Following Heart

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Instead of following the obvious he chose to follow his heart. Aabid Hussain tells his story

On December 21, 2016, Tabish Gulzar, 22, travelled to Delhi hoping to make a career in modelling. The journey was the outcome of a phone call from one of his friend’s who told him about audition of RUBARU Mr. International India.

“I didn’t tell anyone about my visit. However, I just whispered in my mother’s ear before I left. But she didn’t take it seriously then,” recalls Tabish.

However, Tabish was afraid of just one thing: how would people react back home, given the nature of competition.

“But my ambition always compelled me to move forward,” said Tabish. When a kid, Tabish was fond of cricket and would carry his bat along always. But as he grew up he developed an interest in Bollywood.

“Muzamil Ibrahim, a Kashmiri origin model cum actor inspired me a lot,” said Tabish who spent last five years shaping his body in a local gym.

“It would irk my family sometimes as they thought I am wasting my time there.”

But Tabish knew that it is important to stay fit in modelling.

Before he left for Delhi, Tabish came in touch with Aryan Khan, a style photographer, on Facebook.

“It was he who suggested me to come to Delhi,” said Tabish.

Once in Delhi, Tabish stayed with Aryan, where he met his roommates Dilshad Ahmad Khan and Himanshu.

In October, Tabish will represent India in Mr. International to be held abroad. He will be competing against participants from forty different countries.

Within a few days, Tabish became good friends with Aryan’s flatmates. Tabish recalls how he was nervous before coming to Delhi. “I always thought only professional and trained models take auditions. But, despite lack of experience, I was confident to make it big,” said Tabish.

However, despite the confidence, Tabish still needed a portfolio for the audition. “I needed around one lakh rupees for a good portfolio,” recalls Tabish. “But I had none.”

When Dilshad, a stylist, and Aryan, a photographer, came to know about this, they offered to help Tabish.

“They offered to do photographs and styling for free. I just needed to arrange Rs 20 thousand for the lighting,” said Tabish. The amount was managed by Tabish’s friend Aadil Shah, who lives in Kashmir.

When Tabish finally gave his audition, he cleared all three rounds and got selected for the grand finale.

The same night Tabish rang up his parents in Srinagar to tell them about his achievements.  “Everybody came and congratulate us when they heard about Tabish,” said his father Gulzar Ahmad Bhat, a baker, who runs a shop in Harwan, Srinagar.

It took Bhat a while to understand what exactly his son has achieved. “I had to ask my elder son the next morning,” recalls Bhat. “I wanted him to follow his elder brother who is an engineer. But now I am happy for him.”

Bhat now understands why Tabish shunned eating rice all of a sudden. “He wanted to stay fit for the auditions,” said Bhat.

In October, Tabish will represent India in Mr. International to be held abroad. He will be competing against participants from forty different countries.

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