“With Rank 14 in Rajasthan PMT and 52 in All India PMT, as I walked through the gates of S.N. Medical College, Jodhpur, I thought I had conquered the world. The gruelling hard work for the past 2 years had paid off, “I have made it” or so I thought. As I went through my med school it wasn’t long enough that the realisation dawned upon me that I was far from having “made it”.
Treating patients and being able to relieve them of their pain and ailments was my driving force. It seemed that the only way I will be able to realise my dream was if I cracked PG entrance. I bagged 3rd rank in Rajasthan and 65th all over India to earn the residency in Grant Medical College, Mumbai in the field of Orthopaedics. “Now I have surely made it!” so had thought once again my elated self at this achievement. But life had other plans for me.
When I reached Mumbai, an old fascination for the world of modelling from my school days re-kindled in me. While becoming a doctor was everything I ever wanted, I often wondered “Could I be more?” I tried to give it a shot but the draining hours during my PG left me with little time to eat, sleep or even breathe, let alone pursing an alternate career!
I gave up the thought of modelling because not giving my 100% to either of the field was not an option for me. After 3 years of blood, sweat and tears the day finally arrived, I was- Dr. Manu Bora, MS Orthopaedics. In contrast to young Manu- this time I had humility to understand that I hadn’t crossed the finish line rather I just made it to the first bar. Where I had given 9.5 years of my life to reach this starting line- I thought “Can’t I give 6 months to follow my dream?”
With this I decided to take a chance on myself and I decided to go all in the world of modelling. Weighing 90 kgs, I stood with no background or prior experience. But what I did have was a raging inferno inside me that never let me give up. From losing 12 kgs within a month to giving infinite auditions and making my name, it was one hell of a ride. I got featured in GQ magazine and was on the cover of Vogue. I got the opportunity to work both nationally and internationally with some of the biggest names in the fashion industry from Sabyasachi Mukherjee to Hermes.
I walked at the Pairs Fashion Week as the first Indian male model and was also a part of numerous international Fashion Weeks. But as an actively practising surgeon, I also made time to better myself in my field and earned numerous fellowships from abroad. My modelling career helped me build some very deep and meaningful relationships with the country’s leading designers and photographs, who only trust me anytime they have a health issue. With patients appreciating my drive and dedication from the operation theatre to the runway, they trust and connect with me even more. So instead of being a crutch, modelling has rather complemented my career as a surgeon.