Puja Karki on becoming a model: “It feels like reviving a fading childhood dream”

NL Today

  • Read Time 3 min.

Kathmandu: With only a few hours left to fill up an application for a modeling contest, Puja Karki scrambled to apply. Karki, who came to know about ‘Model Hunt Nepal’ at the eleventh hour, managed to fill up the application before the deadline expired. This is how the modeling journey of Karki, one of the top ten contestants of ‘Model Hunt Nepal 2021’, started a few months ago.

Growing up, Karki was always fascinated by the thought of wearing fancy clothes, and a dream of becoming a successful model made her watch movies and fashion shows. “I always wanted to become a model or an actress. I used to watch a lot of Bollywood movies, and used to dream of achieving stardom,” Karki said.

But she could not step into modeling after graduating from high school. “Even though facing camera and becoming a successful model or actress was my childhood dream, I could not make it at an early stage. I rather opted for foreign studies,” Karki recalled.

After graduating from high school, Karki came to Kathmandu—not with the hope of becoming a model, but to learn the Japanese language to study in Japan. “I went to Japan to study to secure a good future,” Karki told Nepal Live Today.

After flying to Japan, Karki relinquished her childhood dream of walking the ramp. With all the focus on graduating with good grades and starting a decent career in Japan, Karki managed to achieve both.

“Life was going good in Japan, but I wanted to return to Nepal as it was tough for me to continue studies and work side by side,” shared Karki. She then returned to Nepal after spending almost five precious years of her life in Japan.

“I did not come back to Nepal to enter the modeling sector. I thought I was already old enough for it,” she shared.

After returning to Nepal, Karki started working at an educational consultancy in Putalisadak. “I got a job at the consultancy as I was fluent in Japanese. One fine day, I went to Jhapa but was forced to stay there for a year owing lockdowns and the pandemic,” she said. After the first wave of the pandemic, Karki returned to Kathmandu. One day, suddenly, Karki got to know about the Model Hunt Nepal. “I remember it was the last day of the application submission. I applied for the contest late evening. I was the last contestant to submit the form,” Karki said.

The next day, Karki was called for an audition and was asked some questions before being selected for the contest. “I was delighted to know that I was selected. It felt like achieving my childhood dream, which I had almost given up,” said Karki, remembering the day she regained her confidence to make a career in modeling. 

“After being selected, I got confidence that I rise to stardom in modeling. I was confident that I would fulfill my childhood dream of becoming a successful model. I revived my childhood dream,” said Karki, who participated in the event with 32 other aspiring models.

Just getting an entry into the program was not all Karki wanted. “There were a lot of trained participants. It was tough, but I gave my 100 percent. I learned a lot from the show,” said Karki. 

Although Karki went for foreign studies, she came back to Nepal and fulfilled her childhood dream.  

With her hard work and dedication, Karki got into the top 10 round of the show. In the final round, Karki was also voted as “Most Popular Participant” of the event by audiences. “After getting the highest number of votes from audiences, I believed that I could be a good model. Even though I was eliminated from the top 10 round, I have no regrets,” she said.

After the show, Karki has already got a few projects. “I have got a few projects, but the Covid-19 pandemic has postponed shootings. I have got an opportunity to work with some big names,” said Karki.

During the lockdown, Karki is keeping herself busy by helping her mother in the kitchen, and by doing other household work. “Apart from doing household work, I am active on social media. This is how I am spending my time during the lockdown,” she said.