Nina Manuel

'I have had to take pay cuts too'
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Twenty-two year old Arry Dabas was happy to cook and pursue a hotel management degree until fashion guru Prasad Bidappa discovered him catering at the Hayward's Men's Fashion Week. And before he knew it, he was not only walking the ramp, but also won the title of The Best Model of the Year 2007!

As a career, is modeling rewarding?
Yes, I love it. I am looking at making it a long term career.

How has the recession affected you?
It has affected everyone. Designers are tightening their belts, there are less shows happening these days. And as a model, I have had to take pay cuts too.

Do we have too many fashion shows in India?
I don't know about that, but things are too fragmented right now; with Delhi Fashion Week happening somewhere and Lakme elsewhere. If they got together and organised one grand show -- now that would be something truly great.

What's with all the rumours of animosity between some designers?
I'm the wrong person to answer that question. I just stay away from things like these. I'm here to do my job. I just do that and leave.

What is your personal style and fitness mantra?
I love jeans and T-shirts. I am a simple guy. At home you'll find me in shorts and a singlet. I really don't like getting all dressed up.

To stay fit I jog in the mornings and go to the gym in the evenings. I also watch my diet very carefully -- eliminating all fats from it.

Your take on the upcoming elections?
I think it is a really sad thing that people are getting so disillusioned and talking about not voting. I think it is really important that every Indian votes. Don't think that your one vote won't make a difference -- it will. As they say in Hindi, "Boond boond se saagar bharta hai." If I were to choose the next PM, it would be AB Vajpayee.

Text: Insiyah Vahanvaty | Photograph: Sanjay Sawant

Also see: Traditional textiles and weaves from Gaba
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