If Kiara sounds incredibly affable, it’s because she is exacty that. I tell her so and she tilts her head back and beams. I ask if others see her as a generally pleasant person, too. “They kinda do see me like that... I think it comes from my mom and my grandma, because I’ve seen them like that. I’ve never told them this, though...
In fact, my mom is so super-chirpy that sometimes I get annoyed and ask her, ‘Oh God, why do you do this? You are irritating me!’ But now I realise I get it from her, and I’m sure when she reads this, she’s going to be like, ‘Finally, my daughter has admitted this!’ I remember, when I was in college, and my mother would drive me to class, on her way to work. And sometimes a friend from college would ride with us. And we just wanted to listen to music in the car and chill, you know? And my mom would be like, ‘Why aren’t you talking to each other?’ and she was constantly chirpy and excited! But now, I catch myself doing the same thing. And I think somewhere, that happy, positive attitude comes from her. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not, but I’m clearly turning into my mom!”
Kiara admits to being “a bit of an overthinker”, and it is her mother who often reminds her to “live in the moment”.
“I have been working on that. When I’m busy, I have less time to overthink. But if you leave me at home and I’m having a chill day, I will overthink everything, from the smallest to the biggest things. And my mom keeps telling me to stop thinking about what I will do tomorrow. She forces me to focus on what I have to do today, and do that well.”
While Kiara says she is closest to her mother, she also has a “very strong girl gang”. “We are a group of five best girlfriends, and we’ve been together ever since school. We attended the same college, too, and then everyone went off to do their own thing. We are incredibly close, and we know everything about each other...even each other’s period dates!” she exclaims. “I really do see myself as a girl’s girl, and I find it easy to get along with women and be super, super tight. I don’t get it when some women claim to be feminists or champions of girl-power, but are actually rather mean and judgemental of other women. I’ve always felt happier after complimenting another woman. It’s certainly made me much happier than after I’ve been a part of a gossip-y session. After a few minutes of that, I can’t help but think I’ve wasted my time.”
It is 11pm now, and the crew is ready for Kiara’s next shot. But before we get back to the camera, I ask our covergirl if she has any secret skills. She thinks for a moment, and then says, “I can make a flower out of my tongue.” I don’t believe that, so she offers to give us a demo. Kiara rolls her tongue, lifting the sides us, and contorts it into what looks like a rose. “See? I did it!” she exclaims, triumphantly. And it’s true, she most certainly did. I give Kiara a quick hug to say goodbye. “You were an absolute delight to work with,” I tell her, and I really, truly mean it.
THE COSMO QUIZ:
1) I totally believe in aliens. I am curious about that side of the universe...there has to be more to it than meets the eye.
2) The one dream that I keep having over and over is ‘and the Oscar goes to...’. I’m kidding, but I think all actors have that bathroom speech ready.
3) My first crush was this boy in school—a very, very good-looking boy back then.
4) The best love advice I have ever gotten is from the movies, of course! You know, if he makes you go weak in the knees and leaves you with that big smile on your face, and the world feels like it’s spinning...then you know you are in love!
5) The wildest thing I have ever done is go bare-back horse riding in the Caribbean. It was literally like swimming with the horses, and was the most exhilarating experience of my life!
Styling: Zunaili Malik; Photographs: Taras Taraporvala Hair: Hiral Bhatia; Make-Up: Lekha Gupta; Location Courtesy: Cottons & Satins, Mumbai; Production: Anomaly Productions; Photographer’s Agency: Inega Model Management; Fashion Assistants: Humaira Lakdawala and Saloni Kohli; Fashion Intern: Shivi Khosla.