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Authorship of this article
Compiled by a Mayang, New Delhi
Esha Roy Indian Express August 17, 2014
Lin Laishram: a biography
Lin Laishram was born in Imphal, Manipur. She left home at very early age to pursue her studies.
“My actual name is Linthoingambi Laishram. But my non-Manipuri friends could not pronounce my full name. One day, one of my professors changed my name to Lin. Since that day I am known as Lin Laishram.”
Linthoingambi Laishram, daughter of Laishram Chandrasen of Palace Compound, Imphal
Brought up in a secular family, where her father was a banker and famed pro-sportsman and her mother, a nursing superintendent at one of the best hospitals in Manipur,
She has an elder sister and an elder brother. Her sister-in-law is a famous Manipur film actress.
Her father Laishram Chandrasen is a sports lover. He introduced archery in Manipur and was the President of Manipur Archery Association for many years. Being a daughter of a sports buff,
She is a B.A. in Sociology (first class) from Sophia College, Mumbai.
Studied at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, New York.
Lin was associated with sports since her childhood. It isn’t a surprise that Lin wouldn’t follow her sportsman father’s footsteps. “My parents introduced me to archery and I fell in love with it and played for Tata Archery Academy (the first Manipuri to get selected), Jamshedpur, and won many awards as Junior Archer “ She got training in archery from Tata Archery Academy, Jamshedpur.
“I’ve also represented my state, Manipur at the All India National Archery Championship in Rajasthan. My siblings were National Archers too. My passion for the sport went on to such an extent that the academy provided us with Home school for 3 years.”
She played the game up to national level. But unfortunately, an accident cut her career short from becoming an international player. In 1998 she got the Junior Championship Title in Chandigarh. She was also awarded with the Best Sports Person of the Year of Bihar when she was in Bihar. Apart from this she won a number of gold medals and silver medals as a player.
But it wasn’t long when Lin had to give up on her dreams- an injury (Due to many years of rigorous training) left her shattered and heart-broken, never to be able to pursue her dreams as an archer. “My future looked bleak,” she lamented. But they say there’s a woman behind every person’s success and it holds true even in her case because after the unfortunate incident, her mother stood strongly by her side and enrolled her in a school. “My mother has been there for me through out. She believes in me and in my hard work.” She then moved to Mumbai for her schooling and eventually earned herself a first class major in Sociology from Mumbai University.
Her height is 5’ 9 ½ “. She does yoga, gym and other exercises like running in order to maintain her body.
High points include
Modelled with Elite.
Was one of 12 models on the Kingfisher calendar.
Many of her films have been for the for Malaysian and Indonesian markets.
Walked the ramp for…
Early career as model
Lin is one of the top models of India, an actor and a sportsperson.
She was the first Runners-Up of Miss North East, 2008.
While at college, her tall stature dragged attention and, oh well, the clichéd ‘it happened by chance’ just had to come about. “At one of the college Fests, I was offered to do a L’oreal hair photo shoot. I did it and there was no turning back after that. Modelling happened by chance for me. Later, Elite signed me up here in Mumbai, so it wasn’t so difficult for me.”
When she was in Mumbai, L’Oreal approached her for a photo shoot during a college festival. Her photo was published in a magazine, and that marked her entry into modelling world.
At that time, she had little knowledge about modelling. After that she got a call from Elite Modelling Agency, an international renowned modelling agency. They asked her to prepare a portfolio. It was in 2007. Since then she has been doing modelling. After that she took part in various shows like Wills Fashion Week, shows of many renowned designers and other advertisements. Her exotic looks and her tall structure was an instant hit in the modeling world and soon became the center of attraction for all the big designer and photographers. She has worked with the top names in the glamour world including top designers like Tarun Tehiliani, Shantanu Goenka, Rohit Bal to name a few.
Later, Lin visited New York. When she was in New York, she received a mail from a diamond jewellery company for a photo shoot. At that time she did not have work visa. The company called Ozuro Jewellery sponsored visa for her and she continued modelling in New York.
In New York, she did a number of print modelling – hoardings, newspapers, magazines and catalogues. She also did some TV commercials. But she did fashion shows in rare case. The biggest campaign in New York was a print advertisement for a Spa. Big hoardings with her pictures were displayed in almost all the airports of USA – Las Vegas, New York, JFK, Chicago and even in Toronto.
She also took part in Nygard Fashion Show at the Times Square which is the hub of fashion and advertisement. Her posters were displayed in the show.
