By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | October 17, 2019

At first glance, Anusuiya Radhika Dev Sarmah appears to be just another girl in pursuit of the glam industry. But two minutes into a conversation with her and your perception changes, and how! You realise that Academics has been her strong base and her coming to Mumbai to ‘hone her personality’ at Cocoaberry, Talent and Academy was the first step she has taken into a world she wishes to envelope herself in.

Anusuiya Sarmah, a 21-year-old Assamese girl born and brought up in New Delhi, is a political science graduate, a national level debater, and someone who’s worked both in the private sector in marketing as well as with Members of Parliament during Parliament sessions and as a researcher in political consultancy firms!

After her graduation last June, Anusuiya Sarmah decided to pursue different passions she had in mind in her gap year and also fulfil her dreams of modelling and participating in the Miss India Pageant in the coming year. And why would she want to participate in the Miss India contest, considering her solid academic base? Pat comes the reply: “I will be able to tap into a larger audience as Miss India. People need one message to resonate with them.”

Opening Doorz to Anusuiya Sarmah, winner of the September batch at Cocoaberry.

Anusuiya Sarmah on Opening Doorz
“What I’ve learned from debating has given me a healthier mindset to approach the fashion and beauty industry,” says Anusuiya Sarmah.

You have such an impressive academic background, why would you want to come into the glamour world?

I don’t believe that one must choose to be loyal either to their academic passions and leanings or to their passion for the beauty and fashion industry. I think what I have learned from studying political science and all that I’ve learned from debating have given me a healthier mindset to approach the fashion and beauty industry with. Given that the fashion and beauty industry has a huge role to play in our lives–through images of beauty and the precedents it sets for young girls and boys—I couldn’t be happier to embrace this world at a time when body positivity and celebration of differences of all sorts, are thriving. I want to be both, a part of this hopeful change as well as be a mascot to continue this change in the right direction.

How did you learn about Cocoaberry, Talent and Academy?

I’ve known of Alesia and Anjali Ma’am for a few years now. Right when I graduated from Lady Shri Ram College for Women last June, I stumbled across Cocoaberry’s Instagram page where I got an in-depth knowledge of what they do. Before I knew it, I was on call with Alesia Ma’am and that call may have changed my life! She’s such an inspiring woman. Her fearlessness rubbed onto me in that one conversation and I decided to take the leap into this industry.

Why travel all the way to Mumbai for a grooming course. I’m sure Delhi also has something on these lines?

That’s a fair question and one that my parents had too. However, for me, I was pretty sure that Bombay, and specifically Cocoaberry, was where I wanted to be. When it comes to modelling and pageantry training, there are no names better than Alesia and Anjali in the industry. Moreover, as soon as I was in contact with them, I began to notice how they achieved the perfect balance of professionalism and comfort and care in the Academy. Not only are they extremely reputed in the industry but they are kind, patient and fierce women and I knew I wanted to start this journey under their wings!

What does winning the title at this batch mean to you?

Being the September Batch winner means so much to me! The 12 days I spent with them have taught me so much. I’ve learnt about the art of modelling, the industry, and most importantly, a lot about myself. This Title is special also because all that I had worked for and trained for while I was at the Academy bore fruit. I now have a crown of my own to motivate and inspire me to do better and be better!

Anusuiya Sarmah on Opening Doorz
Anusuiya Sarmah (centre) with Alesia Raut and Anjali Raut (right).

How was your experience here?

It was wonderful! The ramp walk sessions, portfolio preparations, personality sessions, run-throughs in different garments, acting and dancing sessions, sessions with stylists and makeup artists and the inspiring conversations with Miss India winners and supermodels, were an experience. To be away from home and make the first step of my big leap seemed really daunting at first. But everything about Mumbai just seemed familiar and safe from the word go. The days I spent at the Academy was challenging, yet comfortable because everyone was so supportive.

What are you taking into the future from here?

Learning the basics and having a solid foundation are extremely important in any field of work. So the first steps of my ramp walk training will always be special. But more than that, every experience, conversation and relationship I have had here, I will take with me into the future.

How was it interacting with the other girls?

I was extremely lucky to be surrounded by girls who were supportive, talented and full of life! I think it’s safe to say all of us walked in strangers but by graduation day we were all friends more than competitors. Every girl taught me something different—those who worked day and night on themself, taught me perseverance, those who never gave in to frustrations of the day, taught me the value of patience, those who were calm and kind to all, taught me the importance of a positive attitude and I could go on and on. Overall, the most important thing I learned was that each of us is different and it is the difference that made us unique.

When you walked in here, how was your body language? Was there any change that Alesia and her team veered you towards?

I walked in with only a dream and not much of a plan on how to tackle it. When you don’t know the basics of something, confidence and control seem like distant goals. So when I walked into Cocoaberry, I was confused, dazed and unsure. But along with all of those things I was hopeful and eager to learn. It was only once our training began that I understood the basics. I built what Alesia Ma’am calls ‘muscle memory’ with every class and every hour. Only then does your personality start to come out in your walks and only then do you understand how to communicate your personality to others.

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