The other Haydon girl

One of the fresh new faces in Indian fashion, model Lisa Haydon talks about her career and her unusual upbringing

Lounging on a futon reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Lisa Haydon is an entertaining conversationalist—jumping from topic to topic in manner which can confuse a slower mind. She looks content with her lot and she has every right to be so—she debuted in last year at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week as one of the 10 'New Faces Going Places'. She's lent her countenance to Elle and Seagram's and is currently hosting her own show—Babelicious on Zee Trendz. Besides that, she informs me, that she's also reading the script for a Hindi movie.

Ask her if she's ever been mistaken for a relative of former Miss World Diana Hayden and she rolls her big eyes. "All the time," she says, "I still get that question, even though we spell our last names differently." The long-legged lass began modelling in Australia at a friend's suggestion. But it was never her first choice for a career. "I always wanted to be a dancer and I did perform a lot as a kid—jazz, hip hop, even Kathak. I really regret that I haven't danced since I was 17," the 23-year-old wistfully says.

For someone brought up in Mumbai, Haydon has had a very unusual upbringing. Her mother Anna has been working with charity organisation Family Care International for two-odd decades now. It was this work that brought her to India, where she met and married Haydon's father, Venkat. "There were a lot of expats in Mumbai who were working for volunteer organisations and they decided that they wanted to home-school their kids," the dusky model reveals, "So my siblings and I were all taught at home by our mother. But even though we didn't attend regular school like other kids, we still had to get up early in the morning, just like them, and sit for exams," she laughs. These days, she informs, the exams are conducted with even greater strictness than before. "Principals from other schools and colleges are called in to act as external invigilators," she says. Even the rigour was no different from ordinary schools, she adds. "We each had our own encyclopedia set and we did really study, you know. My mother is an excellent teacher."

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