The Monk Who Sat in the Front Row of a Fashion Show

Ranjit Rodricks , 09 Sep 2011
Aakriti Mistry with Munlam, the Buddhist Monk
Aakriti Mistry with Munlam, the Buddhist Monk

Over the years, I’ve seen a number of high-profile people vying for front row seats at fashion shows. They may be socialites, Bollywood stars, TV actors, wannabes and even politicians. However, at the Wigan & Leigh College Fashion Show in Mumbai last evening, I was rather surprised to find a Buddhist Monk sitting in the front row. Was he one of the students wearing a costume? Would he be modeling meditation robes on the ramp? Nope! “I’m hundred percent a Buddhist monk!” he told me with a big grin on his face.

Actor Kaishav Arora, Aakriti Mistry, Munlam and Ranjit Rodricks
Actor Kaishav Arora, Aakriti Mistry, Munlam and Ranjit Rodricks

Further prodding revealed that his name is Munlam and he’s from a monastery in Ladakh. He is originally from Kashmir but ran away from home at the age of nine and joined a Monastry in Ladakh.  And that’s when the pretty lady sitting next to him piped in and introduced herself: “I’m Deepshika Nagpal’s (the actress) sister and I met Munlam on a holiday in Ladakh a few years ago. We became good friends and this is his third trip to Bombay,” said Aakriti Mistry.

Apparently, Munlam wanted to experience the fashion culture in Mumbai and was happy to accompany Aakriti to the show where Deepshika was walking the ramp. “It’s all so beautiful,” he tells me and hopes that one day someone will design some natty robes for him as well.

Are those young designers out there listening?

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