Life is a catwalk: Simimol Raijo, IT Teacher/Model
Not many know that the woman who appears in advertisements of Costa Coffee and the Confident Group is actually an IT teacher in a school whose advent into modelling was quite serendipitous.
Around 10 years ago Simi signed up for a show on a Malayalam TV channel where a celebrity chef would come home to cook for a family. Impressed by her ability before the arc lights, the producer asked her if she would be keen to anchor a gig.
"I said yes, and soon landed a contract to model for a money exchange centre," recalls Simi, who works for an international school in Dubai. It did not take long for more offers to come her way.
To date, she has completed 40 modelling assignments, including for a few jewellery brands, for Kerala Goverment, hypermarkets and numerous boutiques. She has also walked the ramp for designers and anchored for events and television and been invited as a speaker for the World Education Summit and Bett MEA.
"I am a trained classical dancer and I thought I would be pursuing that as a hobby. Modelling is something I got into with the encouragement of my husband Raijo. Sometimes it is a bit overwhelming as I never expected such enormous opportunities to come my way," says Simi, clearly thrilled.
The mother of two daughters Ashika, 12, and Aiden, 8 – "they are my biggest fans and critics" – Simi says she ensures there is a clear boundary between her two jobs. "I maintain a strict demeanour while teaching as I’m committed to my responsibility and do not want to distract students from their studies. So I do not talk about my modelling or anchoring activities with my students," she says. Still, a lot of colleagues and students come up to her to say she is an inspiration to them. "It gives me goosebumps every time I hear that. I believe being an inspiration to someone is really special, it awakens new possibilities by allowing us to transcend beyond our ordinary experiences and limitations."
Simi claims there is no easy way to balance work, modelling assignments and a healthy family life. "You need a lot of support from the family and have to prioritise your tasks by taking it one step at a time without burning yourself out," she says,
Her upcoming advertisements include Dubai Tourism and Careem. "I am just enjoying what I do and living the day. I want to give justice to whatever task I take up by giving it my 100 per cent," she says.
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