Nikos Narkissos Photography has broken popular stereotypes about bodybuilders with his dazzling 2021 calendar for Body Sculpt. In these difficult times when the health of self and near and dear ones has become a prime concern, finding all of India’s great bodybuilders on one flip through brings hope and motivation to stay on the health and fitness track.
Body Sculpt is a unique annual calendar that features bodybuilders from across the country who have been captured by Bengaluru-based leading fashion and fitness photographer, Nikos Narkissos’ magical lens.
The theme for the 2021 calendar is “Beauty with Intellect”. Talking about the theme of the calendar, he said, “Bodybuilders are often stereotyped as people with less intellect and vice versa. People graduating from IITs are also stereotyped as unfit for modelling,” said photographer Nikos Narkissos told NewsKarnataka.com. Nikos said that he wanted to challenge these misconceptions about bodybuilding with Body Sculpt Calendar 2021.
The calendar’s cover page features Piyush Das who has a master’s degree from IIT- Delhi. Piyush is a native of Tripura but currently resides in Bengaluru. The studio proudly claims to be the first to feature a model from the North-eastern part of Indian on the cover of its fitness calendar.
Nikos believes that it is important for a bodybuilder to have the right kind of training and education in the field, as the industry is not just limited to modelling alone. Nikos also strongly believes that bodybuilding has its roots in Indian history. In Indian mythology, we have Hanuman who was the arch-typical bodybuilder.
Despite the coming of age of actors like Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff, the notion of bodybuilding has become a westernised concept. “When someone’s body is well-built, we call them an “Arnold Schwarzenegger”, he added. “The major reason for the westernization of this industry is not a lack of talents, it’s just that talents in this country do not receive the publicity that Arnold gets”, says Nikos.
Nikos is not just a photographer; he is also an artist holding a mirror to society. “When I started photography in 2015, I noticed that a lot of models were imported from outside the country. “We were using foreign models to market our Indian products – it did not make sense to me.” recounted Nikos.
Lead photographer of Body Sculpt 2021: Nikos Narkissos
To bring back this lost sense of Indianness to the bodybuilding industry, the calendar features models from across the country. Nikos’ photography also utilises Indian garments like dhotis to reconnect bodybuilding with India and features men and women of all shades of skin colour. But ethics are important Nikos insisted. He told newskarnataka.com that he has a strict policy against hiring people who have bulked up using unhealthy methods.
In addition to reconnecting bodybuilding to its Indian roots, Nikos wants to create a space for his artists by encouraging healthy fitness habits. He says that it is unfortunate that social media has become a place for body-shaming people.
Models featured in Body Sculpt 2021:
Piyush Das is a native of Tripura and currently resides in Bengaluru. With a Masters degree from IIT-Delhi, Piyush rightfully features on the cover page of the calendar.
Kushal Gurung is a native of West Bengal but now works as an actor and model in Mumbai. He has shared the screen with big actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Vicky Kaushal. He was also the first runner-up in the musclemania model division India 2016.
Navin Naik is a model from Goa and the owner of the fitness gym, Thor Fitness. He has also won several state-level medals and trophies in fitness competitions.
Rishi Shet is a Goa-based model who also received third place in the Goa Men Physique Championship 2019.
Ankita Singh is a Bengaluru-based model who is a native of Lucknow. She is also the brand ambassador for Divine Nutrition, and Rite Bite Protein Bars, She is a member of the prestigious Indian BodyBuilders Federation(IBBF) Athlete, a bikini competitor, fitness consultant, lifeStyle blogger, ex-Software Engineer. She has also won titles like Miss Karnataka and Miss India in the past.
Bengaluru-based Koushik Mohan was the 2017 runner-up for the Mr Karnataka rocks classic men’s physique.
Avidh Anand Morajkar is a Goa-based model who is also the assistant sports officer at the Goa University. He also has one several accolades in his career including 4th place at the 9th Federation Cup Senior Men’s Sports Physique National Championship 2020, 1st place in up to 69 Kg group in Goa State Weightlifting Championship in April 2019, Best Poser and secured 2nd place in Men’s Physique category in “MAPUSA SHREE 2020”, and 1st place in “1st MR. IMPACT 2019” State Level Body Building & Physique Sports Championship in March 2019.
Srinagar-based Umar Rashid is the first athlete from Kashmir to feature in the calendar. He won the title of Mr Kashmir 2017 and is the Musclemania India Heavyweight champion of 2017.
Manan Chauhan is a Delhi-based model who is also a 23-year MBA graduate and works with an EdTech company.
Hailing from Haryana, Sumit Kumar has a MCom degree and acquired the gold medal in Mr Haryana junior gold medal, silver medal in Mr Haryana senior gold medal and a gold medal in Mr Hisar in 2018.
Virender Vats is a model from New Delhi who is a vegetarian bodybuilder and trainer. He has been a natural aesthetic for the past 8 years. He won second place in the Fitfactor Regional Championship-2019.
Michael Rajput is a native of Punjab and is an actor cum model based out of Mumbai.
Kapil Kashyap is a Delhi-based model who is also certified by GFFI and BCIP as a master coach.