An adonis from Mysore
Photographed by Andrew Adams
He walks in wearing his quintessential white body-fitting t-shirt, a pair of blue slim jeans and open summer slippers. It’s impossible to not shy away from his beautiful face, as light streams in from the doorway silhouetting his taut torso. The evening will soon give way into the night, but these eyes will not tire of looking at this adonis.
Kamal Sharma is one of the few models in India, with a pan-South Asian face. Originally from Pāli, a small town near Jōdhpur in Rājasthān; Kamal Sharma, now 29, grew up in Mysore, the erstwhile seat of power of the Mysore Kingdom and the cultural capital of the State of Karnātaka. Kamal grew up imbibing the local culture and today identifies more as a local Mysoriga (a Kannadiga from Mysore) than as an outsider, or as a Rājasthāni.
“My father was a kusti (indigenous wrestling) champion and so being in shape was always a priority. I began working out when I was 18 and it soon became my way of life. In 2008, I saw an advertisement for the Mr. Mysore pageant and I participated. I had never dreamed I’d win, but I did and there was no turning back,” Kamal says as his face lights up. Kamal is known for his infectious smile and he’s been known to get his fair share of attention from both sexes. “I have to thank my parents for my looks, my workout schedule for my physique… but the charm, that’s all me,” he flirts.
Moving to a bigger city, Bangalore held many promises for Kamal. He’s worked with the biggest names in Indian fashion and Kamal is a regular at fashion weeks across the country. “Like most models in India, I tried my luck in Mumbai, and while the energy was amazing… I missed home. In less than a year, I was back in Bangalore,” he reveals. Kamal has since been a popular face in the city, appearing in several successful print and TV campaigns.
Ask him what drives him and he’ll tell you it’s his faith. “I’m a huge devotee of Sāi Bābā, and I’ve visited his shrine at Shirdi, Mahārashtra over 10 times. I ensure I bring in my birthday there every year. My faith in him keeps me rooted and grounded and I don’t think I’d have achieved as much as I have managed to without his guidance. That said, there’s so much more I want to do. I want to be an even more successful model and hopefully someday, I hope to act in a movie too,” explains Kamal as his eyes sparkle in the evening light.
And how does he hope to enter the film industry (movies) we ask him… “well, I’ve already planned to take acting classes and train myself to dance. So, I don’t think it’s too far off a dream, or at least I choose to think so,” Kamal says as he breaks into an adorable bout of laughter. With a weakness for travel, Kamal also hopes to see the whole world someday. “I’ve seen Dubai and fell in love with it, my next stop is Paris,” he reveals.
What about going international we ask as we interrupt his reverie. “My parents aren’t too comfortable with moving outside the country and I’m not comfortable staying too far away from them. So for now, it’s just India on my cards.” And marriage, we quickly add… “marriage is something my parents want me to do. I’m quite happy being single. I haven’t even though of marriage, I’d rather have my options open,” he concludes.
– Rōmal Lāisram (L Romal M Singh)
Styling by: L Romal M Singh
Represented by: Prasad Bidapa Model Management