Chennai girl crowned Dazzle Miss India 2018

Anu Kalyanaraghavan

Lights, camera, action. These three words are never new to Anu Kalyanaraghavan, the Dazzle Miss India title winner of 2018. The 25-year-old from Madipakkam, who always aspired to mark her footprint in the ramp, today bears the heavy crown with ease. News Today had a chat with Anu who shares her path, aspiration and future plans.

EXCERPTS FROM THE INTERVIEW

Q: How did your interest for fashion begin?
A: I used to participate in many children’s game shows in my childhood in various channels. So, the love for dressing up and make-up started right from my young age. As I grew up, I always took the front line in all my school and college cultural programmes. Slowly I started developing an interest for ramp, and fashion came into me. I never wanted to leave my educational career hanging. So, I proceeded with my CA exams. All of a sudden, my friend offered me a lead role in a short film. After this, they started calling me for hosting small shows in private channels. One of my short film, Adavi, got several awards. It was recently screened in the Chennai International Film Festival (CIFF) too.

Q: What was your major breakthrough?
A:I came across IRIS Glam school advertisement. This is when I entered into the fashion world. Initially, many liked me for my confidence, looks and attitude. But my walk was zero. As I was more into sports, my walk was kind of an athlete based but the ramp demanded some elegance and I had to learn a lot. Then I attended an audition for a ramp conducted by Dazzle India. I got selected in the prelims, then on the talent round and in the end, I was able to make to the finale and win Dazzle Miss India competition and Miss Talented that happened in Delhi, this year.

Q: From actor to professional model. How is the journey?
It takes a lot to transform from an actor to a professional model. Right from the makeover to the posing for a single picture, everything is challenging here. My every single photoshoot is a lesson for me. My transformation took place in a slow and steady phase.

Q: Being dusky. A challenge?
No. Not at all. Infact, this skin tone is more welcome in ramp unlike acting. They feel we can carry the dress and jewellery even more better and they find this skin tone ‘sexy’.

Q: What was your finale question?
We shared the Miss and Mrs India ramp together. The finale questioned asked to me was, “What is the one thing that you learned from Mrs India contestants?” – I said – “I think we both are equal. They are no less to each other. But one thing we as the Miss India contestants miss, is the responsibility and motherhood. I respect that a lot and they are fantastic human beings. The way they care for us as fellow contestants can never be replaced. I learnt this from them.” Everyone appreciated my answer and this led me a step ahead to bear the crown.

Q: How is your family’s support?
A: Initially for the auditions I didn’t tell them at all. Every week end, I used to tell my parents that I am hanging out with my friends and go attend the auditions. I wanted to tell them once I achieve. Once I got selected for finale round, I told my parents. They were shocked and amused at the same time. But I must say, they gave immense support.

Q: Your future plans.
Fitness is my main area of strength. So I want to become a brand ambassador and a fitness model for athletic companies. In a near future, I will be working with director Sathyajith for a movie titled – 13th Hairpin Bend – a travel-horror story. The shoot will kickstart from January. The movie will also be dubbed to Kannada and Hindi.

P T Usha