“New York was a complete ball game; I was mostly doing commercial prints, photoshoots for designers and makeup artists and have walked the ramp for the New York Bridal Week fashion show. I struggled keeping my weight in control since I have a tendency to put on weight easily. I had to exercise pretty hard since I can’t really follow a strict diet.”
She stayed in New York for about four years. During her stay in New York, she also did an acting course for eight months from Stella Adler’s Theatre acting school.
She also learnt acting from Atlantic Theatre. When she came to Mumbai she consulted about acting with her guru Niraj Kabi. Right now she is based in Mumbai however she travels a lot according to her assignments.
As of now she is associated with theatre most of the time. Since about one year she is involving actively in theatre. She is associated with the organisation called Motley of Naseeruddin Shah. As a production manager of the organisation she travels a lot and does many shows. An actor has to be an all-rounder in theatre.
She is also a member of Prabha Theatre which mainly plays Ibsen adapted plays. She is the main protagonist in a play of Ibsen called ‘Pillars of the Community’. She has been preparing for the play since last eight months.
She performed for Rangbaaz Theatre as well in Rudyard Kipling’s play the ‘Jungle Book’. She has performed in the play for more than twenty times.
Lin said, “I cannot guarantee that acting will give limelight, money and fame but I am sure there is a way if I love it so much. I really don’t care how people perceive it or what people think about me. All I care is what I get from what I do. The satisfaction I get from the applause I get from the audience.”
She said that she started her career in sports then moved on to modelling and then towards theatre and cannot predict the future.
“In modelling I am pampered. Everything is available for me. I will have spot boy, vehicles will be there to pick me up. Whereas in theatre one has to get up early in the morning, exercise, practice very hard. This is good balancing for me. Because when I started up modelling everything came to me very easily. I reached very easily so I didn’t appreciate too much. But when I do theatre I value everything and I balance it.”
She did a number of shoots for print advertisements in the USA, UK, Mumbai and other parts of India.
Fair and Lovely, Cobra Beer, Horlicks Biscuit, Café Coffee Day, Green Tea are some of the brands for which she did advertisements last year.
She feels that Manipur has the potential of modelling industry. Lot of good looking youths are there but they don’t open up to reach their goal.
Career in Hindi-Urdu cinema
Om Shanti Om: she shot for a brief role while studying for college examinations.
Mary Kom as the sparring partner of the Indian boxing legend.
Chalo China (producer: Lara Dutta), in which she acts as a Chinese woman.
Film with Prateek Babbar: Lin Laishram plays a Nepalese.
Ticket to Bollywood She plays a northeastern youth.
Lin has also worked in some major films, having done a cameo in Bollywood flicks like “Om Shanti Om” (watch the music video of ‘Om Shanti Om’.) and “Hattrick”,
She has shot a small part for a Vishal Bharadwaj film, Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola. “I shared the frame with one of the best actors in our country, Pankaj Kapoor.” She describes the shoot to be her most interesting one so far- “The sequence was where we had to drink beer. Since, I don’t drink beer and they don’t allow alcohol on set, they made some fizzy drink with soda bicarb to make it look like beer. After the shoot, I threw up the entire thing. It was interesting for me because I was playing the role of a Japanese wife wearing a Kimono in a Japanese head gear, make up, etc; and acting with Pankaj Kapoor was really cool,” says an excited Lin.
“Keep dreaming and work hard. If you believe in your dreams they are bound to be true someday ”- Lin Laishram
Miss Arunachal // Chapchar Kut // Manipur: Fashion // Miss Dimapur // Miss Manipur // Miss Mokokchung // Miss Myanmar 2012 (there are many Indpaedia pages about Miss Myanmar and Miss Burma) // Miss Nagaland // Miss Nepal: 1994 (there are Indpaedia pages about every year of Miss Nepal) // Miss Tibet: The contest (there are Indpaedia pages about every year of Miss Tibet) // Miss North East 1995-2003 (there are many Indpaedia pages about Miss North East)// Miss Shillong // Miss Wokha, Miss Tokhu // …and many more.
Akuonuo Khezhie // Carol Humtsoe // Delphine Marbaniang // Esther Jamir // Ethel Konyak // Geetanjali Thapa // Karma Pemyang Saratsang // Ketho Leno Kense // Kethose Nagi // Lin Laishram // Moe Set Wine // Nibir Shabnam // Prabal Gurung // Sonam Pachey // Sophia M. Sangma// Zennyla Bhutia …and many more.
The link Cinema-TV-Pop at the bottom of this page will lead you to a fuller list of articles about the cinemas of North-East India (and other South Asian regions). Indpaedia has a large number of articles about Assamese and Manipuri cinema. Assamese cinema// Manipuri Cinema // North-Eastern cinema