Top Model India winner Mahir Pandhi admits being judges' favourite
Delhi-based model, Mahir Pandhi was announced as the winner of the reality show, Top Model India on Colors Infinity. Mid-day online got in touch with Mahir and had a quick interaction on winning the prestigious title
Mahir Pandhi's photoshoot with supermodel Lisa Haydon. Picture Courtesy: Instagram/lisahaydon
After testing the tough tides for months on months, finally, Delhi-based model, Mahir Pandhi emerged as the winner of the reality show, Top Model India. From a naïve model to now walking the ramp with panache and confidence in front of the likes of Manish Malhotra, he aims at working in Bollywood, the ultimate goal. After bagging the coveted trophy, in an exclusive interaction with mid-day online, Mahir speaks about starting from point one and finally reaching his goal. A calm, composed grey-eyed Mahir is elated with the offers showering at him and already plans to be selective with his choices.
How does it feel to have been announced as the winner of Top Model India?
It feels amazing. When I started I just did not want to get eliminated in the first round, and from that, you get this, so it's a different feeling altogether.
How has the journey been?
So far it has been amazing. I got a lot to learn, a lot to discover.
What all have you learned?
I don't think again I have to think about posing anywhere in the new future because I am so comfortable with it. Walking the ramp was the other thing. After walking in front of Manish Malhotra, I don't think that I am going to have that fear of walking in front of anyone. It's been a good learning experience.
A mentor who really supported you, knowing your potential and motivated you ahead?
I can't name just one. Everyone was very supportive. From the guidance of Anaita Shroff Adjania (Fashion stylist and designer) to the cheering speeches of Shibani Dandekar (actress/model) to Atul Kasbekar's (fashion photographer/producer) strict words to Lisa Haydon's (supermodel/actress) great diction to pump you up. It's always been amazing.
From Delhi to now Mumbai, you've finally gotten your space in the field of your liking, any plans of shifting base in Mumbai now?
Yes, I have moved to Mumbai and family is going to stay back in Delhi and I'm here to work.
What preparations did you undergo to train yourself for the show?
Before joining the show I had a fat percentage of four to five percent but then I got down with dengue. So, honestly, the preparation went down the drain. I went in as one unprepared person. From learning something to unlearning, it was a different but good experience.
Before joining Top Model India did you have any preconceived notions as to such reality shows are scripted or maybe you need to have certain contacts to climb the ladder?
Yes, I had the same mentality. I've grown up watching reality shows and every time I take a look, we think it's scripted because there cannot be so much drama. But, when you go through it, then you realise that no, every person has his breaking point and these things do happen. In the moment, yes, it was real.
During tough days, when you're right on the stage, what is it that kept you going?
I'm the last person who is going to get nervous. I don't think so you must have seen me nervous on the show anytime. I just have this attitude and I am always ‘chilled'. My last preparation or best preparation is having good food. Till the time I am getting good food I am sorted.
By 'good food', you mean good diet food?
Yes. If it doesn't affect my routine, I'm good and sorted and happier.
A special memory that you have made here?
My special memory was with Lisa (Haydon). It's (photo shoot) not something I would say everyone gets to experience.
Who do you think were your tough competitors?
In the beginning, I had this idea that Siddharth would be a tough competition but he got eliminated quite early. It was unpredictable. You had no clue what was going to happen and when it was going to happen because all the eliminations and everything was just shocking.
So, by the last few episodes of the show, were you confident of your winning?
Yes. After some of the episodes, I had this confidence that I can go to the last. To be honest, if I just talk about the last three episodes, I became the favourite. Because when you discuss, talk, you get to know what their thinking. So, yes, I was the favourite by the last few episodes.
What advice would you want to give to the aspiring models?
One thing is for sure that you need to stay patient because everyone wants quick results and then things happen, sh**ty things to be honest. You need to be patient. You need to work on yourself rather than just complaining or looking for chances or just excuses.
What do you plan on doing from here on?
I don't have certain plans. All I want is focussing on proper Bollywood quality work. As the show is going on, I'm getting a lot of options. Lot of people are approaching but I need to be very selective, that's the basic plan - being selective and getting quality work right now.
Is Bollywood the ultimate aim?
Have you received any Bollywood offers yet?
Yes. A couple of approaches but nothing is official.
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