Songashim Rungsung, a winner of the Rubaru Mr India contest and the latest name from the North East which has the modelling world abuzz.
Soft spoken, polite and very courteous, Songashim Rungsung can fool anyone as the ‘boy next door’. But switch on the arc lights, give him a ramp, and get the paparazzi and cameras flashing, Rungsung transforms into a super model, who will not look out of place in any European Fashion Week. He recently won the Mr United Continents title at the Rubaru Mr India contest. “I have always wanted to be a model. I have been actively modelling since 2018. I come from a very orthodox community in Manipur, where we only look forward to securing a government job. But I wanted to forge my own journey and show my talent. I am glad that I was able to do so,” shares the 25-year-old.
Born and brought up in Ukhrul, Manipur, Rungsung hails from the Tangkhul community. He moved to Bengaluru after his schooling and pursued higher studies in the cosmopolitan city. He participated in many extra-curricular activities in college that encouraged him to pursue modelling as a career choice. “In 2019 I had participated in Mega Mr North East, held in Guwahati. I was a finalist, but hadn’t won a title. I heard of Rubaru Mr India, and I applied for it digitally. There is a rigorous process, many rounds take place. There is talent round, a personality round, body and a fitness round. They don’t only judge us through one interview, but we are observed throughout the competition,” adds Rungsung, who holds a masters degree in Social Work from St Joseph’s College Bengaluru.
As he has now entered the professional modelling world, Rungsung has been on a path of discovery and learning. “I earlier used to think that modelling was only about being cool and it would be all very glamourous. But now I know that its constant hard work. You have to take care of your body, your skin and your health. You have to love yourself. We models have to be in front of the camera for about 8-9 hours everyday, and we need stamina for it. Modelling is not easy,” stresses Rungsung.
Rungung feels that this is the right time for North Eastern States to promote themselves and establish themselves in the field of modelling and even entertainment. “This world of modelling is very new to our community, I am the first one from my community to ever enter such a national level competition. I am happy that I am able to spread awareness in Manipur about it. People are very encouraging, as was the Chief Minister. I am seeing a lot more acceptance from the mainstream for North Eastern people,” he adds.
Having a degree in Social Work, and choosing to model, Rungsung wanted to break away from the image of a ‘kurta-clad’, jhola-carrying activist. “I think and I introspect. I don’t have to look a certain way, just because I want to change things. I can change things by modelling. I wish to be a role model to the younger generation from the NE states,” says Rungsung, who wishes to walk the ramp for Asa Kazingmei, a designer who also hails from Manipur. Rungsung also plans to make a foray into acting in the future.
First published on Ukhrul Times lifestyle magazine MAY 2021 issue. If you like the such story, MAY issue is available digitally for just Rs 80/- Go grab a copy.