March 21, 2020 Asmita Aggarwal

Wheels of Fortune

For Sneha Ghosh, 27, who found meaning in life through yoga talks about why the body and mind need to be in tune

By Asmita Aggarwal

Her tryst with glamour came when she was selected for the Femina Ms India Eastern round, but due to strict attendance in St Xavier’s College, Kolkata had to give up her dreams to winning the crown. But destiny has its ways to compensate and in Sneha Ghosh’s life, it appeared serendipitously when she had no passport and had to fly to Malaysia for the finals of Asia’s Next Top Model contest in 2014.  “I met a lady IAS officer, who helped me when I told her that I need my passport in a day and it did come to me. I told her I am going to represent my country internationally and she understood,” says Sneha.

The contest taught her co-living with girls from different parts of the country, almost 20, sharing cultural experiences and dialects as well as food and clothing. She faced racism and people made fun of her accent, as many came with pre-conceived notions about India, though she survived all of it with courage. Making it to the top 10 was an achievement, and what kept her out of the race, in the end, was a momentary lapse of confidence. Sneha always had long, lustrous hair, the contest posed a challenge where without a mirror they chopped it all off and almost shaved her head from one side leaving her shocked. “I didn’t do my photoshoot well as I couldn’t work my new hairstyle. But I realised that you can’t let one element of your body decide your demeanour—whether it is your tresses, waist or legs. Confidence is more internal than external so let your personality shine through,” she adds.

And just observing was a learning curve when during the lingerie round at freezing temperatures the contestants managed to pose, while Sneha hesitated, leaving her inspired. “I never wanted to be a model, I hit upon it by chance, my dream was to be an IAS officer, but I was bullied in school and had no self-confidence. Modelling really helped me get that back,” she admits.

Initially, parents didn’t support her, they wanted her to choose conventional paths, they would shy away from telling people that she was a model, but there is a lot more to Sneha than just ramp walk. She is a practising yogini, it has been the fulcrum of her existence, and she also keeps fit by kickboxing, weight lifting realising that the body will change at every age, from 16 to 86, so you need to keep fit. “Yoga calmed me down, I had many body issues, and also taught me self-love, it has been an enlightening experience for me,” she confirms. What upsets Sneha is that when people talk of yoga it is only Baba Ramdev or Shilpa Shetty, but yoga, she feels needs more ambassadors. “When people think of yoga I want them to think of me as I know its true essence,” she affirms.

In her spare time, Sneha loves riding her bike and would love to sing on stage or take up playback singing as she is a trained classical singer. “This is for my mom, who loves to see me croon,” she smiles.

Her motto remains, “grow” through life, not “go” through life… and listen to yourself and your body. “You have to stop looking for validation from the outside world and deal with our insecurities by loving ourselves, without caring about judgements of the world,” she concludes.

Sneha Ghosh 1

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