There is a sense of deep joy that is palpable when Shiyas Kareem answers the phone. And why not? He spills the beans with excitement writ large in his voice, “I got a call day before yesterday asking me to head to Mumbai to enter the Big Boss House as a participant. Imagine, I will be meeting and talking to Mohanlal. I am so elated at the opportunity!”
It has been a good two months for Shiyas. Just last month the model was one of the top five finalists at the International Mr Grand Sea World 2018 competition held in Bulgaria and though he did not win the title, he managed to win two sub-titles — 'Mr.Photo Model 2018' & 'Popularity Model 2018'. He is the only contestant from India to have entered the competition and claims to be the only Malayali to have done so. For Shiyas, it is not only the happiness of being a part of the top five but also about being selected to represent his country that makes him stand tall.
The model sheds more light on the competition where there were many male models vying for the title from 25 countries. “It was a competition spread over seven days,” no mean feat there and he continues, “We were judged for our merit in sports, talent, fitness, personality, etc. I was selected in the top five along with contestants from Brazil, Sri Lanka, Bulgaria and Iraq. I was happy that I could win two sub-titles,” he says.
There were three rounds – The National Costume, Swimwear and the Formal Round. Interacting with the contestants was also an enriching experience for Shiyas as he says, “Some of them did not know English but translators were there. The biggest takeaway for me was that I could meet contestants from different countries and build contacts. I was there for seven days and another aspect that I enjoyed was the food – I could taste food from many countries too. The only difference was that the food was not spicy like Indian food. Another specialty of the country is its wine, which is known the world over.” He had time to travel a bit around the European country and terms the experience in one word — awesome.
A model who has graced many a runway walking for top designers in India and abroad, Perumbavoor-based Shiyas dreamt of becoming an actor but fate dictated that he start off as a model. Armed with a will to work hard, good looks and an enviable physique, Shiyas soon dominated the runway. His dream of turning an actor too found fulfillment albeit in small roles but he is looking forward to a plump role. Oh yes, it is the season of the World Cup and Shiyas is also a good football player who has shown his prowess in matches.