Bollywood’s Gen-Z Bestie Orhan ‘Orry’ Awatramani Lives By His Rules

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Jeena J Billimoria

The internet’s leading man gives HELLO! a peek into his life behind the cameras, garnering fame overnight and the rules he lives by, revealing just enough while preserving that mysterious aura.

One can say Orhan Awatramani is a busy man. So busy, in fact, that it took HELLO! nearly four weeks to finally extract this interview from him (a new record, by recent standards—most take two). But gauging by his Instagram stories, one can see how he couldn’t allot the time. And so we waited patiently, keeping a casual eye on his whereabouts online.

Parties. Store openings. Brand launches. A trip to the UK, where he shot this feature for HELLO! incidentally. Weddings. Baby showers. More parties, events and then some, kept him on the go—and us on our toes. Orry, as he’s come to be known fondly, has become a brand with a cult following that has suddenly broadened nationwide.

He’s the darling of Bollywood without being an actor. A prince of fashion without being a model. An influencer without defining himself as one. An overnight celebrity with fans clamouring for selfies every time he leaves a venue. He has the paparazzi eating out of his hands consistently (it must be noted that the paps love Orry). He smiles at them endearingly, almost shyly; poses obligingly, then casually zooms off in his blue Mercedes G350 D to the next affair or after-party. Many young folks on social media remain obsessed by what Orry wears, with ‘get the look’ options trending on everyone’s home feed precisely 0.9 seconds after he’s been photographed wearing it. They are fascinated by whom he calls his friends, as well as his eyebrow-raising, jet-setting lifestyle that has spawned numerous meme accounts.

But who is Orry, really? How has he merely appeared out of the blue and taken everyone by storm? HELLO! attempts to get some insight into a unique man who has risen to become the hottest thing in town — by no virtue except simply being himself.

The Boy Without Dreams Who Is Now Living The Ultimate One

There are subreddits dedicated to the origin story of Orry, delving into details about his IB education, generational wealth and even an internship with Kylie Cosmetics in Los Angeles. When asked, Orry shares his version, recounting his experience working in the service industry—“busting tables and my ass off” at 19. He recalls being spotted serving tables “by a certain someone” leading to the offer of his first real job. Any aspirations he had of leading the high roller life with the frills of fame were, up until that point, not part of his grand plans at all. “I am a realistic boy,” he says, matter-of-factly. “I did not have dreams of becoming anything when growing up. I just had dreams of earning a better living. That’s all I wanted, to work hard enough to be whatever I had to. The rest just happened, the fantasy wrote itself...”

The fantasy Orry refers to is a life filled with excess, fame and the best of everything. The kind of luxuries that are just out of reach for many—access to the hallowed halls of Bollywood’s exclusive closed-door parties, trips to Mykonos, Ibiza and Italy, chilling with Hollywood heavyweights. And rocking up to all of the above with a fashion game so sharp, it could slice any hardened critic’s opinion in half. For all this, he says, he has “never actually wanted to be famous. It came along the way and boy, have I loved it and I am riding the wave... but it was never intentional. I did not grow up with this being something I ever thought of. I am happy to stay fame adjacent. I am not attached to the attention, I won’t die without it, but it’s giving and I am getting and not complaining.”

Orry is one of those enigmas who manages to be in the spotlight without actually revealing too much of who he is... or what he does between the hours of nine to five each day. A simple question about his job or designation as Special Project Manager at Reliance Industries Limited Chairperson’s Office is casually dismissed. “This page is a hoax. A smart clickbait for LinkedIn,” he quips about our source. And speaking of Reliance, the next question naturally goes to his closeness with the Ambani family, with whom it’s no secret he shares strong bonds. Once again, Orry expertly swerves around the inquest and says that he is “close in terms of proximity, yes. I live right down the street from their residence on Altamount Road.” Clever. And his evasiveness is like a thrilling game of cat-and-mouse that will pervade throughout this interview. The more we probe, the more he teases. He has turned it into an art form—a quality to be admired, and we have no shame in acknowledging it.

So, we dive right in, and the first thing we want to know is what people don’t know about him. He very sincerely shares that he can’t touch his tongue to his nose. When we ask whether all the partying and socialising gets repetitive for him, if he’s ever happy to just sit at home and do nothing, not be bothered about what he’s wearing, and just disengage from social media for a while, a wry “no” is all we get.

Still, Orry is not arrogant. He’s actually quite charming and begins to reveal many interesting facets to his personality that come to light more frequently, as we interact. He shows a healthy train of humility when asked about taking India by storm with his apparent success. “I don’t think I have taken any country by storm... Bandra? Sure. And maybe even some parts of Juhu. But a whole country... no, no... definitely not. This cannot be my peak!” And he bursts into laughter.

But with the lightness also comes a touch of heaviness—in his case, in the form of trolls and naysayers who never miss an opportunity to take jibes at him. “Don’t put yourself in the spotlight if you cannot take a joke. Life’s tough, be thick-skinned, these are dumb things to worry about,” Orry says earnestly. And speaking of trolls, we broach his infamous “working on myself” comment, which garnered a fair share of less-than-rosy attention. “The only thing I regret about that statement is how much I weighed when I said it,” he explains. “No one realises, but all the comments were about how high my body fat percentage was when I said I worked on myself and go to the gym... All the internet trolls, anonymous commenters and tormentors, all they said was he’s too fat to be going to the gym.”

