Nikita Buragohain: Guwahati-born gorgeous Malleeka Bora is undoubtedly the pride of Assam, who represented the state and the entire North-East in the 2020-2021 Mrs. India World pageant and succeeded in becoming one of the finalists there. Apart from her mesmerizing beauty, she is a psychiatrist working towards bringing change in society and strives to provide her help in demolishing depression, anxiety, and various mental illnesses.
In a conversation with the model, the Hello Guwahati team came to know about her early experiences, her uplifting views on life, and the journey of her becoming a finalist in the Mrs. India World 2020-21 pageant.
First of all, heartiest congratulations and thank you for your time Malleeka!
Please tell us about yourself, and your constant motivator in life?
Well, thank you so much…Firstly, I would like to say that I really feel blessed and lucky to be born as an Assamese so, I love to introduce myself as an “Axomia” everywhere I go. Born and brought up in Guwahati, I have a small family that includes my mother & my younger brother.
I lost my father when I was in class X and after his death, my mother who is a retired school principal, single-handedly raised us. She filled in the shoes of both the mother and the father to sustain us and so, my mother is the strongest person that I’ve ever met in my life. In fact, she is the ultimate love of my life.
My younger brother is currently working as a software engineer in Germany and constantly supports me and believes that I can do anything and everything in my life.
And since 2017, I have been married to a wonderful person, who is also a doctor. At first, he is my friend more than my husband and also my pillar of strength. He always inspires me to do things my way and says, “Go ahead I’ll manage everything just do what you want to do.”
So, these three are the people who have been supporting me throughout my life.
Could you tell us about your education and work-life?
I did my schooling at Disney Land High School and HS in the science stream from Shrimanta Shankar Academy Pan Bazaar. Then, I completed my MBBS and MD in Dept. of Psychiatry in Assam Medical College & Hospital, Dibrugarh.
After completing my Post Graduation in Psychiatry, I did my senior residency at LGB Regional Institute of Mental Health, i.e. from Tezpur Mental Hospital, and currently, I am doing my private practice. Furthermore, I am associated with a few de-addiction NGOs & other psychiatric-related NGOs.
Currently, I am also working as a psychiatrist in the KGMT hospital in Guwahati itself.
To further add, I am working upon my own NGO –for the mentally retarded children and also for people suffering from different mental illnesses, where we provide them with a free consultation and also try to do as much as we can for them.
What made you gain interest in being a model?
Ever since I was a little girl, I used to watch the beauty pageant shows, when Aishwarya Rai, Sushmita Sen, and Aditi Govitrikar contested international pageants and also won titles for the nation. These women really inspired me and I realized that all these women were not just standing there for their beauty, but rather for something substantial and strong. Behind all the glitz & glamour, every single one of them had a purpose, they were beauties with a purpose, who were advocating some form of women empowerment and I think that is what really inspired me.
On the stage you are a representative of all the women in the world, you help them to gain their own voices and motivate them to gather the courage to do whatever they want to do. So, rather than a model, I strive to be a good role model for all.
What is your view regarding women following their dreams?
I believe women have always been multitaskers – she is a daughter, a mother, a wife, a sister and she can be working professionally as well. In fact, Reita Faria, the first Miss World from India in 1966, was also a doctor by profession. She is a great inspiration who proved to the world that even if you are involved in one profession, you can excel in others as well.
Prior to Mrs. India have you ever participated in any pageant?
No, this was my first ever beauty pageant, for which I was very skeptical in the beginning about what would happen. But I just went for it and did it.
How were you feeling during your first stage experience?
I wouldn’t lie, I was definitely nervous, as it was a national pageant, where the nation’s best married women were participating along with me. I felt like there are so many beautiful and skillful women out there, do I even stand a chance? This thought really made me anxious. But at the same time, I was thrilled for the upcoming journey as I knew I was learning something that I had never learned before. However, the one thing that I knew for sure was that I was doing something that I was greatly passionate about.
According to me, when you stand on the stage and someone asks you a question, it feels like life is throwing you opportunities that you need to grab. It was kind of an epiphany for me.
Your journey of being a Mrs. India finalist!
