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Manhunt Participant Rikesh Brings Home A Trophy!
14 June 2008-Saturday

- Samriddhi Rai  
If not the title of the International Manhunt 2008, 24-year-old Rikesh Raj Shrestha has succeeded in fetching home a trophy of Mr. Friendship. Better even, his fellow contestants voted him. The contest that was held in June 2, Seoul, Korea saw a total of 55 countries participating. From his experiences bitter and sweet, Rikesh reveals it all. Excerpts:
Q. We didn’t hear anything about any Manhunt contest taking place in the country, how were you selected to represent Nepal in the international arena of the same?
A. The franchise of the international manhunt in Nepal, Event Entertainers could not organize a huge contest due to some reasons. I first heard about this event from the papers and the media. Filled up the application form and after some close rounds of selection they nominated me as Manhunt Nepal 2008. Well I do wish a real competition had been held. The experience would have groomed me even more so as to rightly present myself in the international arena. 
Q. So tell us the experience, how was it?
A. Great, great, great! All the participants were runway professional models with the best of physique, highly groomed and trained. All of them had come after battling out in the Manhunt contest in their respective countries. Everybody had huge financial backing up that definitely supported their morale and boosted confidence.
Q. Are you saying, Nepalese don’t stand a chance in international platforms?
A. Not really! You see I went to participate in the contest without any grooming or training and here I am bringing home two titles (Mr. Friendship and 2nd runner up in Mr. Personality). I did give quite a tough competition to my fellow contestants, but more than my competitors I took them all as my pals. There was so much to learn from them and I am sure they learnt a great deal from me. Especially, Mr. India who tried to kind of bully me since day 1…because I was from Nepal, but he did make amends when he left. Last year Chandan Agrawal brought home the title of Mr. Personality, this time a bar raised I brought the title of Mr. Friendship. Only if contestants are given formal training I am sure Nepal can do a great deal in international platforms. We don’t lack in talented good-looking guys. All we need is a good boost to our self-esteem.    
Q. So you had a 7-days-session before the grand finale. Shed some light on the entire procedure. 

A. The competition started from the very first day we reached the venue. Cameras fitted everywhere, the judges watched over and marked our every step from the way we walked, talked to the strangers, made conversations, our etiquettes, our attitude…. judgment on physique and looks were always there. We were taken to a pub and the judges also analyzed us on how we danced, made our moves on girls, held our glasses. You know…just about everything. It was almost scary at some point because the cameras were inside our bedrooms too, but nevertheless it was real fun. An enriching experience all in all. The grand finale was held in this huge auditorium filled with maximum numbers of women audience. The tickets were priced at 200 dollars, and we had several rounds: the intro round, the swimsuit round, national costume round. No question-answer rounds though! And finally after a 2-hour-long show the 11 titleholders were called out of which I won the title ranked at the 9th position. I couldn’t be happier. 
Q. Anything you want to tell to the youngsters, especially to those aspirant young men who want to make it big in this field? 

A. I suggest guys participate in more and more contests like this. Because more than winning or losing, it’s the experiences gained that matters. I was, in fact I am a typical Kathmanduite guy, I like to party, hang out with my friends a lot. And if it wasn’t for this competition, I think I would have wasted myself. We only have one life and one youth, don’t let it slip through your fingers right in front of your eyes. There is nothing like Nepal and Nepalese go weak in international grounds. I say its crap. We're as capable as any other contestant from the world over. All we need to work is on building a good confidence, working hard on looks and personality is important too. But most of all you got to be yourself. I didn’t act up all smart in front of the judges. I was just ME and that is what they liked. It's definitely a lot easier for girls to enter and get established in this field, but its not hard for guys either. I say, when you have the age and the ability participate in contests like these and represent your country. " Don’t ask what your country can do for you, its time to think what you can do for your country". 

Hierarchal ranking of the titles of International Manhunt 2008
International Manhunt 2008: Morocco

1st Runner-up: Sweden
2nd Runner-up: Costa Rica
3rd Runner-up: Korea
4th Runner-up: Angola

Best National Costume: Honk Kong
Mr. Photogenic: England
Mr. Physique: China
Mr. Friendship: Nepal
Mr. Personality: Philippines
Best Runway Model: Turkey



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