Do you think you are good looking, I mean discernibly better than the average? Are you taller than 5.11 ½ inches? In addition, are you willing to spend diurnal hours in the gym and to relinquish your favorite rotis, sweets and crisps? One more: are you ready to spent hours at castings, being reduced to a number, only to be scrutinized for a couple of seconds? If not, then you have no chance of becoming a model, if yes, please take a number and wait among the other 300 discernibly better looking people.
Next to you might be sitting number K2. K2 has a name too: Gaurav Ajey Kaura. He is a 21-year-old model from Ludhiana, Punjab. Like the other 300 boys, he came with a portfolio full of dreams to the third men’s fashion week audition in Delhi. For some these dreams are just an inch away. But sometimes this inch is all it takes to decide between being and not being. This time there will be over 60 boys who cannot register for the audition because of their lacking height.
The influx of girls and boys into the modeling industry has been enormous over the last few years. Among them is a high number of comely faces pouring into the metropolises from remote villages in order to fulfill their destiny. “We get around 25 calls a day from people who want to become models. I think, there are at least 20 to 30 people moving to Mumbai for modeling and acting each day”, says Gloria Samuel, head booker of Toabh Talents, one of the most acclaimed modeling agencies in India.
Gaurav moved to Delhi after finishing his BA in engineering. It was important for him to have some kind of academic and financial backup, before pursuing his“real passion”. But not all of the aspiring models have this backup. Some arrive with almost nothing but a big bag of hope. Mostly it is the hope of climbing up the modeling steppingstone successfully, which leads to the fulfillment of their dreams: Bollywood. John Abraham, Bipasha Basu and many others have paved the way. Yet, today there are, besides Gaurav, about 240 more potential actors left. It is even quite common to leave well-paid jobs just to make a big step towards the billboard dreams. Gloria Samuel opines: “It is not too difficult to get into the modeling industry, if you have a certain look. But many overestimate their appearance.” Gaurav is sure that he has what it takes to become a successful model: the passion, the looks and the right attitude.
Where there is a lot of money, there is a lost of competition. Where there is a lot of competition, there the methods can become quite unorthodox. In Delhi and Mumbai alone, there are a few hundred thousand destinies yearning to be fulfilled. Unfortunately, the number of those who make it is quite humble, and those left behind are willing to do almost everything it takes to catch up in this race for glory. According to Gloria Samuel, “It is very common that models sleep with coordinators and designers in order to give their career the right push.” It seems that couch surfing is getting a new definition in this industry. Gaurav is well aware of that, and although he knows that luck is an important factor, he reassures:“Merely untalented models are forced to do this, because otherwise they cannot get any work. ”
The big moment has almost come. His group is the next to capture the ramp. Each of them will have about 10 seconds to convince the judges. Seven people are sitting in the tribunal, in the middle Rohit Bal, the Roi Soleil of the designers. They will separate the wheat from the chaff, the talented from the untalented, the discernibly better looking from the normal looking. A video camera and a few photo cameras are the harbinger of the life that lures for the chosen ones. Nevertheless, Gaurav is confident: “I will make it.” Then the moment has come for Gaurav and K2 disappears into the flashing lights, swallowed by the banging beat. Seven pens will write his future.