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'You cannot fake your talent'

August 21, 2014 18:29 IST

'You cannot fake your talent'

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Divya Nair/Rediff.com

Model Meenakshi Khari shares her greatest learnings with Rediff.com’s Divya Nair. Read on!

I never wanted to be a model.

I was always a sportsperson.

I loved athletics and I was a national level high jumper in school.

I loved and played kabaddi and took part in marathons.

Once, a friend of mine asked me to do a photoshoot.

Since I was always into sports, I was never into makeup and accessories. The first time I got my make-up, nail paint and hair done up, the stylist handed me the mirror and asked me how I looked. I could not believe my eyes. I was so happy and excited to see the makeover. I realised for the first time that I was pretty.

After a couple of shows in Delhi, I finally got the opportunity to walk for Lakme in 2010.

Since then there has been no looking back for me.

What was your first big break?

I was supposed to walk for Vikram Phadnis and since it was my first big show, I was very nervous.

Alesia Raut spotted me and calmed me down.

She told me how to hold the drape and pay attention on my walk.

I never expected a model of that stature to be so humble.

I had found a mentor in Alesia.

She's a mother figure, a perfect role model.

She'll quickly understand if you have a problem and reach out to you and help you deal with it.

She has no airs and is very humble.

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Follow #Lakme-Fashion-Week on Zara Bol and get a low down of all the action as it happens.

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Image: Model Meenakshi Khari
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera/Rediff.com

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'You have to look fit and presentable all the time'

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What are the challenges of being a model?

When you put two women in a room, there is obviously going to be some friction. 

That's natural, that's how women are.

Where there is competition, there is bound to be jealousy. It's across professions.

If you're friends with a designer, you are bound to be preferred as against a new model.

There's nothing to take offence in that. Fortunately, I haven't let these things worry me or my state of mind.

I found friends in Heena and Parul (Duggal). We've bonded really well.

If I'm upset or low, they'd sense it and help me snap out of it, just like you expect your best friend to. So, I've been very lucky.

When you're in a glamorous profession like modelling, the only thing that really matters is you have to look fit and presentable all the time.

You cannot over eat or take your body for granted. That's what brands pay you for.

And how do you stay fit?

Fortunately, I've never struggled with my weight.

I don't believe in starving or surviving on salads whole day.

I like to eat a heavy breakfast, followed by a nice lunch of either carbs or salads. 

Dinner would usually comprise a nice, healthy soup.

I love running and jogging -- back in Delhi, I used to jog for at least 6 km a day.

Here in Mumbai, you don't always get that privilege.

I can run and jog as much as I can, but I hate weight exercises.

What's the flipside of this profession that no one tells you?

As far as I know modelling is one of the safest professions in India for girls.

However, there have been times when I have attended parties and events where people from the television and films try to approach you for 'meaty roles'.

Some models fall for it. I know some really good friends of mine who have.

They fall in the wrong company, do the wrong things, take the wrong decision in the hope that they'll get to be a famous Bollywood star.

In the end, nothing works out.

That's when life takes a U-turn.

Either you learn from your mistakes or take all the blame on you and forget the lesson it taught you.

Please click NEXT to continue reading...

Follow #Lakme-Fashion-Week on Zara Bol and get a low down of all the action as it happens.

Kindly click here for full coverage of Lakme Fashion Week Winter/ Festive 2014.


Image: Model Meenakshi Khari
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

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'Don't be an emotional fool'

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What have your greatest learnings been?

I made a lot of mistakes which has made me what I am today.

When I broke up with my boyfriend I had lost interest in work for the longest time. 

Then I met this guy who encouraged me to move on, he eventually became my husband. 

We married on December 12, 2012 (12/12/12).

My only advice is: Don't be an emotional fool. 

Never mix up your personal and professional lives.

And there's always hope and happiness for those who look for it.

What is your advice to aspiring models?

There are no shortcuts.

The only way to success is through hard work and patience.

You cannot fake your talent, your accent or pretend to be someone you aren't.

People here are smart, they'll find out sooner or later.

It's okay to wait and keep trying for the right opportunity than take the shortcut and regret.

Success will come late, but you'll have your respect and dignity in place.

Also, don't let anyone tell you what you cannot do. 

If someone tells you you're ugly, you're a loser, pick up a mirror and see for yourself. 

What you think of yourself, your life goals is what really matters.

So just be yourself! That's the only way you can be happy!

Follow #Lakme-Fashion-Week on Zara Bol and get a low down of all the action as it happens.

Kindly click here for full coverage of Lakme Fashion Week Winter/ Festive 2014.


Image: Model Meenakshi Khari
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

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