Sunday, June 27, 2010

Viveka Babjee Interview of Her Future Plans

Here is one of the rare interviews of the late super-model Viveka Babajee who committed suicide on Friday. The interview was done four years back.

How much did the Kamasutra ad contribute to your popularity?

I can't deny that the ad was the reason of my being in India. People noticed me for the commercial. But it had its share of difficulties too.

People thought that I would happily sport a bikini from then on. It took me nearly one to one-and-a-half years to assert myself.

Today of course people know me as Viveka Babajee who had once done the Kamasutra ad.

You are born and brought up in Mauritius. Did that help in your modelling career in any way?

Mauritius is inhabited by down-to-earth people. Modelling, on the other hand, is a world of glamour and glitz. One tends to lose oneself here. But thanks to my roots and upbringing, I always remembered who I was and where I came from.

What made you settle down in Mumbai?

For the simple reason that Mumbai is in many ways similar to Mauritus. It is important for a person to find emotional balance in a place. Also, the city is the modelling hub and all work happens here.

Is it necessary to participate in a contest to be a successful model?

Contests help you go further in your career. You get to meet people you might never otherwise meet. Also, it is a huge exposure in terms of opening up avenues.

Previously, models used to freelance. They took their bio-datas to the different production houses or companies. But now, there are agencies to take care of your business. Once you take part in such contests, the agencies can spot you and approach you.

But what is keeping the Indian models from making it big in the international market?

I guess we are soft on the selection of models. I don't mean to be nasty or anything, but I guess care needs to be taken in this arena.

For catwalk, you need a specific height, looks and personality. International ramp demands a model to be 5'11. Then again, you have models who have the basic requirements but they are not yet ready to go international.

Sometimes they are pushed much before they are ready. Grooming is very important in modelling. Often political involvements act as a deterrant. You will see that after a time, the same persons who had once egged you on, are eager to pull you back.

Do you see anyone making it internationally in future?

We have a shortage of good models. Just having a beautiful face and body are not enough. You need proper grooming. When I had entered the industry, there was no trainer.

I learnt from observing others and then cultivating a style of my own. I think Deepika Padukone and Jesse Randhawa ave what it takes to go international.

Why do you think India took so long to enter the international fashion market ?

That is because we lacked a platform. With the fashion week happening for the seventh year in a row, the designers are getting a proper platform to showcase their creations.

Also, the designers benefit from the international buyers. Another reason is that the craze for Indian things have suddenly increased over the last couple of years.

You had signed a couple of films. But they never happened. Why?

I did act in Yeh Kaisi Mohabbat. Unfortunately, the movie did not run because the actors probably did not do wonders for the film.

As for me, I had learnt whatever I had to about the film industry. I never wanted to fall into a particular category. And nothing has been offered to me so far. For me age is not a problem, though here that is the best reason to push you


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