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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  • Anonymous

    Typical socialist mumbo jumbo. It just takes some knowledge of economics to see this is a good thing. First some history. The only reason that has held India back is the age old suspicion of the private sector. It started with license raj. No points for guessing the people I blame for this. Look at the US. Walmart, Target et al have only pushed prices down. This has definitely helped the consumer. More money in the consumer’s pocket means the money can be used elsewhere for more productive purposes. The sorry state of India’s affairs is because of obstructions everywhere, from FDI, to education, to energy etc. Big government still wants to control everything. A Government by definition is big and bloated, and thus cannot be efficient. Capital should flow to wherever it is used most productively. It means more employment in these market chains, and means unemployment for the mom and pop stores. I’m sorry, but I don’t see how uncompetitive people losing jobs is such a bad thing. Unproductive farmers also in the long run need to look at engaging in more productive economic activities. If I use your logic, invention of cars was a bad thing, cause it put so many horse buggy drivers out of work. See where I’m going with this?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shakil-Ahmad/1269925364 Shakil Ahmad

    These writers are real friends and chamchas of Rich companies. They do not want poor Indian farmers to prosper. If this writer arguments is correct then all the farmers in America and Europe must be the poorest of all. Because there, veggies are sold in super marts owned by retail chains and not from the basket over head or a thela. If the retail sector comes to India in an organized way, farmers will be able to get sell their products at one point and get their cash. There time will be saved which they can spend on forms cultivate even more. Their products will not be spoiled and rot if they are not able to sell. Quality of product will improve due to competition. I see that it as another step getting closer to developed economy.

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    Anonymous Reply:

    Excellent reply Shakil.

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  • http://rohanabraham.tumblr.com Rohan Abraham

    At a macro level view, wouldn’t this create more demand? As prices will be competitive and goods will be easier to obtain for the consumer.

    More demand would lead to more consumption. More money flowing back to the retailer and supplier. While I understand some of that will be kept by the retainer, lots of it would go back to the supplier as well, right? Isn’t it better to have that, than to sit back and say no we cant do it because the farmer will lose? I think that’s quite pointless.

    Using that logic, we should close down large malls, multiplexes etc. Pointless again.

    This is just my opinion.

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  • Anonymous

    These were the same concepts backward thinking folks always had , when computer technology & communication techology was freed and opened up in india 20 years back – their theory was india will lose lakhs of jobs…what would’ve happened to our youth of india today if then we had listened to them. Let the customer decide what they want and let india have investment in logistics and supply chain and customer front infrastructure…it will be best boon india could have when we look back 10 years from now in both manpower work force it will create and also the modern techology it will bring from Farm to the customer !!! The naysayers will always be naysayers….who have their own vested interests to keep the same old hoaders and middle man traders who are pinching money from both farmers and the customers

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    Rohan Abraham Reply:

    Well said!

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  • Anonymous

    Whatever paul…i too stay in usa for last 12 years and u are absolutely wrong. The single biggest reason for low food inflation in usa is Walmart’s every day low prices and highly efficient technology and logistics efficiency and smaller mom and pop thrives here too. There will be always be small nbr of haters of a company due to their vested interests…you cannot change their mindset. India needs to remove the 5 to 10 touch points between Farmers and consumers. The baniyawalas and trade mafiya unions have been making lot of profit by not paying the farmers and then making consumers asking high price to customers with low quality stuff this has been going on for last 60 years…. In case you do not know 40 to 50 % of india’s vegetables and fruits are damaged before reaching customers. I accolade this FDI opening rule change…this is the best change indian farmers and customers will have…competition is always a good thing. Do not make it far fetched by connecting walstreet demos to these…. You are correct this will be a big inflection point for india…but for good though…

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    Paul Reply:

    ratz,

    You argue that small farmers will benefit from large corporations. Could you tell me how many small farmers or for that matter family farms exist or are profitable in US? The biggest players in Agriculture market continue to be other corporate farms who have been taking over family farms. I live in an Agricultural state and have seen this first hand. The Agriculture subsidies is a s/ham and finally Americans are waking up to the reality.
    I am no socialist but at the same time want a captalist system that that is fair and open.

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    Anonymous Reply:

    paul,
    You are mixing Apples and Oranges. The FDI opening rule is for FDI in retail frontend and not for taking farm land from farmers !! In USA for generations it has been big land owned family farmers. I believe this fdi opening is fair and open and will benefit both in the increase of jobs for workforce in future and also improve our supplychain logistics.

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  • Ram Singapore

    Bhaiya you are right Congress party and NCP honcho Sharad Pawar are behind this game. All this policy has done has confirmed they have done backroom deal with BIG FDI retailers and Indian corporate and mid term elections are around the corner. Congress LADLA Rahul GANDHY and Ms,Sonia are making HAY while Govt is stil in their hands KAL KA KAUN JANTA HAI!

