April 6, 2020 Asmita Aggarwal

The Last Jedi

Dealing with a tragic loss to being a breadwinner Gunjan, is a force to reckon with.

By Asmita Aggarwal

She lost her father at 13, and had to move cities, Delhi to Jaipur, being the only child, she also had to quickly become the breadwinner, so Gunjan Hada Rajput, who is completing her graduation, is a girl who has faced many storms with equanimity. She started her journey in modelling with small pageants and supported her mother by taking tuitions during the day and finishing school work at night, making each day a fight for survival. “I have done small odd jobs in offices as well as in educational institutes, saved money to learn how to operate computers and thought one day I will get a chance to really do what my heart desires,” she adds.

Making it to LMIFW as a fresh face could not be considered less than magic for Gunjan, who soon realised it was a well-paying job that allowed her to travel, and her mom, a housewife always encouraged her to do what made her happy. “I never compromised on my studies, I am pursuing my graduation privately and keeping my eye on becoming India’s top model,” she adds.

Fashion comes with its own set of uncomfortable situations that Gunjan over time has learnt to manage, whether it is being weighed down by a 10 kg lehenga, but walking with confidence or feeling left out in a largely exuberant world inhabited by affluent, successful, well-travelled people… it affected her initially. “Earlier I used to keep to myself as I felt intimidated and cornered, and would hesitate to talk, but over time, life is a big teacher and I’ve learnt how to respond,” she explains.

Her favourites on the style map are Manish Malhotra, who is known for his vivacious ensembles and Rahul Mishra, who tells a story that tugs at your heartstrings with his environment consciousness and humble aesthetics. “I would like to be part of their shows someday,” she smiles.

She hopes to be a supermodel and that’s her ten-year goal, and at 20, she admires the Hadid sisters, Bella and Gigi, and the Indian model who she respects is Laxmi Rana.  “I supported myself my teaching small kids, and when they see me on TV and jump with joy, I feel I have made something out of my life, but this is just the beginning I hope that life throws some interesting surprises along the way,” she concludes.

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