By Alkesh Sharma
Chandigarh, Feb 24 (IANS) They are small town youths with dreams to make it big. Nearly 120 of them have come here from various parts of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand to participate in the Gladrags Megamodel Hunt that they see as a passport to their ambitions.
"I have specially made six-pack muscles to outscore other competitors in this contest. I believe that we require a combination of brawn and brains to win this title. For the last six months, I have been spending over six hours every day to build my muscles," 19-year-old Sahil Uppal from Amritsar in Punjab told IANS.
"My main area of interest is acting and I am also an active theatre artist in Amritsar. I think that if I can manage to win this contest, then it would make my entry into Bollywood easy," Uppal said.
Ajay Rana, 23, from Barwala, a small town in Panchkula district in Haryana, 45 km from here, is confident of his success in the event.
"Boys from Haryana are known for their good physique and extraordinary talent. Randeep Hooda and Ashutosh Kaushik have made our state proud in the field of showbiz. It is only the attitude that matters as this has been proved by Kaushik who won reality shows like 'Roadies' and 'Big Boss'," Rana said.
Tahir Hussain, 27, from Jammu and Kashmir is trying to make it big in the field of modelling for the last many years and is still hopeful of getting the right opportunity.
"Making a good career in the field of modelling is not an easy task. I have been struggling here for the last five years. Here, you will get plenty of work but there is a real dearth of quality work," said Hussain who had shifted to Delhi from Kashmir to make a mark in this field.
"I come from a very simple family and initially I wanted to become a school teacher. For that, I also did my B.Ed. But an urge to do something challenging motivated me to opt for modelling," Hussain said.
Pankaj Thakur, 20, from Himachal Pradesh's Kullu Valley, is trying his luck for the first time in modelling. "I have participated in such contests during my college days but never took it seriously. Now, I am standing before you just because my friends insisted that I participate," Thakur said.
"Winning the contest is not at all important for me as I am not a professional model. I just want to learn something from here," Thakur added.
"Seeing male models walking the ramp on television screen always excited me. Therefore, I left my family business and even at the cost of going against my family members' wishes, I started pursuing a career in modelling," said Gaganpreet Sidhu, an engineer from Punjab's Ludhiana city.
"I am confident of winning this title and now I am also planning to shift to Mumbai to search for better prospects," said Sidhu.
"I am here not to select someone with exceptional looks, but I want someone with average looks and with some common sense. However, here boys score well in their looks but they are not very intelligent and I am surprised that in some cases they even lack basic general knowledge," said Wadia.
The auditions will be conducted in Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and Chandigarh and the finals will be held in Mumbai March 28.
(Alkesh Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)