“Try everything once in life except Incest and Modern Art”
So goes a wise (!) saying. As the ‘naughtiness’ of my forties had continued into the ‘fifties’ also, I was game for trying anything for a thrill and hence the modeling.
Actually speaking, I knew I was far from being ‘model material’. I had never ever in my life visited a gym, a spa or a beauty parlor (not even for my wedding) for a facial or trimming of the eyebrows. Being a behenjiall my life seemed to be my lot, except for a dash of lipstick which I used only for parties to gain acceptance among the Punjabi wives of Defense Services. I never had any ramp training, as fashion parades were unheard of in our colleges those days, let alone posing for still pictures for media ads.
Then how did this idea of modeling get into my head? One day I saw an ad in the newspaper asking for middle aged and senior ladies interested in modeling. It was a walk-in interview at a posh multi-star hotel in the prime area of Bangalore. I decided to attend the interview as curiosity and ambition overruled caution (Rape? Molestation? Huh!).
As I liked to surprise the family with a fait accompli I did not reveal my plans to them. I just took anautorickshaw to the hotel and reported at the Reception. I was asked to wait in the lobby till my name was called.
When my turn came, I went up in the lift and knocked on the door with the number given to me. There was only one interviewer, a young man little older than my son. Once he came to know that I was an Air force wife, he told me that he was also the son of a Wing Commander. (He must have been doing that to all the trades and professions of the candidates’ spouses).Still, my confidence zoomed high.
But, during his talk, he seemed to be more interested in my family than me. He kept asking if I had younger members in the family who were interested in modeling. I didn’t tell him that my young, beautiful daughter-in- law had already done a few assignments. Instead I felt like screaming back at him, “You wanted an old woman, right?” Probably he had expected an aging experienced model like Nafisa Ali, AditiGovitrikar or Meher Jessia; certainly not the pre- historic specimen with bushy eye brows and unpainted nails.
However, he gave me a card and asked me to get my portfolio done in a studio on Commercial Street. Having come this far, I did not want to leave half way. So, I went and presented the card and myself at the studio.
I paid a hefty advance at the counter. A man led me to the inner room full of lights and reflectors. I was asked to give a few poses including one in a straw hat (I was wearing a sari). I did not know whether I had to pose ravishingly like a siren (in her fifties!) or lovingly like a wife or affectionately like a mother or dotingly like a grandmother. My poses must have been a combination of all these. I don’t know how I looked because the studio never sent me the pictures. I doubt if the camera had any film in it. In fact I don’t even remember the lights being switched on. I did not hear from the interviewer either.
When I contacted the studio, they said they did not know anything about the gentleman or his scheme.
Thus ended my nano-foray into the modeling world. I did not tell my family about any of this because, as another wise saying goes, “What they need not know, they NEED not know”!