Interview The gorgeous Mr. Soman stops by, smiles, curtsies and convinces women to wear keds and participate in the Pinkathon to increase breast cancer awareness, writes CATHERINE RHEA ROY
Height... five feet and nine may be ten. Chest... 44 inches, we estimate as we wait to meet and interview Milind Soman. Foot size... 10 or larger you think? Well, you know what they say about men with large feet, they run faster. Meanwhile, the actor, model and entrepreneur was in his element, with the dexterity of a juggler he gave sound bytes, posed for pictures, made the society ladies giggle, not once losing focus of his cause. Milind was in Bangalore for the ten-city, women’s marathon he is organising to increase breast cancer awareness.
He marched in his spot, raising his legs up and then down, “This is a great exercise for runners,” says Milind, “You’re joking,” the girl gushed stupidly, “I’m serious,” he was. He has been serious about running for over a decade and has to his name a record of 1,500 kilometers, across five States in 30 days to spread awareness about a cleaner, greener planet, because he is serious about the planet.
And because he is serious about cancer he announced the Pinkathon – Run To Lead, “It is India’s first ever 10 kilometre run for women.” He is prepared for the next question, “If 50,000 people are running a marathon, 45,000 of them are men, not many women are comfortable with the idea of running a marathon and we wanted them to get out and be involved.” However Milind and his team have organised promotional activities around the Pinkathon to allow men to participate as well, “There will be a Treadathon where men can sign up to run on a treadmill and show their support for the Pinkathon,” he says.
“Over the last few years, I have come to learn by experience the benefits of running as a perfect fitness regimen. It is an activity that not only promotes well being but also raises immunity levels and improves health, to help fight diseases like cancer. The reason we have chosen this event is because running addresses most of the top 10 ways to help prevent breast cancer,” says the runner who has received a lot of support and an incredible response from social networks.
How long has it been since he modelled? He takes a few moments to answer that one, “Eighteen years,” he says. “I can still be a model today if I want, except in India they look only for models in their 20’s. Internationally there is a lot of scope because there are brackets for different ages; I can even serve as inspiration for aspiring models.”
Milind has also had some mild success with his erratic acting career, sort of like he wants to be an actor but he doesn’t want to be an actor. “I love acting,” he says, breaking any misconception that he was on the fence about it.
“I just don’t have the 30, 40 days to dedicate to it, which is why I am very selective about the movies I do.”
But more than acting it is the process of film-making that excites him, “Being behind the scenes and watching this whole creative process come together, fall into place and take shape, that is more exciting than anything else.” He reminisced about his 2003 production, Rules.. Pyaar Ka Superhit Formula , fiddled with the tiny pink shoelace looped and pinned on his shirt to show solidarity for his cause, asked me if we were done didn’t quite wait for a response before he smiled, shook my hand and went off to his next interview.
Around 3,000 women are expected to be a part of the Pinkathon on April 7. The organisers assure us that the distance of 10 km is not a very daunting one; but never the less, keeping this in mind, they have given participating women an option to choose between 3km, 5km and 10km runs. The official website for Pinkathon is (http://pinkathon.co/) through which online registrations can be done. Participants can also log onto to https://www.facebook.com/Pinkathon and https://twitter.com/