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'Don't let a pretty face and stunning body go to your head'

Last updated on: March 13, 2014 14:33 IST

'Don't let a pretty face and stunning body go to your head'

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Prasanna D Zore

'Don't think of yourself as god. If you are a famous model today, don't forget it is just a tag that won't last long.'

Internationally acclaimed model Ninja Singh, who debuted at the Lakme Fashion Week, on her career, love and more...

New York Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week and now Lakme Fashion Week.

Ninja Singh's career has been on a roll ever since she was adjudged Ford Supermodel of the World-India in 2011.

In 2012, she was judged a Ford Supermodel of the World-New York, which catapulted her onto the world stage.

When she first told her parents about her interest in modelling they asked her to choose 'something in life that brings respect.'

But for a touching gesture at the 2011 pageant, this leggy beauty, all of 5 feet and 11 inches, wouldn't have been the ramp scorcher she is today.

When she was declared the Ford Supermodel, she asked her dad to walk the ramp with her and receive the trophy from Bipasha Basu.

Overwhelmed, her dad's opposition to her modelling career melted quickly.

Her dad has a PhD in zoology; her mum, a master's in history; her bro is a mechanical engineer -- 22-year-old Ninja is currently enrolled for an online course in dentistry from Columbia University.

Having walked for international designers Alexander Wang, Juan Perlos Obambo, Miguel Adrober and Rachel Zoe, Ninja will appear at the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week.

Down with fever for the last three days, Ninja gup-shupped with Rediff.com's Prasanna D Zore.

How did you get such an unusual name?

My maternal uncle, a great fan of cartoon characters, gave it to me. He is so fond of cartoons that he even named his son Pogo.

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Image: Ninja Singh
Photographs: Ineaga Model Management

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'I am getting paid very well, but the other girls are not'

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Prasanna D Zore

Your first modelling assignment...

I first walked the ramp in 2012 for Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week in Delhi.

I walked for Anita Dongre, Malini Ramani among others.

What brings you to Indian shores after spending two years on the international circuit?

The Indian fashion scene is getting very vibrant just like the fashion scene abroad and it doesn't matter where I walk so long as I get paid well to do it.

My agency, Ineaga Model Management, got me the assignment.

Is the remuneration that a model gets in India comparable to what she earns, say by doing the Paris Fashion Week or New York Fashion Week?

No. Not comparable. In New York, they pay you 20 times more.

But you still come to India...

I am getting paid very well, but the other girls are not.

I am comparing what I earn to their earnings.

Here, it changes according to how much work you have done before and your experience.

Your fav model internationally and in India...

Internationally I love Aymaline Valade.

In India I love Indrani Dasgupta. She has the most stunning face.

It is rare that a model talks about a fellow model in such glowing terms...

Modelling hasn't changed me much as a person. I don't get along with anybody at the fashion weeks, but if I have some good things to say I don't hold myself back.

You should not forget from where you come. You are a human being at the end of the day and not god.

You have to follow certain values that you have been brought up with.

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Image: Ninja Singh
Photographs: Ineaga Model Management

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'I will be number one soon'

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Prasanna D Zore

Didn't your parents oppose your career as a model?

I was scouted when I was in ninth grade. I was 16 years old, but my dad refused permission because I would have to go to China as part of an Elite model hunt.

Then I went on to win the Ford Supermodel in 2011 and made my dad accompany me to receive the prize.

When he came with me on the ramp, he was in tears.

Since I am studying to be a dentist, they are cool with my modelling career.

How do you see modelling as a career?

Modelling is what makes money for you.

If you have been blessed with a pretty face and a stunning body, then don't let it go to your head.

This won't last forever.

Your career will do great till the time your face is not wrinkled and your body is functioning well.

Life is too short, so you might as well do whatever you want to.

What do you plan to do when your face starts getting wrinkled...

I have already started working on it. Right now I have a long career ahead of me.

What I am going to do then (when she retires) is run a grooming school for women, not just for models.

For every phase of their lives, teach them how to carry themselves, teach them how to be socially savvy.

How crazy are you about your profession?

I might sound a bit obsessive, but I cannot think of being just another model.

I am very sure I will be the number one model soon.

I will make it happen. I am not into modelling just for the sake of it.

I want to be the best in the world.

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Image: Ninja Singh
Photographs: Ineaga Model Management

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'I love Dahi Vada'

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Prasanna D Zore

You have travelled a lot on assignments. Which is the best city you have travelled to?

I love Casablanca in Morocco.

Why Casablanca? What's so special about it?

Wahan ki chai bahut achchi hai (The tea served there is awesome)!

How many times have you been to Casablanca?

I have been there four times. I have promised myself that I will go there every year.

Favourite city in India...

Delhi.

Reasons?

My mummy, papa are there. Anywhere my family is, is my favourite city.

I will hate New York if my parents are not with me. My parents are my best friends.

What do you do most when you are in Delhi?

I sleep all the time.

When I am not sleeping I go for long drives with my brother.

Do you cook?

I have been cooking for the last four years.

How did you learn cooking?

I learnt it from my mother and cook. I think everyone must know how to cook.

The best dish you can cook...

In north Indian food I cook very good Gatta Kadhi and if you want me to cook Italian I make very good mashed potatoes, Salmon fish.

The dish you like most...

I love Dahi Vada.

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Image: Ninja Singh
Photographs: Ineaga Model Management

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'I just got out of a relationship. It was crazy'

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Prasanna D Zore

Relationship status…

I just got out of a four-year-old relationship. It was crazy.

How do relationships work for you?

In India or anywhere else in the world, changes are constant. People keep changing.

If you can cope with that act of people changing, and adjust to those changes and accept that changed person, then your relationship will more than flourish.

If you can't do this I think you need to take time for yourself, love yourself and then you can love the other person.

Relationship do's and don'ts...

Do's will be try to know the person better and don'ts will be, don't feel insecure if you love somebody.

If you are a model, you should not try to put your head before your heart and don't think that you have got the most gorgeous face in the world.

At the end of the day, for your guy you are his girlfriend and not a model. Be a normal person.

If you love somebody, just love him wholeheartedly. Be responsible for all the decisions you make.

Tips for aspiring models when they walk the ramp...

  • Don't drink and walk on the ramp lest you end up falling.
  • Don't be nervous. Look at the headlight in front of you. Don't bother about what people think about you.
  • Keep a happy face; be confident.

How do you prepare before walking the ramp?

I don't prepare myself. I tell this to myself: "Okay Ninja, just five minutes of walk and then you get to go back home."

I am at that point in life that I take it just as a profession.

Just like you go to office every day, I walk the ramp.

Any message for the young folks out there?

  • No matter how modern you get, no matter how exciting a life you lead, remember that your youth is never going to last forever.
  • You should etch this in your mind that the way you treat your family and parents, one day you too will be in their shoes and might face the same treatment from your loved ones.
  • Enjoy your life, don't hurt people intentionally.

Image: Ninja Singh
Photographs: Ineaga Model Management
Tags: India

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