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Mr. India auditions 2016, Bangalore (South zone) were held at the very chic and classy SHANGRI LA Hotels sky deck, which is host to a mesmerizing city view. The presiding judges were the much rewarded fashion stylist and choreographer, also the man who has crafted gems like Anushka Sharma and Lara Dutta ‘Prasad Bidapa’, Noyonita Lodh – Miss Diva 2014, she also represented India at the Miss Universe 2014, Rahul Rajasekaran – Mr. India 2015 first runner up. I along with my college mates volunteered to help.

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Around seventy good looking and dashing men turned up for the auditions. There were men who wanted to know their worth, men who wanted to be known in the fashion world, men who wanted to be praised for their art. Every single Mr. India aspirants eyes had hope in them. They knew if they got through this, global fame would knock on their doors. Some were nervous, some were enthusiastic. All had come well prepared to impress the judges. A few were practicing their introduction in the rest room, away from white noise and fray.

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The auditions began sharp at noon. The first round was the introduction round in which each candidate had to put on swim wear and sashay the ramp in their designated sequence numbers. Judges would call out the numbers of the selected candidates who had to step forward and for the remaining it was “better luck next time”.

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The first round qualifiers would now have to parade the ramp twice, once wearing a blue denim paired with white tee and once shirtless. The selected candidate would compete in the final qualifier round, the Talent round. The candidate has to showcase his talent. Most of them sang popular Bollywood songs, some danced on popular songs, few showcased their acting abilities and a very few did yoga and classical dance. After each performance, the jury questioned the candidates as to “What do you think you have in you to be the next Mr. India?” and “What would you do if you won Mr. India?” The results were declared and the best were selected. The rejected candidates were neither disheartened nor did they give up on their dream, they still had a ray of hope in them, they would audition the following year. The judges did encourage them to come back next time with better results. This did teach me that rejection is not the end to our dreams.

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The audition was a much more learning experience than a fun task. Being in the company of the very friendly and polite judges, I got to learn what they see in a qualifier. I also learnt how the backstage crew works and the event is put together.

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Looking forward for much more of these experiences. I am glad that I have been associated with INIFD. I would like to thank INIFD and my co-volunteers Irfan, Andy and Raghu without whom I could not have had this experience.

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Student Author:

Dawood Rasheed | B.Sc. Interior Design & Fashion Enthusiast | Bangalore, Karnataka