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Taniya Dutta

 

A 61-year-old model – who was once bedridden due to his obese frame – now struts down the catwalk.

Dinesh Mohan from Gurgaon, India, has been breaking all the stereotypes attached to his age.

With his fit physique, high cheekbones, chiselled jawline, and a great sense of style, it’s hard to believe he was once almost 20st [127 kilos].

Now, he is often donning ripped blue jeans and fitted shirts and blue contact lenses which stand out against his white hair.

For his remarkable taste in fashion and confidence, Mohan has become a famous face in the fashion industry.

Dinesh said: “People are intrigued to see me, my style. I am a shy person but in front of camera, it is a complete switchover. I am very confident when I am walking the catwalk or modelling.

“Some find it inspiring while others think I am silly to be wearing clothes that belong to people half my age. But they don’t know me, my story and I believe age is just a number.”

From being featured in two major Bollywood movies, one with super-star Salman Khan, and appearances in Vogue and GQ magazines, the sexagenarian has tasted great success at the age of retirement.

But a few years ago the retired government employee was in a ‘vegetative state.’

At 44 years old, Dinesh was clinically depressed and found comfort in unhealthy, oily food that included massive amount of fried meals and take outs.

The eating disorder took a toll on his physical and mental health and shot his weight to 19st 9lbs [127 kilos].

Dinesh says he became ‘so fat’ that he couldn’t even move and was left restricted to his bed.

He added: “I was suffering from depression because I was facing negative issues in my personal life. I took voluntary retirement in 2004 to focus on my life. Instead, I fell deeper into despair. I moved to my sister Mona’s house and lived with her and her husband.

“But after I moved there, things completely went out of my hand. I realised my life had totally shattered and seeing everybody enjoying but here I was at the age of 44, financially broken and had no personal life. This feeling sat deeper and deeper that led to eating disorder.

“I would eat and then starve and then eat again. It became kind of a vicious circle.

“I would tell everyone that I wasn’t eating but I would go to the market and eat all the junk food. I would eat enough for two people.

“I would eat oily, fried food and drink a milkshake with it. I loved sweets and pastries.”

Mohan’s eating disorder combined with weight caused health issues and in February 2012, he suffered an attack of motor functions that led to difficulties in walk and movement and ultimately he was bedridden for almost a year.

But after being prompted by his family, Dinesh says he decided to ‘pull himself out of this’ and joined a gym in 2014.

He started working out regularly and changed his dietary habits which started showing results and he lost almost half his body weight in eight months

Dinesh said: “I would work out for one-hour that included 40 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of weight training. I did 50 push-ups every day and did some work on the dumbbell rods.I am now a vegetarian and eat lots of green vegetables and fruits.”

As he got fitter, his physiotherapist suggested him start modelling and helped get in touch with a modelling agency. He soon bagged his first assignment in 2016 and eventually film projects in 2019.

Dinesh said: “People started noticing me and got my first project in 2016 and never looked back.

“When I lost weight and started shopping again, I wanted to buy clothes that I had always wanted to wear but couldn’t for my weight. I bought all the crazy t-shirts and jeans.

“Then catwalk offers started coming in and it was very emotional for me there was a time I was bedridden and couldn’t even walk.”

Apart from modelling and acting, Denish has become a motivational speaker and often gives speeches at public platform, specially to youngsters about life and positivity.

He said: “I have learnt to be grateful in life. I do not worry about what others think about me, for example, my style.

“I have fallen but have risen again. I don’t want to look younger than my age. I never want to colour my hair and I just want to be myself.”