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Mohsin Akhtar, aka impossible is nothing

May 13, 2009 Comments off

Published in Mega Modelz magazine – March-April 2009 Issue – © Manali

The humble beginnings…

When the going gets tough, only the tough get going. Mohsin Akhtar was the personification of this adage when left his hometown Kashmir at a young age of 21, and the only thing that he had with him was the burning desire to become a model. Braving impossible odds, he struggled on in Delhi for a while, and one day destiny beckoned this good looking hunk to Mumbai. He heeded the call and the rest, as they say, is history…

The journey from modeling to film stardom…

Mohsin kept his head straight as he only looked for and chose quality projects in films and modeling arena. He believed in doing the right things rather than doing things right. When he won the runner up title of the ‘The Times of India Mr India’ in 2007, the who’s who of the glam world sat up and took notice of this 6”1’ lean model.

Today, he has worked with almost all the fashion designers that include names like Arjun Khanna, Vikram Khanna and many more from the fashion world. He has been the in-house model for Manish Malhotra and has been walking for several designers in the prestigious Lakme Fashion Week since the last three years.

So what is it that stops him from participating in the fashion week this year? “I don’t want to block my dates as my movie is up for release tentatively in March end. And besides, my aim was always to be a Bollywood actor,” confesses Akhtar. Coming from nil filmy background and making it to the top without any godfather in the industry, he is today an inspirational icon for small-town strugglers who come to the city with only dreams in their eyes.

His music videos with T- Series and A.R. Rahman and his cameo stint in the blockbuster Luck by Chance certainly cut his ticket, first-class, to Bollywood.

Following the footsteps of many model-turned-actors, even Mohsin turned town several films offers that came his way as he was not really confident about the scripts. Conversely, he fell in love with the libretto of ‘It’s a Man’s World’ (Ye Duniya Wasi Nahi) that is based on Indian male sex workers; written and directed by Saurabh Sengupta. He immediately agreed to do the film as it was radically different.

Anyhow, Mohsin marks his debut with a comedy film ‘Mumbai Mast Kalandar’ that should be  hitting the big screen in March end. “The movie is truly a reflection of my life… So I feel connected to it,’ he smiles. This movie also stars his younger brother Muzammil Akhtar as a parallel lead. Within the span of less than three years, Mohsin is well on his way to prove himself as the best of model-turned actors that our tinsel town has seen so far.

Heath and Fitness mantra…

“When I saw my favourite actors flexing bulky muscles on screen, I thought even I should have a heavily muscular physique. I started working out in earnest and my weight scored up to 98 kgs,” he says gleefully. “However, when I moved to Mumbai, I was taken aback to see that the same stars were actually lean and proportionate in real life and that’s when I got to know that people tend to look heavy by approximately 40% on screen. Sadly, this is what happens with people from small town – they aim to be like the movie stars they see on screen, but the reality is considerably different,” he asserts.

However, to stay healthy and fit, he strongly believes one has to be regular at workouts and strictly eat healthy food. Coming from a coveted Kashmiri Muslim family, he certainly does not believe in following a particular diet. “I just make sure to intake quality but limited food. I don’t bother much during the lunch and eat whatever I like – dal, roti, vegetables, rice and salad. But my breakfast in the morning is usually filled with cereals and cornflakes with milk. In the evening by 4 or so, I munch on snacks that include sandwiches and other fast food. Nevertheless I am highly particular about dinner, which always includes grill chicken or fruits.”

According to him, dinner is a crucial meal and he prefers being light on it as he boldly terms, “Pet batata hai aapke dinner ka haal!” He recommends that one should munch on small meals every 3-4 hours. ‘It will keep you filled and light.’

Quite surprisingly, Mohsin is not very rigid about the pattern of workouts. “I keep changing my workout regime every month. As after a point of time, the body does not react to the same kind of workout. Sometimes I do two body parts a day, later single body part and cardio and abs thrice a week. The key is to keep on rotating the pattern.” Very few people are blessed with a naturally athletic physique like his, and he quickly comments, “I don’t want to become a body builder. There is a thin line between having a body that looks good and boasting a burly body. So one must always set a goal and work on the kind of body shape they want to achieve. Personally, my motive is to retain a good body and continue looking good, nothing else matters.”

With stars like Shahrukh, Aamir and Salman Khan flaunting the abs, has the ‘six packs’ bug bit him? “It looks cool if you have abs,” he says casually. “It’s like, if you have a six pack and your upper body is not that great, it covers up… but if its other way round, trust me, the body looses its charm. One needs to be very careful regarding these things, rather then just blindly pumping the body,” adds Mohsin.

He also strongly believes that one should avoid carrying cell phone to the gym as it can be a major source of distraction. “When I am working out, I never even bother to even glance left or right… I am just totally into it,” he affirms. Though he does not have a personal trainer, he suggests it’s good to have one. ‘They push you that extra mile.’ He feels that he is gifted with a fast metabolism – as since he tends to put on weight quickly, he also manages to reduce as fast.

His ultimate fitness mantra? “Don’t have alcohol. It makes you mindlessly hungry and then you tend to binge on any food, especially oily food… which can undermine all your hard efforts for developing a good physique,” he says wisely.

As they say, ‘It isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you out; it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.’ Make sure that you shake off that grain every morning before you set out, by following Mohsin’s these ‘five tips…’

  1. Wakeup early and plan your day, making a list of things you have to do.
  2. Practice yoga or meditation. Alternatively, you can hit the gym if time permits – as morning workouts are the best.
  3. Have a nice shower… because your body needs some good pampering. And go through the newspaper, you’ll feel connected with today’s world.
  4. Have a heavy breakfast with your family. And if you are staying alone, eat whatever you feel like, with a keen eye on what you actually indulge in.
  5. Listen to some nice music that can set the mood for your entire day.
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