WOW | Coverstory

PRIYANKA KARKI – A heady mix of beauty & courage

Priyanka Karki oozes glamour in the Ruslan Swimsuit Annual Calendar 2076, a first hi-fashion trade calendar for Nepal. The calendar is a delightful cocktail of sophistication and boldness that showcases Priyanka like never before. Known to push boundaries with her commitment to her craft, Priyanka has delivered like a pro and the vivid charisma has been captured cleverly by the lens of the talented photographer, Sanjog Rai, shot on location at the beautiful Tiger Palace Resort in Bhairawa.

Ruslan has been known to create new benchmarks in the industry with a focus on innovation and creativity. The Brand Ambassador – in conversation with WOW-  talks about her career path and association with Ruslan.

As one of the most successful faces of Nepali cinema, when you look back, what has this journey been made of ?

It’s been a beautiful journey but it’s not always been a bed of roses. No matter whichever field you are in, in order to be successful, you need to work hard and make sacrifices. I feel if you are ambitious enough you will never get where you want to get because you always want to go a step higher. And in this process, you need to have tremendous patience and tolerance. If you are working in the creative field, where it’s not just a 9 to 5 job, you need to be prepared to work without sleep, without food and in the most difficult places where there are no proper hotels or even safe drinking water. For outsiders an actor’s journey might look like it’s filled with glitz, glamour and a life of riches. However, in reality, they are giving up on so many things including their personal space. But when you receive the affection and admiration from the public, you realise every sacrifice was worth it!

Has there ever been a time when you thought of giving up?

There has never been a time when I have thought I could not overcome any challenge, but there have been very difficult situations while shooting. For instance, while shooting for Mala in 2015, I had to submerge into the water wearing nothing but a red saree in the middle of December in Nagarkot. It was freezing and I had hyperthermia which made me unconscious for hours. There were no hospitals close by and the crew members had to carry me to the nearest health post. Some people even started crying because they thought I had passed away. 

I have encountered many such near-death incidents.

How do you view your association with Ruslan as its Brand Ambassador?

Ruslan has always been making innovative statements by introducing fresh marketing and branding ideas, and I love that. It is my second year working with Ruslan. The first year I did only a couple of photo shoots and videos. This year I have been engaged on a deeper level. I am working very closely with the brand team and taking part in their events. Now, I am venturing into the third year and we are coming up with interesting lineups of advertisement and CSR activities. We are addressing ‘responsible drinking’. We are also looking to collaborate with out-of-the-box ideas.

I think to be the brand ambassador of any product it’s important to be comfortable with the team and I love working with the people here. They are all in the same mental page as me, not afraid to try out something new every time.

The swimsuit calendar is first of its kind in Nepal, your thoughts…

I am very glad that Ruslan decided to do this because it’s was about time that we pushed the glamour factor in our fashion industry. We have always admired and appreciated high-end fashion photography of international calendars and I think it was about time that something like that happened here. I feel that Ruslan has taken the step to do so in Nepal. I am glad to be a part of this change. One can anticipate bold yet very classy pictures. It’s been presented with an artistic approach. I think this calendar will bring about change in perspective and perception. When it comes to swimwear shoots, there is always a thin line between vulgarity and glamour, we have taken the latter route. 

What are your views on celebrating diverse body shapes? 

You should be able to embrace and celebrate your body no matter what size or shape you are. There is a preconceived notion worldwide that you have to be thin in order to look good. This has been drilled into everyone’s head to such an extreme that even if we gain a little bit of weight we start becoming over -conscious. I think rather than being skinny; one needs to be fit and healthy. We all have different builds, so we should flaunt our body shape as we are all unique. You need to love yourself first! 

If I were a cocktail...
I would be a Long Island Iced Tea as I am a little bit of everything and not everyone can handle me easily. Also, it’s the only drink that can actually knock me down. 

How do you stay in shape?

I think I am lucky that the shape stays in me and does not want to let go (laughs). I have a very busy schedule so I don’t even go to the gym regularly but try and make it a point to visit at least twice a week. Honestly, I am so busy running around that automatically my metabolism is high. Also, I dance a lot, so it does help to maintain my shape. 

What kind of roles do you want to experiment with in the future?

I really want to do an intense love story which I have not done till now. Also, I would love to do psychological thrillers and suspense movies as it’s something I love watching. 

Saurav Karanjeet
Senior Brand Manager, Clear Spirits, Jawlakhel Group of Industries

Ruslan Swimsuit calendar is our cocktail of fun, boldness and elegance that we are serving to our consumers and trade partners. We wanted to cater refreshment to our consumers; something that is contemporary, stylish, bold and aesthetically pleasing.  We also wanted to elevate the fashion standards at par with the global market, creating a benchmark for the fashion industry. Priyanka Karki has been a great ambassador for Ruslan Vodka. Her vivacity, confidence and welcoming personality resonate with our brand Ruslan. Just like us, she is always ready to push the boundaries and raise the bar.

In the love seat 

Most romantic thing Ayushman has done for you?

I don’t think there are enough pages in the magazine to cover this as every moment spent with him has been nothing short of romance. 

First date with Ayushman… 

We haven’t gone on a first date, but the first time we became official was when Ayushman was walking in a fashion show at Karma Lounge, he was the showstopper. I would never attend fashion shows but somehow I had time for this one so I am sure a lot of speculations were made. After the show, we went to Club Déjà vu, where we shared our first kiss and hence, things were official.

What do you love about Ayushman? 

I love how calmly he handles every situation.

Your first fight…

Our first fight was over food. My dad’s friend invited us for dinner, and Ayushman had eaten Maggie before we went to dinner. He was full but I insisted him to eat something there as it would look rude. But he was firm that he did not want to eat. 

Who usually makes up after a fight?

We both do, we can’t stay mad at each other for too long. 

What do you think will be the biggest change for you after your wedding?

The biggest change it’s probably going to be adding Joshi to my surname. 

Priyanka’s Favourites 

Colour: White 

Designer: Siwangi

Makeup artist: Lemi Tamang and Shradha Makey 

Makeup: Clinique, Nars, Makeup Forever, Fendi and many more

Actor: Meryl Streep

Shopping destination: America

Restaurant: PF Chang’s

Food: Maggie with eggs and cheese

Person: My brother Pranit Karki 

Movie: Pretty Woman

City: Although I haven’t been there, I can already predict Paris being my favourite city. 

Animal: Dogs 

Sports: Swimming and basketball 

Superhero: My dad 

Book: The Catcher in the Rye 

Exercise: Dance

Past time: Ludo, irritating Ayushman because it’s fun, and playing with my dog Snowy. 

Perfume: Chance by Chanel