I go back to
9am: I finally get up maybe around 9am. Then I check
Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and by then I have a lot
of messages. I roll around, then I realise that I'm late for
the gym so I start to rush. I bathe, change into my gym
clothes and I'm out the house.
10am: I get to the gym, but I'm always late. I'm sup-
posed to walk there but I usually jump in a taxi. By the
time I get to the gym I'm always pumped for some reason.
Oh! I don't always get to do the phone thing in the morn-
ing but if there's anyone I remember to check - like if we
have an event going on - I make those calls while in transit.
Transit is a big communication time for me. I get to the
gym and get off the phone. I try to not be on the phone
while I'm at the gym...try....but I do check it every time it
rings. It's a busy season..whatever.
11:30am: I stay in the gym till after 11pm and most of
the time I walk home. When I get home I bathe and I take
a few moments to go through my phone - all my mes-
sages - and formulate a plan because when I get to the
mas camp...vortex. I make all the calls that I have to make
and set a plan for the whole day. If I am home for an ex-
tended period, at this point is when I'll eat something. But
with this season...I just drink some juice and run. Oh! But
before I leave I have a meeting with Chutney Hut staff and
get them open. Anything I have to do in the East I try to
do now because once I get to the mas camp, to come back
East will never work out.
2pm: I get to Tribe Mas Camp around 2pm and what I
do usually varies from day to day. Right now I have about
three different areas of things that I'm doing - Individual
costumes, which are in full production right now; two
would be the events side for Ultimate Events, so I'll
have meetings with staff and coordinate decor or lay-
out, depending; and the third aspect is managing my
own sections - which are Pai in Bliss and Envy in Tribe
this year. If I have time around 3pm, I go to Irie Bites for
a callaloo. I put lots of pepper and a little bit of jerk
sauce because I find it in-
triguing. If I didn't have
anything earlier, this is
usually my first meal
for the day.
8pm: When I even-
tually leave the
camp it's one
Frankie's for a bev. A lot of my friends who work in and
around the town area will end up there in the evening
time. That's only if another meeting isn't happening of
9:30pm: Then I get home. I try to change immediately
and go to walk or run. Because it's usually so late I run
right in the street next to my house. Most of the time
all my neighbours will tell you they know I'm running in
the road because I'm constantly on my phone. I'm either
talking to a masquerader or a supplier.
After I run, I bathe and go through my phone. Now
that I'm doing this interview, I feel like going through
my phone is a post-bathing ritual. I just check to see
whether there are any messages I missed during the
If I'm lucky I have time for some music. I remember up
to last year I would do it every single evening. I've got-
ten to do it a few times for the year so far and I really
feel better. I play something, and I have a moment, a
very quiet moment. Then if I have the energy I try to go
and write a Scorch article (laughs).
11pm: I try to do a lot of administrative work. Invoices
and so on. I make a lot of phone calls too. Around that
time a lot of my friends are up and doing nothing so I call
and speak to them. Then I may try to watch a movie or
some YouTube videos.
3am: I usually go to bed anywhere between 1:30am to
3:30am, meaning I actually hit the bed and say "Ok allyuh,
the time has come."
PHOTOGRAPHY: ZACQUES MORRISON
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