Model Anjali Torvi has spent a good chunk of her life travelling—from India to China, all over Australia and beyond. This early exposure to a variety of different cultures growing up has resulted in her open minded and empathic nature.
“[Travelling] allowed me to understand people from different backgrounds and walks of life,” she explains, before delving into how else her upbringing helped to shape her worldview. “I am a first generation Indian Australian, my parents migrated to Australia in the mid 90s to start a new life, so they have had a very different childhood to the one I experienced. Listening to their hardships and wisdom alone and how they started a new journey in Australia was enough to make me realise that the world is more than what I individually experience of it. The main lessons I have learnt from my upbringing are: be curious, kind, grateful and never afraid of failure because that is what helps you grow.”
She currently lives with her family in Sydney, Australia, yet believes ‘home’ to be anyplace she can be her true self. If you were to visit her in India, she’d take you to all her favourite food stalls in her hometown, Dharwad in Karnataka (South India), and if the hang took place in Sydney, she’d take you to the nearby Blue Mountains, because the sights there are “just beautiful!”.
With self-development at its core, the best advice she’s received is to learn how to embrace failure, deal with rejection, and be grateful for what you have instead of always seeing what is missing. “When you know how to face failure, front on, you allow yourself to grow and learn,” she elaborates. “In this industry rejection is something that everybody goes through. I have gotten better at accepting, moving on and continuously improving in my work.”
Anjali doesn’t have a strict idea of what happiness should look like, taking a more realistic approach instead. “Happiness is fleeting, it isn’t a goal or idea that can be set in stone,” she explains. “I think it takes away from other emotions that encompass the human experience. I want to live a life where I am bettering myself and learning from my mistakes. Which encompasses the array of different things people experience, including: frustration, disappointment, joy, fear, anger, excitement and many more. All of which are normal emotions and feelings everyone goes through, including me, no matter the life I have pictured for myself.”
Anjali is grounded, kind and in constant pursuit of self-betterment. You can (and definitely should!) get to know her better below, where you’ll find out how she plans to make the most of her time on Earth, how she’s learning to make up her own mind on things, and why she surrounds herself with people who push her to be the best version of herself.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
How did you get into modelling? Can you tell us the story of how you came to be signed to your agency?
Modelling has always been a dream of mine. I was scouted online by my mother agency Something Production in London, from a YouTube video I posted talking about my UCAT exam experience! Soon after, I was placed with Priscilla's Models in Australia, Anti-Agency in London and DNA in New York. I am excited for what is to come in the year ahead.
What’s been the most rewarding part of your work?
One of the most rewarding aspects is being in a room with so many different creatives and learning from them. Everyday you are creating something new with a team, and it is exciting to be a part of the process. Before I modelled, I wasn’t aware of the work that went into each picture. Now, when I see an image, I appreciate the artistry that goes behind it.
And the most challenging?
I am very hard on myself, so one of the most challenging things has been to be kinder to myself and to remember that new opportunities will always present themselves. Even if I don’t see them right away.
Do you consider yourself a spiritual person?
I do consider myself to be a spiritual person. Culturally, it is a big part of my life.
What would happen if you had to give up social media for a week?
I can’t lie, giving up social media would be tricky, but a good social media break is always necessary to clear your mind and look at what is around you in real life. When I feel I need a bit of a social media detox, I usually delete the social media apps on my phone for a couple of days, and spend time with my family, focus on my education and work. Not having the apps on my phone definitely helps with getting those assignments done!
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It would be a traditional home cooked South Indian breakfast of Idli, sambar and chutney. I could eat it for all of my meals and never get sick of it.
What’s the coolest or most interesting thing you’ve learned recently?
I recently went to South Australia for the first time on a modelling assignment. I saw and learnt about the incredible land formations that had been there since the Ice Ages. It was fascinating to see how the world changes overtime. It made me think about climate change and what humans are currently doing to the planet.
How can we make the most of our time on Earth?
This is a difficult question that can be answered in so many ways. In regards to my career and education, one way is to be specific about the goals you want to reach, and roughly plan out the steps you need to undertake to get there. Not everything in life can be planned through a series of steps but it is a good place to start. Another is learning about who you are in terms of your morals and values, and being true to them, that is a learning process that takes a lifetime. Another is to never underestimate your potential. I always try to be honest with myself about my downsides and parts of myself I need to improve on. I am by no means perfect, but being in a state of consistent and continuous improvement sets me up for success. Understanding and applying these things in my everyday life helps me utilise my time and try to make the most of it while I am on this Earth.
Can you recall reading, watching or listening to something that completely changed your mind on something?
Lately, I have been reading a lot of Dystopian novels. The most recent was 1984 by George Orwell. I realised that instead of forming my own opinions about issues the world faces today, I was simply forming my ideas based on what everyone else told me to think and believe is true, which is very easy to get caught up in! After reading the book I became incredibly aware of the importance of individual thought and open-mindedness while in the pursuit of knowledge. Now when I hear and read information, I am not quick to believe it. Instead, I take my time to understand a given topic as much as I can, form my own ideas and not shy away from thinking for myself and having differing points of view.
If you could say something to your 16-year-old self, what would it be?
To stop comparing yourself to others and that high school is only a small and temporary part of your life!
What are you most looking forward to this year in 2021?
This year I am most looking forward to where modelling takes me. I am currently studying at University of Technology Sydney for a degree in Business and Information Systems, so I am excited to keep learning new things in that aspect of my life.
What books are you reading at the moment?
I am currently reading Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller and The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, both of which I am thoroughly enjoying.
So many to choose from! One song I have loved for a long time is ‘Something’s Gotta Hold On Me’ by Etta James.
There are so many movies out there that I love and they are constantly changing. However, I recently watched Million Dollar Baby starring Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman, and I absolutely loved it. There are so many lessons to be learned from it. It has themes of love, friendship and family among others. One of the main things I saw after watching the movie was that people you least expect to care about end up being the ones you care about the most. Stories that tackle these themes are usually ones I gravitate towards the most.
Are there any social or cultural shifts you hope will happen in the next 10 years?
The world as a whole has been through difficult times in the last couple of years. There have been many stands against injustice which is amazing and of course COVID-19 affected lives all over the world in unimaginable ways. I just hope that the world can move towards being kinder and more accepting of others. A place where everyone can lean on each other in difficult times, whilst feeling safe and protected in their homes and with the people they have around them.
Why do you think friendships are so important?
Friendships are important because they provide each other with support in our times of need. They give a sense of belonging and companionship throughout different stages of our lives. It is normal for friends to change, as you, yourself will change, too. However, at the end of the day you can learn from your experiences with every friend you have or have had and take something from it that you will carry with you forever.
What values do you look for in friends?
You are a product of the people who are closest to you, so I look for people who I can trust, are easy to talk to and get along with, and who are kind. I look for people who will help to bring out the best in me and vice versa. It is so important to have people around you that help keep you grounded.
Anjali is represented by Priscillas