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Being down to earth helps

The lessons in discipline he got early in life helped Zulfi Syed achieve success in his modelling career reports Syed Amir Ali Hashmi

education Updated: Mar 24, 2010 09:12 IST
Syed Amir Ali Hashmi

Discipline matters
I grew up in an environment where discipline was important. My father was in the Defence services, and the school I studied in, Bishop Cotton, in Bangalore, is also known for its discipline. I did a Bachelor’s in Hotel Management and after that an MBA in the same field. This course taught me a lot – from cooking to back office jobs, not to speak of the disciplined approach I had to adopt to complete it successfully. I believe that this quality (discipline) is essential as one grows up.

Early success
No one in my family is into modelling. In fact, I never thought of becoming one. Growing up in an atmosphere where people around you are fighter pilots you ought to get fascinated by it and I also wanted to become a fighter pilot. But one day, while taking some photographs, my brother-in-law suggested that I try modelling. He has had a great influence on me when it came to choosing my career. I participated in the Gladrags Manhunt and won the title in 1997. I won the International Gladrags Manhunt, too, in the same year and went back to Bangalore to complete my MBA. I went to Mumbai in 1999 after completing my studies.

It was, however, in Bangalore that I walked the ramp for the first time. I used to model for several designers then. My first choreographers were people like Michael Basant and Prasad Bidappa. I can never forget those days and the moments are still etched in my memory. It has been years now but I still enjoy modelling.

The three aces
I believe that to become successful, be it in modelling or in any other sphere, a person should have three things. First is focus – you should be clear about what you want to achieve in life. Second comes patience – you should know that you can never hurry things up. Everything takes its own time. Third is fitness – to be successful you have to be fit. In modelling, too, you have to stay 100 per cent fit, as the lifestyle of a model is hectic.

Play sport
I used to play soccer. In fact I was in Karnataka’s under-18 team. Sports is a passion. It makes you stay fit. I believe that every student should keep some time for sports. After all, you need change and some excitement after your daily study sessions.

Recipe for success
You should remain down to earth, always. If you have this quality then you will be loved by all.

Advice to youngsters
Always do good things because everything (the results of what you have done) keeps coming back to you in life. If you will do good then good will come back to you.

Zulfi Syed As told to Syed Amir Ali Hashmi