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From being a dusky eyed model in a Bengali magazine to the Gladrags Supermodel of the Year to an item bomb, it has been a long journey for Koena Mitra. Two years, innumerable ramp walks, ad campaigns, music videos and a couple of films later, Koena has made her mark in Bollywood.

And it has a lot to do with her steaming dance numbers in Road and Musafir.

"I always wanted to become an actress. I had planned the initial part of my career very well. I knew that if you win a beauty pageant, half of your job is done -- the media attention, the confidence, the platform… That's why I participated in the Gladrags Supermodel contest. I was fortunate to win it and get a one-year contract with Maureen Wadia," Koena explains. "And you cannot become a Bollywood star without staying in Mumbai. But it is not easy to suddenly pack your bags and relocate to Mumbai. The Gladrags crown helped me settle down in Mumbai."

Post the Gladrags contest, Koena appeared in music videos like Stereo Nation's Ishq and Jassi's Channo and commercials like Maruti Alto, ACP Whiskey and Clinic All Clear.

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Text: Srabanti Chakrabarti
Design: Uday Kuckian

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