If you are a 90s kid, you would remember Milind Soman as an actor and a supermodel who made a breathtaking entry in singer Alisha Chinai’s chart-topping number, Made In India. Fast forward 25 years, Soman, who is also a fitness enthusiast, has released his memoir with the same title. The book, co-written with author Roopa Pai, riffles into his addiction to smoking and alcohol, therapy and relationships close to his heart.
In an e-mail interview with indianexpress.com, Soman tells us how stress and procrastination can be used to our advantage, his sexuality and relationships, and more
You talk about stress being a good thing and how we wouldn’t get anything done if it wasn’t for stress. Why do you think so? When do you think stress backfires?
Stress is good or bad depending on how we deal with it. Hunger is stress. When a person is hungry they could choose to eat something good for the body or choose to eat mindlessly, driven by tastebuds. We are one of the physically weakest species on the planet. Yet today, we are an apex species. All of our greatest inventions and innovations in every field have come about as a response to some pain point. Stress is just a trigger or a stimulant. The response to that must lead to some positive learning or experience. If you don’t use stress to improve ourselves, it can destroy you. The better you understand your mind, body and emotions, the better you are able to use stress to your advantage.
In your book, you mention how you always got a lot of male attention. Did you ever think of exploring your sexuality to know if there was anything beyond what you thought?
Of course, I thought about it; about heterosexuality and homosexuality and everything in between. I might have experimented if I had been attracted to someone for that purpose, but I never did. I am not aware of the workings of love. Why you would fall in love with someone and not another. I fell in love many times but never with a man. I don’t know why I always preferred women.
How did procrastination become your friend in dealing with addiction to cigarettes?
I had observed that the urge to smoke would develop as a wave, growing and subsiding every now and then. When the urge came I would put it off telling myself I would smoke but after some time. The urge would go away. In this way, I was able to reduce my consumption of cigarettes by almost 90 per cent. We frown on procrastination, but I found that even that mental weakness can be used as a tool.
You talk about the innate quality of being almost intuitive. You meet someone and you know what ticks them. What was it that you felt when you first met your wife? What do you think possibly ticked her?
When I first met my wife, I thought she was mysterious. I couldn’t read her mind like I could with most people. Maybe I didn’t want to. There was something beautiful that I felt that I immediately wanted to surrender to, and knowing more would have somehow hindered that wonderful experience.
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