Sisterhood of Support
Asmi Shrestha, the winner of Miss Nepal 2016 and her elder sister Oshin discuss the dynamics of their relationship, how Asmi manages to juggle so many grand endeavors, and the role Oshin played in shaping Asmi into the person she is today.
"She just told you that I’m focused and determined but it is she who helps me to stay that way. I love that about her. She is the one who always points me towards the right direction.” --Asmi on her sister Oshin.
A best friend might be a gift in life but having a sister is having an unmatched bond for life. Bound by family and intertwined by fate, even when the world feels like it’s crumbling all around you, your sister is usually there for you to fall back on.
But what if your sister just
so happens to be a Miss Nepal? Do the rules still apply? We sat down with Asmi Shrestha, the winner of Miss Nepal 2016 and her elder sister Oshin to discuss, among other things, the dynamics of their relationship, how Asmi manages to juggle so many grand endeavors, and the role Oshin played in shaping Asmi into the person she is today.
One can perhaps find only a handful of people in Nepal who don’t know who Asmi is. She started out as a model and then went on to win the title of Miss Nepal in 2016 at the age of just 23. The pageant winner has since been staying very active, promoting a number of big brands and pushing various social causes while still tackling a number of other projects.
Q. What are you involved in at the moment?
Asmi: I was a model before I became Miss Nepal in 2016. So I have always been involved in various fashion projects. Be it modeling for fashion brands or featuring in different magazines, I have always stayed active in modeling. I am also endorsing a few institutions and projects at the moment. I am associated with Lumbini Academy College as a Goodwill Ambassador. I am involved with its students and also mentor, council and train them. I also recently tied up with a restaurant chain called Bota as its Brand Ambassador. Besides that, I am involved in the Classroom and Beyond Project and a rally event by Vespa aimed towards helping children with HIV.
Oshin: Unlike my sister, I work a 9 to 5 job as a Counselor and Application Officer at Alpha Beta Institute in New Baneshwor. I counsel the students who want to apply to colleges abroad and guide their application process.
Q. Who is the older sibling?
Asmi: I hate it when people think that I am the older sibling among the two. Oshin is actually older than me by almost three years. I also have a younger brother who is seven years younger than me. So I am the middle child.
Q. What are the things the two of you have in common and what sets you apart?
(Both): We both use the same makeup and wardrobe!!
Asmi: Maybe because of the fact that both of us use the same makeup and clothes, people nowadays tell us that we look very similar. Oshin used to look a lot like Mamu and I used to look a lot like Baba. Obviously we are sisters but we used to look very different. When it comes to our differences, she is a very good dancer and I’m not (laughs). She is also very crazy, and I say that in a good way! She is hilarious around people and manages to liven up any situation. I, on the other hand, am quite reserved and tend to act the same everywhere.
Oshin: We also both love being around our family. Asmi is very quiet sometimes. Compared to me, she has always been quite reserved and humble. She also comes off as more sophisticated in the sense that she always has good posture and discipline. I tend to have a more laid back and casual attitude towards everything.
Q. What are the things that you like and don’t like about your sister?
Oshin: When it comes to the positives, Asmi is a really focused, determined and hard working person. She is also very smart. For instance, I might spend months preparing for an exam but end up not getting the scores I wanted. She, on the other hand, doesn’t study much but end up scoring excellent grades. The one thing that I dislike about her is that she is very mean sometimes. She sometimes tends to express herself without a filter, which ends up hurting my feelings.
Asmi: She just told you that I’m focused and determined, but it is she that helps me to stay that way. I love that about her. She is the one who always points me towards the right direction. Be it when it comes to picking my clothes or making an important business decision, I can always go up to her at any time and she will help me clear things out. Because I’m so busy nowadays, I can’t always return the favor, but she’s always there for me. She’s more like my best friend than my sister. Best friends that have always been together. When it comes to the thing that I dislike about her, most of the time, she does what she wants to do without a care in the world. Maybe it’s a good trait to have but I often find myself asking “Just Why!” around her.
Q. What is the funniest or the most memorable moment you have of each other?
Oshin: When we were kids, I was very naughty and used to influence her to participate in a lot of my shenanigans. This one time, we were playing in a stairway that was about a storey tall. I started jumping from the top stairway and because I was a little taller, I managed to land my jumps with ease. Then when I asked her to do the same, she got really scared and backed midair and got stuck -- hanging on the rails. To make sure that she doesn’t get hurt and our parents don’t find out, I had to make her stand on my shoulders so that I could push her back up. I giggle every time I remember the moment.
