September 2, 2011 2:46:47 am
Rohtak-based boxer Yashwant Singh,a newbie male model,shed almost 50 kg to walk the ramp at the Van Heusen India Mens Week 2011 that begins in Delhi today
Around the same time two years ago,23-year-old Yashwant Singh was busy practising punches at his Rohtak residence. The six-feet tall,small-time boxer weighed 120 kg then. Yesterday,in the plush,fittings room at The Grand Hotel in Vasant Kunj in Delhi,Singh was trying out a white sherwani with silver work on it,and a black hat. With boxing days and a bulky figure behind him,he will mark his debut as a ramp model tonight at the grand opening of the Van Heusen India Mens Week 2011. He now weighs 77 kg.
In the fittings room,the models get ready for a jacket change for designer Krishna Mehta,who will showcase her collection on Saturday. Unlike the others who get chatty,Singh keeps to himself. After changing into a simple grey shirt and a pair of rugged denims,he signs the contract and speaks to us in chaste Hindi.
I auditioned for the mens week last year as well but I was slightly overweight then. If I hadnt made it this time,I would have quit, he says,quickly adding that Rohit Bal,who was on the selection panel complimented him,suggesting he should work on his shoulders as they are too broad.
In 2009,Singh had started working out rigorously at the gym. Within seven months,he had lost almost 50 kg. Bas ek bar apne aap ko hoarding par dekhna tha. I had told myself that the day I appear on a hoarding,I would leave modelling. But then I got a TV ad and now,with this show,my portfolio is complete, he says.
Ever since he began running around for the mens week auditions,Singh has been very careful with his diet. I gain weight very easily,and I havent touched roti for two-and-a-half months now. Oats,fruits (except bananas and pomegranate),brown bread and protein shakes thats all Im surviving on, he says with a chuckle.
Singh knows little about the fashion industry but that hasnt stopped him from signing up for five shows at the three-day-long event.
He will walk for Arjun Khanna and Krishna Mehta but doesnt remember the names of the others. I want to walk for Rohit Bal I know he is a big name, he says.
Though his is a story of grit,its not a rags-to-riches tale. He had no trouble investing money into his first portfolio nor did he sleep on the pavement or end his night hungry. His father is a rich businessman in Rohtak running transport and property businesses. He also realises he cant depend on a modelling career for the rest of his life,and is pursuing an MBA degree. Ive invested around Rs 50 lakh in a packaging business, he says.
He tries to sound informed when he can. He knows,for instance,that female models get more work and are better paid. Anyway,I am not working for money. Woh jawani kya,jiski koi kahani naa ho,Main apni kahaani dhoond raha hu, he says,romantically. We cant help but agree.
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