"I have grown up in a town called Dasuya in Punjab. It's amazing how far that world can feel from Mumbai…" reminisces model and actor Inder Shahu who has made quite an impression on the industry with his attitude, intelligence and steeliness. "I completed my education in Punjab before I got attracted to the world of modelling. It's fate. I was walking down a street in my hometown when a gentleman casually approached me to participate in a modelling contest. In the spirit of curiosity, I tried it out and quite enjoyed it. Later, I was travelling with my grandma to visit our relatives in Mumbai and a few model co-ordinators who lived in the same building suggested that I should view modelling as a career and offered advice on how to get started. I had already enjoyed it in Punjab and was quite excited to be a professional model in Mumbai. And the journey began.''
''While a good face and body is definitely a strong starting point, what really makes a model stand apart is attitude. Not just in the terms of how you relate with people but your attitude towards your work and how you carry yourself. I would feel that is my strength. My face and body has changed a lot since I began modelling in my late teens and now, in mid twenties, I'm enjoying the transition'' he grins. ‘'Work doesn't come easy! Self discipline the most important trait for a model and perhaps also the most challenging. My workout includes a healthy dose of cardio and weight training. I don't follow a specific diet but try and keep sugar, fried food and carb-dense meals out of my plate.''
His resume has impressive campaigns in a short span of time. ''I've worked with brands such as Diesel and Provogue and done TVCs for McDonalds, Colgate, Big Bazaar, Addiction Deo, Reliance, CNBC and Star Plus among others. Over the last couple of years I've been working with a director on his feature film script and I've also been working on a script for my own Punjabi film. I'm pretty keen on acting too and have played a role in a Punjabi film, currently in post production.'' So who are his idols, I ask? ''There are may people in whom I find qualities I admire. Whether it's my Dad, Salman Khan or Bradley Cooper. However, I don't aspire to be like them. My goal is to appreciate good qualities in people and embrace it so it allows me to become a better version of myself. It's scary to look up to people as role models and put them on a pedestal — it's better to appreciate them as human beings who have their own shortcomings.'' And once again, the intelligence far beyond his years, impresses.
''On a lighter note, I think most girls would like to date a model but they feel he won't prove to be a good boyfriend or husband. I guess that's because of the perception of financial instability and partly from a skewed perception that models are sexually liberated'' he rues for a moment but then visibly brightens up. ''Things have come a long way. in the industry today! There are so many mediums — Film, Fashion, TV, web — which offer a diverse range of things to a model and actor. And pushing myself creatively has always been a part of my life.Yes, there are frustrations too! Things are taking their own course but finding the right connection for a particular job is very taxing. It would be great if there was something like online casting services such as in LA and NYC that allows actors, directors and producers to connect.'' Professional success and personal fulfilment. Inder Shahu is above all of it, working out where it's safe to land. We wish him luck!
— JASMEEN DUGAL