Birthdate: 18th September
Hometown: New Delhi
Life Motto: Always believe in yourself and never stop dreaming
You have come a long way since being featured in GQ; what other modeling assignments did you get the opportunity to work on since then? Well life after GQ has been a blessed and a wonderful journey where I have got a chance to meet some wonderful people, and form life long relationships. I have had a chance to model for international brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Zegna, Canali, and Gucci as well as India’s leading designers such as JJ Valaya, Abu Jani and SandeepKhosla, Troy Costa, Rajesh Pratap, Shantanu and Nikhil, and Ujwal Dubey. Andamen Shirts, a leading high-end menswear brand used me as one of the faces for launching their brand. I also had the opportunity to work in the top fashion showcases in the nation – Lakme Fashion Week, BMW Couture Week, GQ Mens Fashion Week, and Amazon India Fashion Week. GQ India listed me amongst the 50 best-dressed men of India. Being a keshdari Sikh, this was truly an honor. It was a very proud moment for me personally and, I hope it inspired the Sikh youth to believe they can as well.
One of the most special moments from this entire experience has been the opportunity I was given by Inderpal Singh from Gurmat Parchar Samelan Singapore. I had a chance to interact with young kids ranging from the age group of 7 to 16 where we all shared our experiences. It allowed me to connect with the kids and convince all those kids that I am no different to any of them. We must always be proud of who we are and carry ourselves with pride. We were born to lead, set an example for others to follow, and must never let anyone put us down. Another very special day for me was when Manjit Singh Ji, President of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, honored me on Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s gurupurab for achieving in the field of fashion. It was humbling and very proud moment for me.
What do you think differentiates you from other models? Well, there’s a very simple answer for this question – I am a Singh…Just kidding!! The average model has cut hair and is 18- 23 years old. I am 29 years old and like many other Sikh boys the thought of modeling never crossed my mind. So for starters, these have been a differentiator. Modeling doesn’t pay my bills and is something I pursue purely as a passion. By Guru ji’s grace, this allows me to work with only the best and break stereotypes. Being accepted by the public and making an identity in this space, even marginally, I hope helps open doors for others. I have been very lucky to have one of India’s finest designers to mentor and guide me. Mr. JJ Valaya has been a true gentleman and has always pushed me to aim for the stars. He encouraged me to believe in myself.
How does your family feel about your modeling assignments and have you ever been criticized for pursuing the field by anyone? My family is very proud of me and that makes me extremely happy. My mother has always instilled strong values in my brother and I. Especially, being proud to be a Sikh no matter what criticism or discouragement is received. All I think about before doing any thing in life is to make sure I don’t do anything that would upset my parents or go against any of the core values they have brought us up by. It would also be important to mention that my wife’s support has played a very vital role. Her constant encouragement has allowed me to pursue modeling with a lot more zeal and passion. She is a total rockstar and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her. People always criticize, but you have to learn to take that in your stride. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but at the same time so are you. If some one is being cynical or putting you down, just take it in from one ear and out from the other.
How has modeling helped you and has it changed anything about you? Haha! Yes, it has. It’s made me hell of a lot more vain for sure! Well, the good thing is that I am a lot more concerned with staying fit and regularly exercise. It has allowed me to take a peak into a very different world as opposed to the regular 9 to 5 life. On the flip side, the peak has made me appreciate my regular 9 to 5 life a lot more, too! I am very simple guy, my fashion statement has always been to keep it classy and simple. Modeling has encouraged me to experiment a bit with style, and I hope can pull off whenever it is that I do try! On a serious note, it has reaffirmed my faith in dreams do come true. This journey feels so unreal and at times I feel I’ll wake up and it will all be over. So, in a nutshell, it has made me a believer and a positive person in general. I always like to make the most of any situation I am in now.
What are some of your Punjabi movie favorites? I don’t really have a particular favorite Punjabi movie, but it’s amazing to see the industry scale such great heights. In the last ten years the Punjabi movie industry growth has been exponential. However, I do feel it’s high time we have a proper keshdari Singh become a super star. That is definitely missing in the industry.
Have you been approached or have considered acting in Punjabi movies?Unfortunately, no such luck! I have not been approached by anyone for a Punjabi movie. If given an opportunity, I would love to be a part of a period film by talented producer like Guneet Monga. I am a big fan of her work and it would be a dream to work with her.
Which Punjabi talent inspires you? With no doubt – Manj Musik and Nindy Kaur. I love their music and I love them as people. They are such rockstars; churning out hit after hit. The amount of hard work they put in has been purely inspirational for me. I love the fact that they maintain their roots and under their label, have given a platform for new young Punjabi talent to shine.
Interviewed and published by Uber Punjabi