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A chat with Pinak Mahanta of Pratiksha Fashion Studio and Portfolio Agency

Be it for passion or profession, the word “modelling” excites almost everyone in the world. The feeling of confidently walking the ramp and seeing shutterbugs busy clicking you seems absolutely wonderful, isn’t it?

From metropolitan cities to small towns, a large number of young boys and girls dream of relishing this magical experience. While some lucky ones have it, the dream remains just a dream for many.

With the vision to encourage aspiring models and provide them a chance to showcase their flair in bigger platforms, Dr Pinak Mahanta, an acclaimed photographer and proprietor of a portfolio agency – Pratiksha Fashion Studio and Portfolio Agency, has started a pageant contest – “Mr. and Miss Calendar” that has garnered immense appreciation from various circles in Silchar.

Mahanta, who is also associated with the prestigious pageant contest Pink Villa, feels the town is having no dearth of talent, but they fail to reach big-level shows because of lack of exposure and opportunities.

In an exclusive chat with Barak Bulletin, Dr. Pinak Mahanta spoke about the contest, his portfolio agency and other related aspects. Here are the excerpts:

BB – How did you come up with the idea of Mr. and Miss Calendar contest? How has been the response so far?

Dr. Pinak Mahanta – Well, the idea was to start something new, something unique in Silchar. The concept of calendar photo-shoot/calendar launch is quite common in big cities, but was completely new here around a year ago. This prompted me to come up with Mr. and Miss Calendar, a combo of calendar photo-shoot and pageant contest. It’s the first-of-its-kind initiative in Silchar and Barak Valley.

Mr. and Miss Calendar pageant contest was held for the very first time in February this year. Besides, the calendar featuring all the contestants was launched as part of the event.

The response has been pretty good in the first season. And I am confident that the response will be even more this time.

BB – Tell us something about your venture – Pratiksha Fashion Studio and Portfolio Agency.

Dr. Pinak Mahanta – Pratiksha Fashion Studio and Portfolio Agency, set up in 2015, was started by me with the vision of making portfolios available to aspiring models of Silchar and Barak Valley at an affordable rate.

Earlier, there was no registered agency in Barak Valley because of which people from here had to go to Guwahati and other places for portfolios, however, that becomes quite expensive considering the travelling, lodging and other costs.

Apart from portfolios, sessions on ramp-walk training, grooming and personality development are provided.

BB – Silchar had witnessed many fashion shows and glamorous events in the past (especially during 2014-2015), however the trend has apparently decreased in the last few years? What do you think is the reason behind that?

Dr. Pinak Mahanta – Yes, it is true that the events do not occur as frequently compared to 2014/2015. This is perhaps because of the unavailability of sponsors.

An event largely depends on its sponsors and Silchar, unlike big cities, has very few sponsors. No sponsor will like to spend money on a regular basis and this has probably been the reason that the number of fashion shows and glamorous events has decreased in the past few years.

BB – Parents/guardians in Silchar/Barak Valley are bit conservative when it comes to allowing their children for something like modelling. Do you think this a reason that aspiring models from the region have failed to make a mark in big-level events?

Dr. Pinak Mahanta – Well, few models from this town/valley have performed in big-level shows. But yes, the number is very less!

Parents/guardians here are a bit conservative and do not like allowing their children for modelling and such other stuff. Events, which can help budding talents reach big-level shows, will help in changing the mindset of guardians here.

BB – You are also associated with Pink Villa. Tell us something about it.

Dr. Pinak Mahanta – Pink Villa, the brainchild of a famed stylist and choreographer Bhaskar Saikia, is a prestigious pageant contest. It is held in Guwahati and models from across the country take part in it.

The top three winners of the contest get exciting prizes like portfolio and creative assignments among others. Being the Barak Valley co-ordinator, I conduct auditions here for the contest. It is a fantastic platform for models as they get exposure and knowledge on various aspects of modelling.

BB – What are your upcoming projects and future plans?

Dr. Pinak Mahanta – As of now, I am totally focusing on my upcoming contest Mr. and Miss Calendar to be held at Banga Bhavan on January 5, 2019. I am very much hopeful that people will shower their love and support as always.

As far as future plans are concerned, my vision is to come up with initiatives to provide good platforms to the aspiring models of the valley and to bring a positive change in the fashion and modelling scenario of Silchar and Barak Valley.

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