Which begs the question of what aspects of himself he’s actively working to change then, and he pauses for a moment before saying:

“My inability to let some things go. I hold grudges whether I like it or not. In life, I believe a grudge is like poison, and if you hold onto poison for too long, you will end up poisoning yourself. I am really working on learning how to detach and let things go.”

In the recent months since the dust-up, Orry has sported a more snatched look—an almost delicate appearance—which means he’s been working hard on his physical image. As of this moment, his breakfast is one Kiri cow cheese dip box (“those cute cheese dips that come with the breadsticks,” he specifies), while lunch is only every third day and consists of a third of a chicken salad without any dressing, with romaine, four slices of cherry tomatoes, a spoon of edamame and chickpeas, two sun-dried tomatoes, five raisins, a sliced boiled egg white and a quarter of an avocado that he’s allowed only once a week. By contrast, Orry’s dinners comprise a small cup of Nongshim Shin ramen noodles with only half the spicy seasoning powder. “The day also consists of numerous anxiety-inducing iced black coffees,” he admits, adding, “If I am in Bombay, I eat the food made for me at home, but no carbs or sugars are allowed, period. The only exception to the rule is that Sundays are for Sindhi curry,” he says with a nod to his heritage.

“No One Is Perfect... We Just Want Nice Noses And Hairlines”

It doesn’t come as a wild surprise to anyone that much of Orry’s world, so to speak, is heavily invested in looking perfect at every waking minute. Does he feel the need to keep up and feed into these standards? “I believe that if you have the means to correct something, why not? If there is something that makes you feel insecure, or if you can do something to make yourself more confident in your appearance, even if it’s not needed but wanted, do what works for you.” We waste no time asking then, whether he’s had help to achieve his flawless appearance. With a poker-straight expression, Orry tells us Dr Wong on Spring Street in Soho,

New York, injects his face with a serum “made from the sauce extracted from a drake,” which gives you hives for about 24 hours but after that, “Voilà! Perfect glowing skin.” Then he winks.

But in the very next breath, he throws us a curveball. “No one is perfect... We just want nice noses and hairlines. After that, we are happy to walk around in sweatpants with oil in our hair,” he shrugs matter-of-factly. And this statement gives us the first real glimpse into Orry’s life away from the noise. He’s got a good head on his shoulders and unshakable values that he lives by.

“Don’t waste my time, I won’t waste yours; that is respect. No amount of money can ever make you young again. So don’t waste a single second ever, not even to rest,” he says definitively.

In this case, social media doesn’t lie. What we see of Orry is exactly this — never resting, always on the go, living life to the fullest and making more memories than his phone’s camera can keep up with.

He doesn’t possess a devil-may-care attitude when it comes to the important things. “Respect your elders, always. They have lived longer than you, experienced more than you, and if nothing else — that has earned them the right of respect.” And speaking of elders, what of his family’s stance on his fame? “We exchange thumbs-up emoticons as a seal of approval for each other’s photos — that’s the extent of attention my recent achievement receives,” he tells us humbly. His brothers keep him grounded, serving as “the reality check I never asked for or want”. As for connections, is there anyone special in his life right now? “Not someone, but some three. There are three special someones,” he shares. “I am a boy who loves to love, I live my life with one pretty song in my heart, I drive fast, I am alone in the night, I try my best not to get into trouble, but I have a war with love in my mind.”

He Answers Everything, But Reveals Nothing

Orry is one of those rare breeds who appears to be great friends with everyone. His Instagram feed is filled with A-list Bollywood shakers. One wonders what kind of friend he can be to so many people. “I am every friend,” he smiles. “I can be the best friend, the fun friend, the irritating friend, the loyal friend, the pushy friend, the fatherly friend, the obsessed friend; I can even be the frenemy.”

What of true friends, those in the inner sanctum, the ride or dies? “My 4am friends are the McDonald’s delivery guys.” His witty statement makes us grin, but it raises the question: Can Orry distinguish genuine friends from those gunning for a shoutout on his Insta stories? He swears he can spot the difference a mile away. “I know who’s angling for a story placement, there’s so many of them that I can tell easily, and honestly to them I would like to say, it’s not that hard — you literally just have to be really famous and around me for around 10 seconds before I whip my phone out. IT’S LITERALLY THAT EASY!” he laughs. It’s a joyous ride, and he’s bringing his 500k-plus followers along for the fun. So, what are the downsides? Orry chuckles.

“Sweat pits. No one will understand how great life is if you don’t have to worry about your sweaty armpits being immortalised in the news. I wear three panty liners per armpit when I am going out at night!”

Our final ask is about how he envisions his future, and Orry says he is exactly where he wanted to be 10 years ago and in 10 years, wants to be exactly where he is now, frozen in time—and young. “Where do I see myself? Hopefully in the mountains somewhere in a sweet cabin, retired and living my old age away... with photographs of my achievements and all the famous people I have met over the decades hanging on the wall, while I sit and watch the snowfall outside. Holding a cup of water that was once hot but is now cold, as I stare away into oblivion, reminiscing of the days I was young,” he concludes, rather poetically.

As we wrap up the interview, and the questions asked have been answered, we’re somehow still left with a sense of anticipation. Like a magician deftly guarding his secrets, Orry hasn’t revealed everything and he’s left us waiting for his next brilliant trick.

Photos: Andrew Kimber; Creative Realisation: Avantikka Kilachand And Anushree Sardesai; Art Direction: Rahi Chadda; Styling: Adele Cany; Styling Assistant: Zoe Glanville

This interview is from HELLO! India’s December 2023 issue. Check out the latest issue right here.