Hitesh Bajaj was one of those boys whose early years was not favourable to the fulfilment of his glamorous dreams but he felt deeply that his destiny would be something more than the responsibilities he was shouldering. Pursuing modeling in his late twenties, he's now on a roll. Over to him.
''I've always harboured dreams of being a model since childhood… whenever I used to read about modeling in magazines or watch a show on television, I used to visualise myself there. At seven, my brother and I used to play 'model- model', where we wore odd clothes and walked like runway models across our room, and our eldest brother used to applause our effort. I've grown up determined to pursue modeling but life doesn't always give you what you want… sometimes you have to accept what life has in store for you. I never had an opportunity to pursue modeling because I've been working since I was sixteen to support my family; my father met with an accident when I was four and was declared medically unfit to work and my mother worked real hard for my education. So, before I could fulfil my dreams, I had the responsibility of a steady income to support my family.
I graduated from Delhi University but didn't have a professional degree to pursue a career in the corporate world. I was a customer care executive, and along with my job, I worked on broadening my skills and learnt about quality assurance in banking. Within eighteen months, I was promoted to Quality Analyst. My work involves finding gaps and supporting front line colleagues to improve customer service. Later in life, at twenty-six to be precise, I got an opportunity to walk the ramp because I never gave up on my dream. Today I'm not a full-time professional model but my heart sings each time I get a gig because I've achieved part of what I'd always dreamt of. I have walked for several designers including Sidharth Tytler and a few editorials and campaigns. That’s why I work hard on myself. I workout six days a week. In fact, my day feels incomplete without a workout and ‘m also a personal trainer at the gym. I love playing cricket. It helps me stay fit. And I follow a high protein diet with oats, chicken, brown rice, vegetables, salad and curd.
From my experience, Fashion needs to be more streamlined vis a vis models. Today any young man aspires to become a 'model' and ends up being financially or otherwise exploited. The industry should have guidelines to qualify as a fashion model and only those who clear it should get registration so that work is streamlined and models are properly paid. That said, today I'm satisfied with the direction life has taken. Considering the pandemic, lockdown and economic crisis, I'm grateful I'm still working from home and the current situation hasn't impacted me. I feel a bit in control of my life. Which is why I would advise the younger generation who aspire to pursue modeling that they should have a backup plan and a source of income before they follow the dream.''
— Jasmeen Dugal