New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) Rewind. Go back to 1995. Try remembering the Indian pop song and video that caught the fancy of an entire generation and sold around five million copies, with the man who featuring in it replacing Tom Cruise posters from rooms in many girls hostels.
Now, when Milind Soman looks back at “Made in India” by Alisha China, he smiles, ” I did not like the song or the video at first. Now, of course, it looks magical. It”s a true pop classic.”
In his recently released memoir ”Made in India”, co-authored with Roopa Rai and published by Penguin Books, Soman talks about his life controversies, relationships, breaking of habits like smoking and drinking, and controlling rage in a freewheeling manner.
Speaking to IANS about how the book was conceived, this 54-year-old, remembers, “Penguin approached me about six years ago. Initially, I didn”t think that there was anything to write about, but then my business partner convinced me. I found Roopa Pai on Facebook and spoke to her, and finally decided what I wanted to say.”
View this post on Instagram
The year 1995 was a very significant year for me in many, many ways. In January that year, my father died, leaving me with a bunch of mixed feelings to sort through, but not much grief. I had never had a great deal of affection for him, which is rather sad when you come to think of it, because he cared deeply for me in his own way. When he had moved out of home five years before he died, I remember feeling nothing but a huge sense of relief; as I sat by his prone form in the ambulance that was taking him to the hospital, I tried to muster up some warm emotion for him, but did not succeed. It was the end of an important and not always happy chapter in my life; fortunately for me, I was able to make my peace with it sooner rather than later. Right on the heels of my father’s passing came the music video. Yup, that video. The one that single-handedly propelled the singer—the pint-sized, sweet-faced, ‘baby doll’ Alisha Chinai—into the stratosphere of musical fame. And turned me from a supermodel into something way bigger—a star. (excerpt ‘Made in India – a memoir ) . . . Now for a haircut 😆😆😆😆!!!!! 📷 @ankita_earthy
Starting out as a champion swimmer to supermodel to actor to extreme sportsperson, who in 2017 successfully completed the Ultrathon in Florida and was the only participant to complete the 84-kilometre run component of it barefoot, Soman is busy with several things nowadays. “Events for my company Maximus, and some film and tv projects. Also, my wife loves to travel, so we do that a lot,” he says.
Soman, who has been propagating fitness for years now laments that the entire growing years for most children are focused around getting a corporate job. “It is only recently that doctors and scientists have given some importance to the fact that, not only are our minds and bodies connected, but that even minor fluctuations of health of one can affect the productivity and performance of the other.
“Our awareness and understanding of lifestyle disease and mental illness is fairly recent, and also the fact that fitness and non competitive sports can help with long term physical and mental health. India has never had a tradition of sports for all or a healthy lifestyle driven by conscious choice. But yes, change in attitude is coming, though slowly.”
Insisting that fitness and health is much beyond ”physical”, he adds that due to a lack of focus and discipline, the mind still remains our weakest link when it comes to living life to the full. “It is only with a fit and positive mind, free of fear, insecurity, confusion and self doubt, that you can begin to achieve your true potential. The body on the other hand, as long as we take good care of it, is capable of incredible things, without any conscious thought. Blood circulation, hormonal balance, levels of salts and minerals, temperature, all are maintained by the body effortlessly. It is capable of creating new life. Fitness must start in the mind, with the development of awareness, understanding and will power. When the mind and body are able to work together, without conflict, we are capable of genius.”
For someone whose personal life has been under the tabloid media”s gaze for long, the fact doesn”t really bother him. “Well, I have been a public figure for the last 30 years. As an essentially private person, it”s the first thing I got used to,” he says.
Talk to him about what”s next for him, and he says, “There are many tougher challenges. Let”s see.”