Desi girl Nina packs bags for NY

Another senior model bids bye-bye to Mumbai’s fashion scene. It’s for real. Nina Manuel, that dusky, svelte, pair of long legs that has ruled the ramp for well over a decade and more now has decided to pack her backs and move to New York.

The first question we asked was does this have anything at all to do with your love life? “Of course not,” she giggles,m “I’m going there to study.” Her opening for Sabyasachi, Anamika Khanna and Little Shilpa at Lakme Fashion Week’s 2009 Fall-Winter line was her last stint (for the time being only we hope) on the Indian ramp. “I’m leaving Mumbai on April 18th to study fashion buying and merchandising in new York. I’ll also be doing a short course in art appreciation,” she says. It’s the coming together of all her little dreams-to-come-true, she insists. Nina has done a short course in fashion buying from the London School of Fashion in 2004. “I’ve always been interested in being so much more than just a model. I’ve always been a huge risk taker, which is the reason why I cut down on the ramp to take on a TV show. It’s very easy to fall into a comfort zone and think you don’t have to do anythignt o move out. I’ve always seen myself as learning and expanding.” And which is the real Nina in all of this?

Art afficianado, cover girl, ramp model, TV hostess? Is the escape born from a need to figure out her real personality? “They’re all me,” she shrugs, nonchalantly. “They’re different sides of me. I dunno, maybe there are even more different sides to me, I won’t know till I go find out!” And what will the fashion and page 3 scene be like without one of its most familiar faces missing? “Like my voice mail says, ‘If I’m not available, then I’m not available!’

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