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  • Alexmon

    i feel i will be benfitted by the move to allow foreign direct investment since i will be able to get quality products at a cheaper price. iam sure that farmers will get better price for the products. also wastage of food grains will be considerably reduced

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    Anonymous Reply:

    Eventually this will turn into a farmers vs corporations battle with the govt. on the side of the corporations. This battle is in a advanced stage in America, with the corporations close to winning. See this:
    http://www.healingtalks.com/health/decades-of-suppressing-and-now-criminalizing-of-raw-milk-sales/

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  • Alexmon

    sir,

    the middle man and the small time traders are also not into the bussiness of helping the so called aam admi

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  • hh

    if u eliminate the intermediate 3+ retailer, u are talkin about complete collapse of economy of atleast 30% population, plus the economy of population{doctors, small hospitals, nursing homes, CAs, lawyers, almost all other smaller professional services, esp in smaller cities} which is dependent on this very 30% population….

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  • Anonymous

    The logic applies to Congless too, my bengali friend. Congress is the original Baniya party, and they also get hafta from shopkeepers, more so than any other party. So your informed analysis, is really, just a pile of dung.

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  • Anonymous

    Eventually this will turn into a farmers vs corporations battle with the govt. on the side of the corporations. This battle is in a advanced stage in America, with the corporations close to winning. See this:

    http://www.healingtalks.com/health/decades-of-suppressing-and-now-criminalizing-of-raw-milk-sales/

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  • Anonymous

    Eventually this will turn into a farmers vs corporations battle with the govt. on the side of the corporations. This battle is in a advanced stage in America, with the corporations close to winning. See this:
    http://www.healingtalks.com/health/decades-of-suppressing-and-now-criminalizing-of-raw-milk-sales/

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  • Anonymous

    guys this is a post by somebody from australia from another news blog

    prakash234 (Sydney Australia
    13 mins ago (09:06 AM)
    You are a fool if you believe that opening up the Indian retail sector will create 10 million jobs. The multinational retailers may employ these many people but it will render many times more unemployed. The biggest losers will be small business owners and ever bigger losers will be the growers and small manufactures. These giant multinational retailers will squeeze the local growers and have no interest in dealing with small to medium manufactures who cannot supply them at the scale and prices these multinationals will get from China. This will render tens of million of small manufacturers out of business while further blowing out India’s already precarious current account deficit. It is true that these multinationals will employ many people but these shop assistants and cashiers are the lowest paid workers how have no further career prospects. A many large business moguls had started their career from a corner shops. Shop assistants and cashiers will not get any opportunity to become the future entrepreneurs. It is pity that the Indian Government did not have the courage to stand up against the tirade of these multinationals. The whole country will pay the price for this timidity for generations to come.

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  • Anonymous

    YOU GUYS SHOULD ABSOLUTELY CHECK WHAT HAPPENED TO THE FARMERS IN THE US.

    Farmers in the usa are now practically slaves to Walmart and Target.

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  • Anonymous

    Check this out why indian states need to participate in Retail modernization otherwise only those states people will be doomed when they look back at other states which welcomed this….
    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/services/retailing/fdi-in-retail-to-immensely-benefit-states-like-up-says-cii/articleshow/10894881.cms

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    Anonymous Reply:

    1. CII is a lobbying body. Their statements are self serving. They don’t give a sh*t about the small retailers in India.

    2. All this is happening just to allow walmart a foothold in India.

    3. Small retailers and farmers are not equipped to handle competition from companies like walmart.

    4. Efficiency won’t increase magically by just hand waving. There’s nothing walmart can do that we can’t do ourselves.

    5. When Walmart begins to have lot of stores and thus more clout in India, they will become a MONOPOLY. Then they will start to pay farmers LESS. This is what happened in USA. It will happen here.

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  • Anonymous

    I don’t think any country’s model is good or bad. I do know that the free market should set prices. Capital should flow to wherever it is used most efficiently. If this means individual retailers will lose jobs, or small farmers will suffer, then that is what it will be. I’m sorry, but people should acquire new skills and make themselves more competitive. I’m not sure where you are going with the US pressuring anyone. The US has been a market to all countries and has allowed all producers to sell their products. In return, what have the other countries given? A whole boat load of protectionism. If now the US asks a country to open a market in return, what is the issue? If this whole process exposes India’s sub par productivity and underemployment, so be it. It cannot be sustained forever.

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  • Anonymous

    So farmers did get a higher price? Sounds like farmers did get benefits. It takes time for things to trickle down. Once 3-4 big players become dominant, it will put downward pressure on prices. On the specific question of apples, more data is needed to determine causality. There may be other factors in play. But, one the whole, small farmers and small retailers are inefficient users of resources and are a cost to the economy. I get the moral argument. But, inefficient resources should find a way to get new skills, or be simply left behind. Yes – the world is cruel, I get it.

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