Manasi Saharan is a model, designer, actor and entrepreneur hailing from Rajasthan. ‘Anasi’ is a brand recently launched by her which she also models.
By Ananya Sachdev | Opening Doorz Editorial | June 11, 2021
Manasi Saharan is a model, actor, fashion enthusiast and now the founder of her very own fashion label ‘Anasi’. Hailing from Jaipur, the Pink City, she pursued bachelors in Mass Media from Mumbai. It has been her dream to act and to make an impression on people, to be a part of the Indian Cinema and contribute to it in any little way possible. This zeal made her settle in Mumbai to complete her graduation.
“I find it very intriguing how the camera captures every emotion and feeling felt by an individual. I love the human connection with the camera and that is my passion–just to be in front of it and to be able to perform,” she says.
She is currently working on her fashion label ‘Anasi’, which means peace and comfort to your mind. She hopes that her clothing line can provide just that to the people.
“Clothes have a way to tell a story, to speak. If I don’t speak much about myself, my style should be able to speak lengths about what I do. That is exactly why I’ve decided to model for my brand because it is personal to me and I feel I would be the best person to represent it.” Manasi also works on the base level with her production, design and manufacturing team, making sure every detail is accounted for, adding a very special touch to her brand.
Opening Doorz chatted with Manasi Saharan, one of the top five finalists from Rajasthan for Miss India 2020. As she celebrates her birthday today, she reveals a unique perspective on life, fashion and success.
Has modelling been a childhood dream for you?
Acting has always been my childhood dream; this dream came along with the dream of me wanting to be Miss India. When I got to know about how it was conducted, it made me want to be there. It grooms you and the training you receive helps you evolve. I used to do fashion shows for my college. It all started as a dream, became a reality and now I’m living it.
Last year you made it to the top 5 in Rajasthan, was it disappointing not to make it to the finals?
It was. But I have not lost hope. I would love to participate in Miss India again this year. I would never give up on such an opportunity. Not being able to make it to the finals wouldn’t stop me from participating again. I want to keep evolving each day and want to get better at what I do.
In an industry as competitive as modelling, I’m sure you faced a lot of challenges. What were the struggles you faced before and after moving to Mumbai?
For my graduation, I chose Mumbai for a reason–to get to know the city. I realized that if I study there, I can get to know the people there and one day end up working there. I got into a college in Delhi, but I convinced my parents to let me study in Mumbai and while studying I did ramp shows. I wanted to learn work ethics and how to be a professional. I started on a very small scale and was being paid Rs 3000-4000 per show. But I didn’t do it for money; I did it because of my desire to learn. Because I looked at it positively and never saw challenges as struggles but as an opportunity to learn. This industry is very glamorous but also very competitive. I viewed the industry, not as a competitive one but one that will help me learn and grow.
Who do you think has been the biggest supporter in your journey?
My mother has been my biggest supporter throughout my journey. I belong to a conservative family from Rajasthan. Acting is seen as a career that is not permanent or one that affects your reputation and there are a lot of boundaries put on children by their parents. But in the end, you have got to do what you are passionate about. My mother also wanted to take part in Miss India when she was younger but was torn between going to a good college and chasing her dreams. She did not want the same to happen with me, so when I told her that I wanted to do modelling and acting she was very supportive. She would often guide me on what classes I should take and what events I should attend. She is my first mentor.
What, according to you, does it take to be a successful model or an actor?
[laughs] That is a very tricky question. Everybody has a different perspective of what success is and means to them. For me, in such difficult times, I am grateful to be able to do what I love. Even if it is just a two-minute film or a small shoot, at the end of the day I’m able to do what I love. That is what success is to me. I’ve seen people around me who are doing a 9-5 job but deep down they want to do something else. I have been blessed with the opportunity to do what I love and that is what matters.
How has the pandemic changed life for you and other models and actors?
I think not just models and actors, but everybody has learnt how to just stop and think. We got the time to remove the unwanted noise we had around us that was hindering our ability to grow. In this pandemic, I have realised who are truly there for me through my ups and downs. It has given me time and space to think about what I want and the kind of people I want around me. It is very important to choose people who uplift you and who support you. I also realized that we should concentrate on one task at a time which we do with all our heart, which is much better than doing many tasks together half-heartedly.
Ok, let me rephrase this question. What is the one lesson that you have learnt from the pandemic?
The pandemic has taught me to live in the moment. Not everything always goes our way. A person is the director of their life, but a hundred people are working behind the curtains who we should appreciate. Everyone should believe in the process of life and not let our failures get to us, we should take it in our stride and move forward.
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