Scientist, Model And A Gay Icon – This Man Is Setting New Standards For Men The World Over
He’s just 29, but Samarpan Maiti has come a long way from his home in the village of Siddha in East Midnapore. His intellect has taken him far, with his research on brain cancer drugs providing him with the perfect platform for studies abroad. But the biggest challenge yet for Samarpan was on an altogether different platform recently — at the grand finale of Mr Gay World India 2018. Standing on stage in the final rounds, Samarpan was asked by judge Diandra Soares — “What is the definition of love to you?” “Ami Bangla medium. Phor phor kore ingreji bolte pari na. So, like always, I thought in Bengali and then translated my answer in English,” Samarpan recounts. “I said, ‘Love is something in which you find inner peace without altering your true self’. However, I fumbled and faltered quite a bit.”
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While everyone was impressed by his philosophy, one judge pointed out that his English was unbelievably poor. And then something happened that changed the course of the evening, and perhaps, even Samarpan’s life. “The host, Rohini Ramnathan, came forward and declared, ‘Forget English. Why are we so obsessed with the language? This is not a platform to judge one’s English skills’. That changed the whole deal. I was asked to answer the same question in Bengali, and I did. That stole the show,” Samarpan adds. He was eventually declared the winner and will represent India in the Mr Gay World 2018 contest in South Africa in May — making him a rare combination of good looks and brains and an icon of social and sexual inclusiveness in a country still struggling to legally accept the LGBTQ community.