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Dr. Manu Bora

Nov 21, 14 Dr. Manu Bora

He saves peoples’s lives as a surgeon while in free time is modeling for the most prestigious fashion magazines. His appearance inherited from his Indian roots evokes princes from Eastern fairytales, meanwhile his uncommon destiny excites a curiosity.

Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Manu Bora, I’m from India. It’s my second time in Paris. First time I came about 3 years ago. At that time I worked in the show-room for Hermés. Now I’m with “Elite” agency and this time I plan to travel a bit more in Europe: going to Milan soon to work with major model management but also may go to Germany and then the UK. I’ll see how it goes.

Did you do any shows this time?

It’s not a fashion week now, so, no shows at the moment. Instead I did a couple of shoots for some magazines: «Where » Magazine, « Red Collector». I do pretty much e-commerce as well which is a big and fast developing business everywhere in the world nowadays.

What is the difference between India and European fashion?

There is a big difference between India and Europe in terms of fashion in fact. There are a lot of designers who are prosperous but they create clothes for big occasions: festivals, weddings…very luxuriant heavy pieces, not suitable for day-to-day life. Fashion market is quite small there since people buy such kind of clothes once in a life time.

For us what Indians wear every day looks like traditional costumes…

We do wear traditional clothes like kurta but they are very simple without embroideries and other decorations. Sherwanis, which can be embroidered are therefore reserved only for special occasions and are much more expensive.

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In France everybody knows Manish Arora – a famous Indian couturier who works and shows his collections here; for us his style is very authentic and recognizable. Is his work appreciated in India as much as in Europe?

Oh yes, Manish Arora is doing very well in India: under his own brand as well as under Pacco Rabanne house for which he used to work before. I love his designs but he doesn’t create men’s clothes in India.

As a fashion globetrotter how would you define your own style: is it more Indian or western influenced?

My style is all about simplicity which is also a key for chic. As I combine two professionals and sometimes work at the hospital the same day as modeling, I prefer to dress myself in a sober and comfortable way.

How did you come from your carrier as a surgeon to modeling?

I stared modeling after I completed my post-graduation. Since modeling is considered as a serious profession, especially in India, I had to get the education first. It took me 9.5 years to graduate with an orthopedic surgery degree. After post-graduation I took a 6 months break, during which I was modeling. First in India, then I came to Paris and Greece before returning back home. Since then I have a chance to work both as a surgeon and a model.

Now in Paris I am also doing a fellowship in joint replacement and sports injuries, it is a kind of training which allows me to assist the operations at hospitals. Here again I’m very lucky because I’m specialized in knee orthopedics surgeries and sports injuries and in France there are very high qualified experts for sport surgery.

Are you planning to continue you medicine carrier?

For sure! That’s what brings me a real happiness. To see my patients recover, to see them smiling is priceless. I would also like to be useful to my country and here in Paris I would like to participate in an exchange program to get some experience which will help me in my hospital work in India.

If we ask you to compare yourself with a comic’s character, who it would be?

Iron Man because he is smart, creative and cunning. At the same time I dress myself in black most of the time, so from this point of view it is my Néo (a character of Keanu Reeves in “Matrix”) side.

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What is the most difficult in a modeling?

The most difficult is to maintain a balance because this profession is very unstable: once you get a big campaign, you are happy, but then during the months you just wait. That’s why doing something besides modeling can be a solution. Like me, or my roommate who is a professional mountain biker and a model.

Do you feel any competition?

No, I don’t feel it because I don’t think about it. Otherwise I would constantly get anxious. Since the modeling is a quite seasonable and uncertain there are definitely some moments when you have to do something else to keep yourself busy and not to think about it as of your ultimate profession.

In India do people who work in fashion like photographers, stylists, etc. have approach and attitude different from those in France?

As I said before the fashion business is mostly inspired with festivals, weddings.

Our people got inspired by colorful Bollywood movies with all their festivity and glitter. In India they think most about commercial side while in France it’s more about style. Personally I prefer the French way of doing fashion.

What are your favorite designers?

In India I prefer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Rohit Bal, Varun Bahl, Arjun Saluja, Rohit and Rahul, Annika, Shantanu and Nikhil, Hemant and Lecoanet. I like Versace Hermes, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Givenchy. In Europe I’m not very snob about the brands, doing well in Zara as well.

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Does your medical background help you in your modeling carrier? For example do you have some tips of how to keep yourself in a good shape?

There are different types of body shapes: certain would like to look very muscular while others, like me prefer to be lean and fit. Body workout and diet should be chosen accordingly: to be lean and fit you have to eat frequently, up to 5-6 meals per day in order to boost your metabolism. What you eat is also very important: not to skip breakfast, eat light at dinner, privilege high fiber products.

Are you a vegetarian?

I am not, even if the majority of Indians are vegetarians.

Beside diet do you practice some physical exercises?

Definitely, I have to. Nowadays I do a lot of running as well as TRX exercises which were initially created in the Navy to meet the needs of combat sport athletes and physical therapists. Suspension Training bodyweight exercises are excellent to develop strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously. I also do acrobatics which is very efficient for abs and not as boring as traditional gym exercises.

What are your hobbies?

I love swimming and reading. I read books on psychology and eastern philosophy, especially ‘Tao’ doctrine, which help me to maintain balance and better understand my ‘way’.

You travel a lot, what is your favorite place?

I’ve been to Greece, France, the US, Indonesia; shortly I’m going to Milan in Italy. Up to now I love Paris most of all) I find this city beautiful and creative and discover something new and amazing every time I walk in the street.

What is your favorite place in Paris?

Probably Montmartre for its art atmosphere. I love its small cafés when you find yourself surrounded with creative people.

Don’t you find yourself a creative person?

I’m a creative person, but my creativity goes to my patients. Every case in my hospital work is different and I have to elaborate a different approach to everyone. It’s a sort of creativity.

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