Pranav Bakhshi is a fashion model, TEDx speaker, intern at the Global Online Desk of Thomson Reuters where he curates pictures as part of his work, and a graphic designing student. He is the first model in India with autism. Pranav considers autism to be his superpower. He has always been very much attracted to mimicking and acting. So once his mom took him to a Theatre festival where they introduced ramp walk as an activity. He totally fell in love with it and that was when he decided to be a fashion model. Pranav started sending his mom pictures of billboards and told her that he wants to be like the models on the billboards. He is a guest columnist for an e-mag ’Newzhook’ and he absolutely loves writing about the things that interest him.
His family members were always very supportive of whatever career he wanted to pursue. Pranav’s sister told him that he can do anything that he wants to, and she will always be there to support him. His mom said that he is the boss and can decide to do whatever he wants to. But just warned him that he should be ready for a lot of hard work. That is why Pranav never steps back from working hard for the things he is really passionate about.
Sharing his journey as a child Pranav said,
I live in New Delhi but was born in Chandigarh, and I remember my childhood in so much detail starting from the sights, the smells to what people said. So, I divide my childhood according to the different houses that I have lived in. I am also writing a long article about my initial memories nowadays. When I was small, I was naughty, but my mom and sister were very patient. They also told me that they are my crazy fans.
Pranav has a lot of hobbies and interests. He has been clicking pictures for a long time. Pranav clicks in series and some of his favorite series are Cloud Series, Silhouette Series, Water Series, and Aeroplane Series. He likes to write about the pictures he takes. Pranav has won photography awards and has been the official photographer at many events. He loves listening to English music on 94.3 Radio One. His favorite genre in music is EDM. He loves attending music concerts of his favorite musicians when they come to India and perform in the NCR. He has attended the concerts of Marshmello, DJ Snake, Wiz Khalifa, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, and Alan Walker.
Pranav is a fitness enthusiast and likes to travel. He totally loves his fitness routine. Pranav misses going to the gym nowadays, but he wakes up early in the morning for his session with his trainer at home and never likes to miss it. He is interested in eating healthy and he strictly follows a low FODMAP diet. After the pandemic ends, he wants to travel with his sister, he wants to do a Goa to Bombay road trip. He also wants to visit her in Sydney where she lives.
So far, my greatest accomplishment has been that I am able to deal with my challenges and do what I love to do. This is true for my ramp walks and for my TEDx talks. I overcame my anxiety to be able to do both. And I felt very glad when on my nineteenth birthday, Hindustan Times carried an article on me as India’s first fashion model with autism.
Pranav has faced criticism many times. In his journey, since childhood, Pranav has heard many hurtful things and has been ignored. Sometimes it has been assumed that he does not understand anything or is not good enough. But he has learned to ignore negative things. He just concentrates on doing his best.
He considers autism to be his biggest strength. Adding to that he said a story when a few years back his sister and mother told him that they have a secret to share. They told him that like all the Marvel characters that he loves, he also has a superpower. which is autism. It makes him unique; it gives him the power to achieve so many things. He knows that he is different but he is able to do so many things because of that superpower. It is not something that he is sad about. He gets anxious sometimes which he considers to be a weakness for him. But he also has strategies to cope with his anxiety. He discusses things with his mom, and he starts writing in his journal.
something that irritates me is the way society perceives autism. I feel very sad when I read that people ‘suffer from autism’. It is not a disease, and we don’t suffer from autism. It is a condition. People sometimes behave differently. I handle it by ignoring it. something about people’s mindset that I would like to change is that we don’t suffer from autism. We live with this condition and achieve remarkable things. We face challenges as everyone does and we know how to sort them as everyone does.
Pranav wants to be a model forever. In 2060, when he will be 60 years old, he would retire as a graphic designer but he doesn’t want to retire from modeling. Rather hopes and firmly believes to do a lot of modeling assignments at that age as well. He considers his sister as his biggest inspiration. She is a very kind and nice person. She always appreciates him and cheers him up. Besides that, he also likes Jon Kortajarena because he is an amazing model.
His favorite quote is “Work Hard, Play Hard”. He has a very busy routine from dusk till dawn. He does not like to waste time. On Sundays, he loves to have fun. Pranav misses going to music gigs and for photo walks, but instead, now he watches movies back-to-back, listens to EDM music on full blast volume, till late in the night, and just chill.
I love to help people. In 2020, I was very anxious about the migrant laborers walking on the road. I saw on TV how Sonu Sood sir was helping them, and I was very inspired. I pooled in my earnings as a model and as a photographer and I created three sets of trays and coasters and I sold them on social media. From that, I could collect a lot of money that I donated to the PM Cares Fund for the COVID affected.
I am also a part of the Vikings Team of Soaring Monks, and we help people in need. This month, I was able to collect money for food packets for people who are COVID affected. We gave atta, pulses, and sugar to families who lost their source of income. People should not think that if we are special, we always need help. I can help too.