Published: 14th September 2019
Here's how Odisha's Naisha Bhargabi is making waves in the modelling industry in Mumbai
Her first campaign shoot was with L'Oréal and is etched in her memory. She loved the outfits of designer Masaba Gupta, for whom she modelled. She's done a young happy ad for St Ives too
There are several who move to the City of Dreams, Mumbai, with aspirations to become the next supermodel or act in a Karan Johar movie, but how many of these aspirants truly live the dream? While the ratio is certainly skewered, the tales of those who make it keep inspiring those who are in the process of making it. One such inspiring tale is of our very own Odia girl, Naisha Bhargabi. One look at her and you know you have seen her. Was it on the billboard for Indeed, the job portal? Or was she in that Eveready batteries ad with Khiladi Akshay Kumar? You are right about both — and the many other commercials she features in for brands like Maybelline India, Micromax, Jeep, L'Oréal and several others. This 23-year-old tells us why it's a great time to be brown and why saying no is sometimes important.
Looking at you: Naisha is an accomplished model | (Pic: Naisha Bhargabi)
Born in Bhubaneswar, brought up in New Delhi, studying in the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, New York ("I have three more semesters to complete, but that can wait," she laughs) and finally, shifting to Mumbai, Naisha has been out and about for a long time now. It was outside Mithibai College of Arts in Mumbai, where she was pursuing her Bachelor of Arts, that she was spotted for her first commercial. And right away, she bagged the jackpot. Her first commercial with Akshay Kumar! "I was happy to do it because it meant more pocket money for me," she quips. But offers did not stop at that. Commercials, ad campaigns, the works — she grew from strength to strength. And then came an offer from Fair & Lovely. The brand's ads have drawn a lot of criticism for promoting fair complexion and putting everything else down. So, how could Naisha say yes to something like that? "Neither am I fair nor lovely. Also, India is so diverse in terms of skin tones!" she speaks out. And there is a lesson there for other aspiring models — don't align with brands that try to change you, join hands with brands who appreciate who and what you are and the way you are. Naisha's untamed tresses and beautiful, dusky skin tone are a testament to this fact. And with inclusivity on the rise, it is definitely a time for all skin tones to flourish. "For the last four to five years, there has certainly been a drastic change, but there is definitely scope for much more," she says and adds that she misses her grandparents and Bhubaneswar like crazy.
Naisha loves acting and has done theatre too. She would love to act if the right opportunity comes by
Describing her time with the industry as bitter-sweet, Naisha says, "The industry has never lied about the fact that you get work on the basis of how you look. Which is why rejection hits a little harder," she says wisely and adds, "One needs to develop a thick skin and remember that 'career' is only a chapter in your life." And what about the fact that modelling is a no-brainer profession? "Personality, energy, how well you work with others and what you bring to the table — all this and so much more matters," she exclaims. Clearly, nothing is as superficial as it seems to be. There is hustle involved and if you want to find your way onto a life-size poster, a good place to start would be to have the confidence to know that you belong there. In case of any doubts, you can always take an example out of Naisha's life.
Some more pictures from her previous work
For more on her, click on instagram.com/naishabhargabi