As remixes and reboots of old songs in new films become a fad, Supermodel, actor and fitness enthusiast Milind Soman turns serious when you ask him how he would feel if his iconic indie pop video of 1995, “Made In India”, was remade.
“I cannot think that the song can be made in any other way, in any better way. It’s a lovely song that everyone loved. I really cannot imagine a recreation of that. I am not interested in a reboot or recreation, but if there is a composer who can come up with something interesting, I’d want to know, what it is. For me, it is a perfect song and I cannot imagine it differently. I am not against it but I cannot imagine a recreated version of ‘Made in India’,” he told IANS.
Soman recently released the aptly-titled “Made In India: A Memoir”, which outlines his life story. It is apt that the book should be named after the song because its video, in which he appears with the singer Alisha Chinai, really made him a household name back in the day when DD Metro ruled, and satellite television was just making inroads into Indian homes.
The book is co-authored by Roopa Pai and it captures the journey of Soman who started out as a trained swimmer who represented Maharashtra at the National level, and went on to become a supermodel, and later a record-holder marathon runner. A jewell in his crown was when, in 2015 at the age of 50, Soman completed the Ironman challenge in 15 hours and 19 minutes in his first try. Two years later, the fitness enthusiast successfully completed the prestigious Ultrathon in Florida, the only participant to have completed the challenge bare foot.
At 54 today, the ultra-fit and dashing Soman still gets a lot of female attention. Talking of handling so much attention and validation from women across ages for years, he said: “How I look never mattered to me, but it was a part of my profession as a model. They said that I am handsome, I never looked into the mirror. Also, I was in a boys’ school. But I got my first validation at the age of 14 that I am ‘good looking’.”
In 1995, Soman made his acting debut in one of India’s first English TV shows, “A Mouthful Of Sky” and he would go on to appear in the first Indian sci-fi TV Series “Captain Vyom”. Although he acted in several Bollywood films, he has been absent from the showbiz scene lately.
“I like acting but that is not my fulltime career. I also noticed that work is given to actors who are regular, who are visible in the scene as an actor. I am not ambitious to do so. I will not act in a film just to maintain visibility. I have other avenues for that. That is why I only work as an actor if the script or the director is interesting to collaborate with,” said the actor, who has appeared in films like “Bheja Fry”, “Tarkieb”, “Rules: Pyaar Ka Superhit Formula”, “Agni Varsha”, ’16 December” and “Bajirao Mastaani”.
In his memoir in one of the chapters, Soman shares an anecdote on how he left the shooting of an Aamir Khan-starrer because healthy food was not served on time.
“Oh my God! It is not like I was throwing a tantrum. My point is we all should eat healthy food, and eat on time. It is basic. Now the way you are saying it, (it) sounds like I intimidate people. Not at all! All I need is healthy food, whether during shooting or when I am travelling. I eat healthy,” Soman laughed.