His failing health kept him away from the recently concluded Fashion Week. But in the next few weeks, India’s most prominent fashion designer Rohit Bal will return to action as "a brand new and totally healthy person".
In his first interview, more than a month after he suffered a cardiac arrest on February 23, Bal spoke to HT City on the eve of World Health Day and said, “God has given me this second chance to realise the importance of health and life. It is an opportunity to look after my health the way I should have.”
“I am feeling better now. This incident has made me realise that one can’t take his body for granted. We all tend to push ourselves too hard and, in the process, abuse our body instead of respecting it. One of the biggest lessons I have learnt is to treat my body like a temple,” said Gudda, as he is popularly called. “To be honest, you can’t achieve anything without good health,” he added.
Bal said his first reaction on learning about his heart condition was that of “disbelief”. “I thought it couldn’t be happening to me. Now, of course, even I have started lecturing others on health care. I am even planning to write a book on it.”
Gudda has already figured out some tips for his ‘stressed’ friends from the fashion fraternity. “Any time-driven profession brings stress with it. There is a constant battle to outdo yourself. The keyword is balance — between the work and body along with mental peace. One should also follow a healthy diet and take precautions if necessary,” he said.
What may also come as a surprise to many, is the designer, known for his wild party boy image, advising his colleagues against it. “I partied a lot when I was younger. But over the years, parties have become a burden. That is why I have become selective about the ones I attend and I think that’s what a lot of us in the fraternity should be doing.”
Instead, Bal is seeking company in ‘soul searching’ books such as The Buddha in Your Mirror, Romancing the Buddha and The Museum of Innocence. “These books have helped me become calmer and be at peace with myself,” he said. He is also overwhelmed by his family and friends’ support during his illness. “I realised then that I have achieved something in life. It is simply unbelievable to get this kind of support. It gives me strength to carry on.”