Insanely Handsome. Sportsperson. Model. A warm conversation with Jammu-bred, Delhi-based Sunny Kotwal — black belt in martial arts, national level cricketer and model — reveals that though he's incredibly good-looking, it's his vision, hard work and honesty that's worthy of hyperbole.
"I am a police and army kid. My father is in the Jammu and Kashmir police force and my elder brother is in the Indian army. Right from childhood, I was passionate about sports. I'm a black belt in martial arts and a good athlete. As a cricketer, I've represented my state at the nationals. My dad always wanted me to play cricket for India. And, I played for the country in the U-16 world cup in New Zealand. I've also played in Ranji Trophy. In 2016. I was among the top 32 in the U-19 team. And I worked hard. But, sadly, I was not among the top sixteen. I succumbed to depression at that point in life and didn't play for a year. In fact, I never played the same again after that… I reset and rebooted and that's what worked. Today I'm a Zumba instructor and Reebok cross fit trainer. My name is registered in Limca Book Of Records for doing Zumba for eight hours- fifteen minutes with my partner Kheroda Sharma. She has supported me a lot!!"
His self confidence and straightforwardness is admirable. But, where does modelling fit into this? "I was fond of pouring through magazines and began gravitating towards modeling. I studied advertisements and observed how models strike a pose. I loved getting photographed and uploading it on Facebook. I was hooked! Attending fashion shows strengthened my interest. Though there was no scope for modelling in Jammu and Kashmir, I participated in Top Model India… and I won! Right after winning the title, I represented India at Mr Culture World 2017 in San Juan, Philippines. There, I was first runners up. That inspired me to shift base to Delhi. It's the choices you make in life that determine your destiny and I made the right decision, I believe. I began attending auditions and initial failure didn't dishearten me; I worked hard on becoming a better model and slowly work began trickling in. Now, here I am! I just follow one mantra — work hard and choose wisely. I believe in quality work more than quantity. And, I always wanted to make it on my own so I never took financial help from family. Today I'm happy with the way my career is shaping up. I always learn something new with each project I undertake! Shooting for Sid Tytler's lookbook was a very good experience. The campaign shoot for Virtues with Lakshmi Rana was a learning curve. And the lookbook for Rohit Bal was stellar. On the ramp, walking for Lotus Makeup India Fashion Week was one of my best moments.''
And then he gets serious.''There is so much to learn, so much to achieve. From my own struggles and accomplishments, I would like to share advice with freshers — modelling is not as easy as it seems. You need to be fit and groomed. And it is imperative to have a back-up plan. I agree modeling provides livelihood to many but it can also be short lived. So, it's important to have a backup. I'm walking this talk: I have a degree i.e. Bachelor of Computer Application and am a certified fitness instructor. I successfully balance my modeling and fitness careers and am planning to open a chain of gymnasiums. In modeling, I have projects including a calendar shoot and lookbooks for a few designers!'' Yeah, he's on a roll!
Well, I wish the young man luck in living his dream. His humble demeanour, politeness and willingness to work towards achieving goals makes the world his oyster.
— JASMEEN DUGAL