“Every moment of my life has made me, what I am today” – Peya Jannatul
Peya Jannatul, is a model, actress and a lawyer from Bangladesh. She is a beauty pageant title holder who was crowned Miss Bangladesh in 2007 and won the crown of Miss Indian Princess International in 2013, beating contestants from 19 countries. She completed her Law degree from University of London.
Q.You are a top model and actress in Bangladesh. How had been the journey so far. Can you tell in brief ?
I come from a small town called ‘Khulna’ in Bangladesh and to be honest, the whole journey was not easy at all, because, I come from a very conservative Muslim family. So, when I started modelling in the year 2007, my family was furious on why I entered into modelling and on top of that my father stopped sending money. It was hurting for me, and also, survival was a task, but the one thing I did was, never stopped my studies and completed my education. Right now, besides being a model, actress, entrepreneur, cricket presenter, I am also a lawyer and I am proud of that. So yes, no matter where you come from, if you have the right spirit and do hard work, a constant hard work then you are bound to get the success. I got this lesson from my life.
Q.You are a Lawyer and also practicing the same. What inspired you to enter in modelling industry? was it your passion/love towards it or sudden opportunities came along Your way.
Actually, I became lawyer two years back, but started modeling when at the age of 16 and it has been a long time I am into modeling.
If you ask me who inspired me then no one actually, I was passionate and very passionate. I used to like models, their walk and the way they doll up themselves, wearing clothes. You know this is like all girls’ dream, in their childhood. As, I came from a conservative family, I could not even dream of being a model, though, I always looked up to Fashion TV in my childhood.
But yes, right now if you ask me, Deepika Padukone, the way she took herself and definitely Priyanka Chopra, I find her very intellectual and at the same time she knows what she has to do, where to say yes and where to say no. And how to develop herself constantly.
Q.You won Miss Bangladesh title and later Miss Indian Princess International, and how did it feel?
When I won Miss Bangladesh-2007, which happened in 2008, I was rather shocked, as I came from a small town , and there were so many pretty girls from all over the country , specially from the capital city -Dhakha. When I became Miss Bangladesh at the end of the day, it was very overwhelming. Also, I knew that this is just the beginning of the journey as the work, the efforts, the hard time will increase.
Winning the Pageant, ‘Indian princes International’ in Mumbai in 2013, was also an amazing experience because there were so many contests from all over the world not and I had no one beside me – no agency, no family , no friend and I was sure that I cannot win it. But then, you should have a belief and positive vibe. Even if you don’t have belief or have positive vibes, you have to practice it yourself and make it a belief that yes, you are also capable of giving your best and get the best.
Priyanka Chopra, in one of her interviews said that that ‘Be ambitious! there is nothing wrong in being greedy for your own good and don’t feel guilty for it’. So, if you ask me the feelings overwhelmed! when people called my name in both the pageants, I can’t explain in words. I was overwhelmed!
Q.You are first cover girl of Vogue India from Bangladesh. How did it happen?
I am blessed! At that time, I had just passed my L.L.B. and was in to 3 months of working in a law firm. I got a call from Vogue India, regarding a shoot, initially, I thought it was for a normal shoot in India. Actually, I often do shoots for various designers and brands in India and assumed, this would be a similar kind of assignment. They called several times, collected required information. One day, at my workplace, when I was carrying some files to my senior, they called and told that I got selected and it was for the Vogue Cover and if I could make it to India. I was again shocked, because coming from a small country and even do not live in India, it is really tough to be selected like that.
Q.How has been the journey in India, so far. What all work You have done and doing in India?
It has always been good. I did quite a decent work in India- innumerable shows for various renowned designers including Neeta Lulla. Did ad campaigns for several brands. I was with a renowned modeling agency Mascot in Delhi. Also, did a music video with Mr. Rakesh Upadhyaya. It had been a wonderful journey till date and looking to explore further.
Q.Do You aspire to be in Bollywood? Who is your favourite actor and actress in Bollywood?
Working in Bollywood is like a dream. If, I get a good opportunity than why not?
My favorite male actors in Bollywood are Shahrukh Khan & Salman Khan and female actors are Deepika Padukone & Priyanka Chopra, not just because of their looks or their work but also because of how they are as a human being.
Q.It had been a long journey for you in the industry. Did you also have to struggle, or you got the smooth path?
Everyone has their own journey. I did not have a smooth path at all. I knew, I was not that pretty because when I started modeling, there were so many pretty models in the industry. And there was a time that all brands, all designers- they just looked for a pretty face. So, it was hard for me, but told myself- I have to overcome it and how can I work on it? I tried to look for small things, like- I was always on time, everywhere, and started taking care of myself personally, because at the end of the day, it is my job to take care of myself.
I am not moody, not snobbish, not arrogant but very much self-respected person from my childhood. I never took any shortcuts, I always took the white paths, although it was long but it helped me to get my career, to get success, to get a better version of myself, to explore my life.
If you ever ask me what I want in life? what i want to be- the best heroine/actress, best lawyer, the richest person? I would say – I want to be the happiest person in the world and ‘peace’ is the most important thing for me. First, self-respect, then peace and then happiness.
Q. Any incident which has moved you or made you a better person?
I think every moment of my life. I have struggled a lot and every moment of my life has made me, what I am today – Peya Jannatul. As told earlier, I never took shortcuts and as i was really helpless, so I always try to help people. But I think as a human, we should do something for the people, for the animals or for everyone who has life. If you have 2 rupees and if you can give at least 0.25 paise to someone needy, it is our responsibility to help people, to serve the needy, as we cannot be cruel, living in a human society. I believe humanity still exist, otherwise the whole world will ruin itself.
Yes! my every moment, I have cherished and tried to make myself and the better version of myself.
Q.How is Peya as a person? What is one thing which you would like to change in yourself?
As a person I am very straightforward. I do not think twice for what I want to say, which is a good thing and also bad thing, as I can express myself but, at the same time you should not always express yourself in front of the world. Also, I am very short tempered – I cannot take a lie, cannot take stupid things. It is my very bad habit and really want to change it. I have overcome it to some extent, though not fully, but I’m trying.
Q.Who is your inspiration? What inspires you?
All the women – who struggle a lot to survive, who are ambitious, who want a better life for themselves and their family inspires me. Because, when I remember my past, these incredible women inspired me to move forward.
Q.The world is facing tough time. Any message for readers on how to cope the uncertain scenarios?
I request the readers to stay at home. Though it has been tough, as it has been more than 2 months. But, to get a better world, we have to do this as there is no alternative way. If you have to go out, please use all the precautions otherwise, you may get infected and can infect your family.
Q.Can you tell about your journey as an entrepreneur?
As an entrepreneur, I have few businesses. Last year, I started my main business, which was a shared office, in a tower called FR Tower. You can recall that there was a huge fire in FR tower last year, so, before starting that one, it stopped. This year, I started a salon and when I started, after a week, the Corona happened.
I am a positive person, I am still thinking and believing that I can make a change. Let’s hope for the best and please keep me in your prayers! Thank You!