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Misty city a lovely place to relax: Kelly

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By Passing through / Kelly Dorji
  • Published 13.10.03

He was nicknamed Mister Universe after girlfriend Lara Dutta won her Miss Universe title a couple of years back. This was extremely unkind since supermodel Kelly Dorji was even then a face and a name in his own right. Kelly was cool though. “It’s okay. I expected it,” he had said.

A couple of films, television anchoring — Star Buzz on Star Movies channel — and a modelling academy later, the dashing Kelly is still cool. “I take each day as it comes. Although thoughts of Suede have been spilling across all my days in the last two years,” says Kelly, who was in the city recently to promote Suede, his modelling school and agency which was launched in Mumbai two months ago. “The Northeast is a treasure trove of beautiful and talented young people. What they need is guidance and professional training which Suede promises to provide,” says the actor-model, who has tied up with city-based event promotion agency, Futuristic, owned by model-choreographer Sukanya Saikia, as the academy’s Northeast link for aspiring models.

“The USP of models from this region are their exotic looks, their oriental features. In fact the oriental look is what is setting ramps across the globe afire. And as for height, for still advertising, one does not require to be very tall. In fact most of the top models like Lisa Ray are of average height. I must admit though, that for ramp modelling, height is a very important factor,” Kelly eleborates.

This is Kelly’s first visit to the city, a wish he had nurtured ever since the time he passed through on his way to Shillong, was not disappointing. Reserved though he is, he was impressed enough to wax lyrical about the city, its people and its relaxing qualities. “Beautiful...quite simply beautiful... especially when the sun is peeping through the mist over the hills... a wonderful place to relax,” says the model, who had once aspired to be an environment lawyer.

Having walked the ramp for leading designers, training contestants for Miss India, Gladrags Supermodel, Manhunt and Miss World fashion events among others, Kelly has realised that modelling is no longer as easy as it used to be. When he had begun modelling, it was fine to be an attractive face. But now the world of fashion has become a competitive marketplace where, in order to sustain, there has to professionalism and a level of knowhow about the business, he feels.

And that is what prompted the half-Bhutanese, half-English model to spend the last few years researching into the ways in which all top modelling agencies of the world function in order to build up professional models here. “I studied the websites of a few agencies, associated myself with some like So Damn Tough and Fly Entertainment, in order find out what makes a modelling academy and agency tick. And then have gleaned what I feel are the good qualities that can get one going in this fast-changing world,” said Kelly.

What else keeps him going? Photography is a sphere which he has been dabbling in for some time. And? “Acting!” he enthuses promptly, “I really fancy being one, though I am fussy about roles. I will only do one that touches my heart.” His role in Shamin Desai’s Auroville 316 did. Kelly plays an “offbeat character” who is confused about life and sexuality. “It is about a journey to Auroville, 316 km away,” he added.

Kelly, who began modelling while still in college, being enamoured by the glamour world, has big plans for the profession. Through Suede he not only plans to give youngsters the platform to groom themselves into hotshot ramp, still and film models but also the opportunity to make it big in the international catwalks. “So hook your wagon to my stars,” he smiles.

Monideepa Choudhuri