Asmi: When it comes to the most memorable memory, a week after my reigning year came to an end, I had to go to Bangkok for some work and Oshin decided that she wanted to join me. We spent a week having a lot of fun. And the fact that we got to experience this as grownups just made it that much better.
Q. Do you have special nicknames for each other?
Asmi: I call her “Moti.”
Oshin: Casually, I call her “Nani.”
Asmi: No, Go ahead! You can tell him. I won’t mind!!
Oshin: Okay! I call her “Haddi.”
Asmi: Every time we call each other by those names, Mamu gets really mad. She thinks that by calling her “Moti” and she calling me “Haddi,” I’ll get skinnier and she’ll get bigger. This one time, we even joked that we should swap our nicknames to counter the effects (laughs).
Q. Is there anything that
the one of you can do better than the other?
Oshin: I have always had a knack for cooking. I also like to think that I’m a good dancer. Asmi on the other hand is good in writing and giving speeches. Whenever I have to write something, I ask her to edit it.
Asmi: I’m good at being diplomatic. I’m good with “word selection” I suppose. I can sweeten conversations up, whereas Oshin tends to be very straightforward and direct. Since I am a middle child, I know how to talk to both ends of the spectrum.
Q. Who has a better sense of style among the two of you?
Oshin: Of course! She does.
Asmi: Yeah! But she adds the value to the clothes I wear. Yes, I’m more conscious when it comes to my wardrobe but she is the one who gives makeup more priority. So whenever I need to go to different events, she helps me with my makeup.
Oshin: We counterbalance each other. I help her with makeup, and she helps me with my wardrobe selection.
Q. Can you remember each other’s greatest achievements?
Asmi: Oshin is the first among us to complete a Master’s degree, which I feel is a greater achievement than it probably is because she seldom got good scores in college.
Oshin: Before the Miss Nepal pageant, Asmi won a contest called “Face of Classic Diamond” in 2014. I didn’t know much about it then and so I wasn’t very involved, but I was very happy. It was only when she started preparing for Miss Nepal that I got to witness just how hardworking and focused she really is. On some days she would return home happy and on some other days sad, demotivated and exhausted. Being the elder sister, I felt like I had some responsibilities and so I tried to help her in any way I could. If you were to watch the video, you can see just how nervous I was, and I started crying even before the official announcement was made.
Q. How often do the two of you fight and who initiates the makeup session?
(Both): Since we have always spent so much time with each other, we are bound to argue with each other a lot. We don’t argue as much these days because of the fact that we’re both so busy. But when we do argue, we quickly understand who is in the wrong and try to patch things up.
But we never hold grudges.
Q. How do you make time for each other?
Oshin: There is a limit for everything. Whenever we feel that Asmi is very busy, we ask her to make some time to spend with the family. I have a 9 to 5 job and am mostly home on Saturdays. Asmi also makes it a point to call me, even when she’s travelling to keep me updated with everything.
Asmi: This one time Oshin was spending a lot of time at work. Our Mamu insisted that she make some time for the family. Mamu starts panicking if we don’t spend time with each other.
Q. Do the two of you share any hobbies together?
(Both): We both love listening to music and watching famous TV serial Friends, which we can watch countless times. We also love to watch MTV SplitsVilla together.
Q. (To Oshin) Do you consider her to be a celebrity?
Oshin: Asmi is and will always be my sister before she is a Miss Nepal to me. We have only become closer since then. It’s only when we are out and people come up to her to talk to her and take pictures with her that I realize that she is actually
is a celebrity.
Q. Anything you want to add as a closing statement?
Asmi: Oshin played a very big role in me being Miss Nepal 2016. She has a big role in me being the person I am today. When I participated in Miss Nepal, our parents were away.
It is at times like these that you are the most vulnerable, and when you need someone to support you emotionally! This one time, I came back home after messing up a training session and started crying. Oshin, being the sister that she is, not only made me realize how I was responsible for the state I was in but also helped me see the silver lining and eventually helped me come out from it victorious. Simple acts like these really helped me get through some of my toughest times.