Although I was always keen on the world of fashion, glam and beauty, yet, I never really thought of landing in this field. In my PG days, I clearly remember that more than myself, it was my friends, seniors, and my professors who have vested more of a belief in me that I would do great in the field of modelling. And all these aspects subconsciously did hit me as time passed, and I too began to feel, maybe I should give it a shot!
So one day, while I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, a registration notice for Mrs. India just came up, and I was like, “Let’s, Register.” At that point of time, I didn’t give much thinking to it and simply applied. But shockingly two to three days later, I received a call from the team of Mrs. India pageant and I was told that they liked my profile and wanted me to participate in their virtual auditions.
During the first round of the virtual auditions, we were assigned some tasks and were also asked some questions. I did go through the first and second round successfully, and after crossing the second round, I was among the two contestants to be selected from the entire North-Eastern region, as the semi-finalists.
We were then provided with virtual sessions for a period of three months and were allotted with few tasks, like raising money for Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA), etc. After the successful completion of the tasks, I was selected as the finalist.
It was on January 17, 2021, in a 5-star Hotel called Deltin, in the gorgeous Daman, the finale was hosted. Prior to the finale, six days were spent on-ground training, where we were given ramp walking sessions by Alesia Raut. The sincerity and dedication during these days were mandatory because we were being constantly judged everyday. Our way of dressing, way of interaction, makeup, everything was being noticed and analyzed. Despite, such a tiring and hectic schedule, I continued to be enthusiastic and energetic, all-cause I was happy with what I was doing.
Also, throughout the journey of Mrs. India, our mentors really helped us to settle our inner fears and guided us to not just prepare our bodies and face, but also prepared our minds to be stronger than before. Some of the great names in the fashion industry, including Urmimala Boruah ( Mrs. India Galaxy Beyond Feminism 2019), Alesia Raut (Official ramp walk trainer of Miss India), Mickey Mehta (Celebrity Wellness Coach), were our mentors.
Bollywood actors Soha Ali Khan, Vivek Oberoi, and Caroline Jurie (Mrs. World 2020) were the final judges, and I was the only one selected as the finalist from the entire NE region.
Although I didn’t win the title of Mrs. India, I do believe that I gained a lot of experience and memories. But above all, I am confident that I won a lot of hearts.
What are your future plans regarding your modelling career?
Recently, I have been chosen as the finalist in “Mrs. India Universe.” I am among the two finalists chosen from the entire North-Eastern region, and this pageant is going to be held in August itself in Jaipur, the date is yet to be finalized. Also, if I happen to win the crown of Mrs. India Universe (with all your love, support, and blessings), I might be able to represent India with this platform in Seoul, South Korea. Apart from this, I have been endorsing a few brands, including the travel brand known as Feel North-East Eco-Tourism Pvt. Ltd.
Being a psychiatrist, your views regarding the ongoing crisis situation & your suggestions to maintain mental health?
Right now, the entire world is going through a very difficult and frightening period, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic taking a serious and severe toll on all our lives. Fear of uncertainty and of the unknown has cramped up in our minds. All the heart-wrenching events have resulted in the emergence of disorders, depression, and severe anxiety in people. In fact, most young people have now started abusing substances which really makes me sad!
I believe you can control some events and some you cannot. So, for better mental health, it’s always good to focus only on the things over which we have control.
Secondly, we can try to explore more about our interests and skills. So, that instead of channeling our emotions into something negative, we can use them to do something positive and fruitful.
Watch inspirational movies, spend time with family, with nature and always enjoy good company. If you take these measures, believe me, your depression will automatically start decreasing.
I am speaking about mental health issues in relation to Covid-19, because right now, as a psychiatrist, the patients that I happen to come across have developed these symptoms because of the virus.
What would your short message to your fans be?
From my experience, I would like to tell you all to simply follow your passion. Although there will be numerous people trying to persuade you to do otherwise, you must never stop chasing your dreams and following your passion. Always listen to what your inner voice tells you. These voices shall lead you to the epitome of success.
Before ending this conversation, we would like to thank you for all the lovely time you have spent with us and we wish you all the luck for the Mrs. India Universe pageant and for all your upcoming projects. Hope you rise and shine more and make India proud.