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Introducing Sagar Udaseen, Fashion Model & Influencer : Retro Kolkata Exclusive

My personal style is contemporary, casual, and catchy. What matters the most to me is how one carries themselves. I always make sure that I make my presence noticed and thus I need to keep working on my dressing sense, communication skills, and receptiveness as per the setting. To always stay on top of the fashion curve one needs to be alert and ready to adapt and evolve one’s dressing sensibilities with the times.

Retro Kolkata : Please say something about you. About your career, about your interest?

Sagar : I have over 12 years of experience in teaching and research. I am an educator, who is working with school students in their preparations to gain competitive admissions to reputed medical colleges in the country and abroad. I enjoy teaching to the core.

Right from my childhood, I always took an immense interest in my studies. I went to a boarding school where I had a phenomenal performance in both academics as well as extracurriculars. Thereon, I completed my BTech and MTech in Biotechnology from NIT Rourkela. I’ve bagged University Silver Medal and Vidya Shree Awards for academic excellence.

I write poetry and fiction (fingers crossed for getting published!). I’ve also done freelance modelling work for portfolio shoots of fashion brands. I also love anchoring for events and of course, I cook pretty fine. (Readers are most welcome to taste and relish!) I’ve discovered that the more I pursue my interest with dedication and consistency, the more rewards come my way – whether it is poetry, anchoring, or cooking.

Retro Kolkata : How would you describe your personal style and is there a person in fashion who inspires you?

Sagar : My personal style is contemporary, casual, and catchy.

What matters the most to me is how one carries themselves. I always make sure that I make my presence noticed and thus I need to keep working on my dressing sense, communication skills, and receptiveness as per the setting. To always stay on top of the fashion curve one needs to be alert and ready to adapt and evolve one’s dressing sensibilities with the times.

Milind Soman is the man who fuels me with the inspiration of looking relevant, and younger with age.

Retro Kolkata : How do you get involved with your followers and find the best way to give them the content they want?

Sagar : Most of my early followers were people I personally knew. They are friends, relatives, students, and colleagues. This initial group has been instrumental in increasing the followers through their own social circles that share the mutual desire for the adventure of traveling and believe me it has grown manifold and that too organically. Since travel is infectious!

On social media, most followers come across these adventures through my posts. I make sure to keep my social media always alive and buzzing with what’s happening in my life. Travel of course occupies the top spot for engagement. I speak of personal stories from my visits - how to plan within budget, how to live like a local, what best outfits to carry, what to shop for oneself and others, what to eat (and what not to eat!). I make sure that I motivate the followers through these social media to go out there and travel the world around them for themselves!

One thing that I’ve learned is that this is very symbiotic – The stories I have to tell gather a lot of liking and appreciation. However, it never happens without leaving a token of inspiration for myself. I make sure to get inspired by and adopt all that there is to – most of it coming from those who follow me - their own stories, adventures, and misadventures!

I receive a lot of feedback for my attitude towards teaching, travel, and ventures into poetry and modelling. To be honest, we're socially, emotionally, and mutually connected. That is what makes it easy for me to give them the content that they want.

Retro Kolkata : You love to travel. Tell us about one of your most memorable adventures, and the impact it had on you.

Sagar : Travel is medicine. Some medicines are bitter!

Back in 2019, I accidentally crossed into Canadian territory from the US without a valid visa. I was traveling with a fellow from the US who insisted that it is a very usual thing for tourists to Niagara Falls to take a walk to the Canadian side by crossing a bridge on top of the falls. Being a first-time visitor, I was quite enthralled by the proposition because I’d heard that the Canadian side of the falls is much more beautiful. My fellow traveller was a person I’d first met just earlier in the day and he’d also offered to store my luggage in his car while we went to look at the falls. Everything seemed to be getting quite well in place so far.

To my shock, when I took a stroll across the bridge to the Canadian side, a Canadian visa was demanded. My fellow traveller, still waiting in line, got separated from me, while I was taken to another immigration post for further questioning. The ground had just slipped beneath my feet – I did not know if I’d committed a crime while my US SIM card would not work on the Canadian side. I had no documents, I could not contact my fellow traveller and all my luggage was in the car of that stranger whom I’d met that very morning! I was not happy with my judgments during the day.

My mind started running in all directions …

Have I been scammed?

Will I be able to give answers to the satisfaction of the Canadian immigration authorities?

How will I establish contact with the people in the US who could help me out of this situation?

I was finally out of the fiasco. I took time to patiently explain to the authorities my circumstances and the genuine confusion that had landed me in this situation. While the fellow traveller was very apologetic for the confusion that had put me into an almost criminal situation, he had indeed been trying to get across to me on the phone all this while.

This event has had a deep impact on me. Three key things that I learnt that day -

· You can easily get out of a difficult situation by dealing with it with patience.

· Whenever you are not able to establish communication from your SIM for whatsoever reason, look for Wi-Fi – the tourist information centre will mostly have free wi-fi to your rescue.

· Trust fellow travellers. Be careful, but don’t rush into judging people.

Retro Kolkata : How has travel changed who you are? What has travel taught you?

Sagar : Travel changes a man in aspects more that can be counted or accounted for. I remember meeting a dog called Hollister on my trip to the US and that entirely changed my attitude towards pets. Before meeting Hollister, I would never let an animal touch me. Hollister gave me that warmth and comfort. He made me into a more evolved being.

Over these years I have realized that we don't just travel to places, we travel to people too.

This realization has made me discover empathy as well as self-love - both inside myself. I have learned that survival is a very personal journey and the resources at your disposal will never be a deterrent to your travel ambitions. This big world is a beautiful place, filled with beautiful and hospitable people. And that you can never have enough of it – so be ambitious but remain humble.

Whenever the experiences of the fast and demanding modern professional life in a metro city seem to get overwhelming, I apply for leaves and leave for travel. Once I am back from the trip, I’m ready to once again dedicate myself to work in a fully functional way with improved efficiency and focus. I like this cycle, it’s contagious!

Travel helps me communicate better at my work. This is very instrumental to my profession of teaching. My travel stories have made the classes more interesting, students more attentive and the whole learning experience livelier.

Retro Kolkata : If you had to name one thing, what would be your favourite thing in your wardrobe right now?

Sagar : Colourful set of boxers – comfortable, lightweight, easy to pack (in under 7 Kg of cheap cabin luggage-only flights!) Believe me boys, they are your best travel companion.

On a lighter note, I’m truly fond of the travel tags I purchased recently. Whenever I look at them, I’m excited to travel more.

Retro Kolkata : What is your favourite style, a suit or casual wear?

Sagar : When I’m traveling, casual wear for sure. They make me feel more comfortable and breezier. However, I can carry suits quite well too! I have done a few portfolio shoots for formal wear.

Retro Kolkata : Give us 5 fun facts people might not know about you yet.

Sagar :

  • I was caught cheating on an exam by my teacher. (I’m a teacher today myself!)

  • On my trip to Vietnam, I had to eat pork just to calm my hunger. (I didn’t like it!)

  • One of my best friends and I worked in the same place for many years without any colleagues knowing about this friendship. (kucch toh log kahenge….!)

  • Back in the day, my father was trying to set me up with a girl but my mother hated her. (What do you think I could have done?)

  • I ate the “forbidden” durian fruit and entered a bar in Singapore. To my surprise and later to an informed realization, no one was dancing with me (The fruit smells horrible. Don’t go for a date after eating it!


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