By Okram Pinky
No one could ever imagine a lad from Manipur to become a sensation in the Indian glamour world. The state is traditionally well-known for its rich art and culture and also for excellence in games and sports. However, people often overlook thing like modeling if it comes to Manipuris.
The 26-year old Halley Laithangbam from Haobam Marak, Imphal is all set to fire the ramp. He is driven by passion and motivation for the work he loves doing the most. He is pursuing MBA in Mumbai and he is looking forward to reach the peak of success. He has achieved a status in his modeling career by dint of his hardwork and dedication.
Here is an exclusive interview with model Halley Laithangbam
Pinky: How many shows have you participated?
Halley: Sorry, I can’t remember the exact number of shows, but about 20 to 25 shows in different parts of India.
Presently, I am engaged for few more shows to be held in these coming months. I do print ads as well as TV commercials.
Pinky: What significant titles have you received?
Halley: I have received few titles which include 2nd runner-up at Mr.Pune 2010, 1st runner-up at Man-Hunt Manipur 2002 , Mr. Fresher 2005 during my MBA time, 2nd position in CASCALL2003, 1st position in CASCALL 2004, 3rd position in EUPHORIA 2005 and best choreographer award in 2005.
Pinky: When did you step in this profession?
Halley: I started my career in 2002 but at that time I couldn’t focus100% into this modeling field as I was quite busy with my studies and jobs.
But, at the moment I am totally in modeling. I am based in Mumbai but I do travel around according to my assignments and needs.
Pinky: What are the challenges in this profession?
Halley: There are lots of competitions and challenges. One needs to take risks at the beginning while entering into this profession as it is little uncertain. We need to look good from every angle and stay fit all the time. To look good and to stay fit we need lots of money and hard work. But truly saying, most of the models’ parents don’t encourage them and they don’t support financially also. Reason behind this is that there’s no fixed income like 8-hour a day job. Only few of the lucky birds could reach the top. Even after getting recognition they still need to work very hard to live up to peoples’ expectation. To become a model is not a child’s play. After participating in few fashion shows at colleges, she/he can’t consider herself/himself as a model. Fearlessness is the first virtue Lord Krishna commends to Arjuna in chapter no. 16 of the Bhagavat Gita. I believe in this statement. So, we need to be fearless if want to achieve our goal in life.
Pinky: According to you, what are the advantages and disadvantages of modeling profession?
Halley: It totally depends on luck, hard work, passion and the network/ambience of that person who wants to be a model. The advantage of being a model is if she/he has the talent for acting and if luck favors she/he could be a star in future by utilizing her/his talents in positive ways. She/he would be getting more fame besides could make more money out of it. On the other hand the disadvantage of being a model is life could be little uncertain for some people if he/she takes it for granted.
Pinky: What do most girls want you to wear?
Halley: No girl has advised me so far regarding this matter. I guess they want me the way I am! (laughing out loud)
Pinky: How could you manage to survive in this profession by throwing all cultural consideration?
Halley: I highly respect my culture and tradition .Also I love and respect my work. People from North Eastern parts of India are born with their own style quotients.We are so lucky and so free that there are no unreasonable boundaries in life. We believe to be good to others, helpful in action and we are free to wear anything unless it looks weird. And everyone is free to choose their own profession in their own way. Being in this profession I don’t think I am doing anything which is against our culture.
Pinky: How is the modeling life?
Halley: Full of ups and downs as I am still a struggling model. I met various kinds of people from different backgrounds,
had gone through different kinds of good & bad incidences, travelled many places and learnt a lot of lessons from life.
But still this is just the beginning…a long way to go! Fingers crossed.
Pinky: How do maintain your body and physique?
Halley: I always eat food on time. I usually avoid sugar, oily stuffs and eat very less salt. I love to eat fruits and drink lots of water.
I do work out 6 days a week and sleep at least 7 hours daily. Honestly saying, I don’t take anything like protein powder or other supplementary diets. I prefer natural ingredients. I prefer lots of juices (it could be any kinds of fruits or raw carrot/cucumber/gourd). I eat 100 gm of boiled smashed potatoes, sometimes pumpkin. I also love to eat spinach twice a week. I prefer eating chicken by boiling, not with spices. I don’t smoke but I drink occasionally.
Pinky: What struggles have you faced to reach the present position?
Halley: Many a time my mom asks me to leave this profession and pick up a proper job. It’s quite difficult to convince her.
So, I need to work really hard to prove her that this is also a profession through which one can make life out of it with fame. I love challenges in life. I have participated lots of competitions. I won few of it and failed many times also. Still I never thought of giving up. There’s a beautiful saying “A Winner Is Not One Who Never Fails but One Who Never Quits.” So I need to be very much optimist and I am. I read lots of proverbs, beautiful quotations and I have been collecting many questions which were asked in Man Hunt contests/ Beauty pageants. And most importantly I am trying my level best to stay fit all the time.
Pinky: Have you ever experienced discrimination for being a northeasterner?
Halley: No never. The trend has been developed and changed a lot. India is a multi racial country. Industry demands different looks so I take it as an advantage instead. Many people like me in the industry because people from north eastern part of India are very rare and we have international looks. I feel so lucky being a Manipuri.
Pinky: What is the best comment you have received?
Halley: When I met Sandip Soparkar(Salsa/Bollywood’s renowned dancer) at Citadel MR.PUNE 2010 contest, he told me that I am one of his favorite models among our Mr.Pune 2010 contestants. That was one of the best comments I could mentioned.
Pinky: What is your message to the new generation?
Halley: Always be good to others, helpful in action, kind in words and concern for everyone. May God bless all.