Blog By Hazel | 21-02-18
13 Girls Who Run The World.
This is Samarpan Maiti. He is merely 29 years old but he has achieved quite a lot in those 29 years. He is currently working on a cure for Cancer. Yes, you read that right, apart from being extremely good looking he is also a thinker who wants to make a difference.
Samarpan counts Natalie Portman, Hedy Lamarr and pin-up maths teacher Pietro Boselli as his inspiration. And due to his achievements he too is an inspiration to many!
Any time that Samarpan does not spend in the lab trying to end disease he spends it in the gym. "I've been exercising since 2015 and spend one and a half hours every morning at the gym."
Unlike other families, his parents never wanted him to be a doctor or engineer.
But young Samarpan always loved science and exams. Even now he is yet to get his doctorate which has him very tense. Sure, he's smart. But why modeling then? Samarpan says that his life completely changed when his father brought something home one day. A television.
"Two things happened in my life. First, I got hooked on a fashion channel and wanted to be like the models at least once in my life. And secondly, I realised I was enjoying male catwalks more than female one. I am 5'6". You have to be 5'7" to participate in mainstream modelling contests. So I could not pursue modelling at that time. But I knew I liked men," confesses Samarpan.
But even then the journey of coming out, competing and eventually winning the Mister Gay World India pageant was not an easy one.
Standing on stage in the final round, Samarpan was asked by judge Diandra Soares — "What is the definition of love to you?" The young man who studied in a bengali medium school thought of his answer and tried to translate it in english. But this did not really sound right. And then something happened that changed everything.
The host, Rohini Ramnathan, came forward and declared, 'Forget English. Why are we so obsessed with the language? This is not a platform to judge one's English skills'. That changed the whole game. In Bengali Samarpan said, 'Love is something in which you find inner peace without altering your true self'. The beautiful Bengali answer won over everyone in the audience.
When talking about his sexual orientation Samarpan is very open today. But many years ago this was not the case. "I had sexual interactions with girls when I was in school. I was discovering myself then. But when I was in college I was sure that I was more comfortable with men," he says.
"There are many gay men who live a dual life. They get married, take up a job away from home and settle down. In 2013, I realised it's wrong. I can't cheat. When you are constantly targeted by society, you take shelter under a comfortable lie. I also thought I would hide my sexuality and kept on saying, 'I'm not gay'. And then that shackle broke. I decided to confront society. I told my family and friends,"he says.
Today he fights for gay rights and spreading awareness. "I don't need a crown to do what I do. I've been working with villagers and the underprivileged on the rights of sexual minorities. Our government will do only that much in terms of sex education for school kids. If we really want to sensitise, we have to start with the younger generation and that is what I'm doing," he says.
This man is someone who we should all learn from. It is smart and good looking men like him who will take our country forward.