Of male models and airport meetings



A couple of days ago at the Mumbai airport lounge I bumped into actress Deepika Padukone. I had met her during her modelling days but since the time she started off as a successful actress, I never really had a chance to meet her or talk to her again.

For me, Deepika is the best in terms of her personal style, and of course her on screen appearance as an actor. She has a perfect body, a beautiful face and even from her very first film, she proved that she could act. When my fashion designer friend Neeta Lulla introduced me to her again at the lounge, I found that she looked just the same, and was as warm as well.

After Neeta and Deepika left the lounge to board their plane to Goa, I sat once again and looked around. I saw Milind Soman busy talking to someone on the phone. I walked up to his side and we started chatting.

I have known Milind now for about 15 years… since his modeling days. He stopped modeling when he right at the top of his career to pursue his interest in films. No doubt, all the fashion lovers were damn disappointed.

I remember the days he used to do runway modeling. He was perfect from every angle. He always walked with confidence, wading through shrills and hoots that used come from pretty girls in the audience with an expressionless face. He never really cared of all the adulations. He did what he did best… modeling and never did hang around or been seen all the trivial things that we get to see models doing these days at night clubs or at parties.

That was what I liked about him. He seemed like a man of principles. For me, Milind Soman by far is the best model India has ever produced. He probably is the only male super model as far as I am concerned. There was no one like him before and I really haven’t seen any guy like him after he opted out of active modeling.

I wish male models of today were like Milind. Often we hear that male models are no comparison when it comes to their looks or intellect. It is true to a large extent. Barring a few, there hardly are any good male models in the fashion industry today. There are those who enter the industry purely because they do ‘favours’ to gay fashion designers. And they stick out like sore thumbs on the fashion runway. Sheer crap.

But the days when Milind (and, to a certain extent Arjun Rampal) used to model, things were different. Even today, when he is not into active modeling, he still looked very fit, very smart and of course, very handsome. And people still recognize him for what he did many years ago.

I saw a Kingfisher airlines girl approaching him and asking him whether he will pose for a photo with her. He said okay, got up, got his photo clicked and came back to the couch where he was sitting before.

Milind Soman is a man who is still missed on the fashion runway. I am sure he will be welcomed with open arms should he decide to come back!

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