Have you ever wondered, what else you can think of as a career option if you don’t feel like following the trend of becoming an engineer or a doctor? Here is a conversation we had with Sidharth Mohanty, a singer, a dancer, a fashion designer. In other words, an artist, who decided to walk upon the road not taken.
TBS: What according to you is fashion?
SM: It is much beyond what people think or see. Fashion is not just glamour or clothes. Everything you do is fashion. The make up you put on or the shoes that you wear, the kind of house that you live in or even the plants that you plant in your garden. It is your entire lifestyle, your attitude..
TBS: Does a fashionable surrounding manage to influence one?
SM: A lot. I think it is the exposure you get when you go to other places and meet with up other people and see other cultures, you tend to like certain things about them and try to incorporate within you. I think, this happens with everyone.
TBS: Hence the long hair as a fashion statement of yours? 😛
SM: I am quite flattered you think it’s a statement. But honestly, I haven’t taken a conscious effort to make any kind of statement ever. I am growing my hair right now because I need it for my dance performance at our international art festival called ODISHA BIENNALE 2013 in November.
TBS: What is ODISHA BIENNALE 2013?
SM: It’s a cultural extravaganza being organised by our organisation called Mudra Foundation, in Bhubaneswar in the month of November. There would be dancers, musicians, artistes, designers, film makers, photographers and a lot of other creative people gathering from all over the world to give workshops, performances and hold exhibitions. This year we have artistes coming from Norway, Japan, London, Sweden, Singapore, Bangalore etc. It’s a festival that the art enthusiasts and youngsters would love. I welcome all your readers to come and enjoy the festival. You could check our website for more details. Its www.mudrafoundation.com
TBS: So, do you think once one enters the world of fashion, everything changes?
SM: Yeah to quite an extent. Your attitude, your way of looking at things, your lifestyle everything changes. Actually transforms would be a better word. Also your capabilities improve because of the amount of struggle that you go through. Its not easy to survive in the world of fashion.
TBS: They say, designing is a girl thing. Is it so?
SM: There’s no such thing as a girl’s thing except for getting pregnant probably. I have rather seen more male designers than females and anyways you see men are better tailors (laughs)
Female tailors are rare and men understand women better!!!
TBS: “Log kya kahenge” has killed more dreams than anything else in this world. So was your family supportive about it?
SM: Not initially. After 12th I took an year off to decide what to do. I was singing for the All India Radio and I wanted to continue with that and wanted to do something creative for my career. I got through an engineering college in Bhubaneswar but I refused to take an admission. I followed music and then came across the ad of NIFT. Wanted to apply, but parents were completely against it. But gradually they understood my passion and gave me a chance to apply for NIFT almost at the last minute.
TBS: Any jitters regarding the decision you took?
SM: I didn’t have any other option. I didn’t want to get into any other design school. I knew my parents were expecting something else out of me, so I had to do something really good. I didn’t want to settle down with something mediocre. So if NIFT didn’t happen, I would have done whatever my parents would have asked me to. So, there were no jittery feelings.
TBS: What would you advice our fellow readers and writers?
SM: Designing is not a hunky dory world of just beautiful looking people with glamorous costumes. It takes a lot of hard work, passion and commitment to be able to survive in this world. So I my advice to all would be to put your heart and soul into whatever you want to do and be dedicated, persistent and extremely hard working.
It was really nice talking to you Sidharth!!!
Interview: Azkia Arif
Photos: Ranvir Deb