From cancer survivor to Mrs India Worldwide finalist: how Tanisha Roy dared to dream and beat the odds

By Rekha Balakrishnan|25th Sep 2019
Tanisha Roy is a Bengaluru-based model and cancer survivor. She is one of 172 participants, chosen from 30,000 participants in 20 countries, at the Mrs India World beauty pageant to be held in Greece next month.
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Tanisha Roy is all set to participate in the finals of the Mrs India Worldwide beauty pageant in Greece next month. The model may come across as a woman with stars in her eyes, and the confidence to go places, but her journey has been one of utmost struggle.


Tanisha Roy

In 2018, Tanisha underwent surgery for Pleomorphic Adenoma, a salivary gland tumour, because there were no medication options to remove it.


“The surgery was a macro-surgery. I was cut open from the lobe of my left ear and down my neck; if the surgery had gone wrong, I would have been paralysed with my facial nerves twisted. The results were shocking. I was diagnosed with cancer in one of the strains in the biopsy results. My tumour has turned malignant. I was still thankful that I had been diagnosed in the early stages, which are quite rare in this disease. I took appropriate treatments to arrest the growth,” she shares.

Slipping into depression

Tanisha also put on a lot of weight after surgery. Body-shamed by her friends and neighbours, she slipped into depression.


“Finally after my six months of bed rest, I said to myself – enough is enough, I woke up as if from a deep sleep and realised that I have the power to create my own reality,” she says.


Tanisha started hitting the gym despite it being difficult for her physically. She says she understood the importance of self-love and self-care.


“I nourished my body with good thoughts and nutritious food, and cut off all things that were toxic for me. Be it food, drinks, or even harmful relationships (pseudo friends, relatives who were draining energy from me instead of healing me),” Tanisha says.

A self-confident resurgence

Tanisha Roy

Tanisha’s efforts paid off; she lost 25 kg in the process and regained her self-confidence.


In February this year, she got a call to register and audition for the Haute Monde Mrs India Worldwide 2019 beauty pageant, Season 9, in Bengaluru. She was chosen in a strict competition of 30,000 participants from 20 countries, and is now among the 175 contestants who will represent India in the grand finale in Greece next month.


Tanisha is preparing with gusto and enthusiasm for the finals. She says, “From mock interviews to paperwork studying, effective communication, and training with the best beauty pageant trainers in the industry, it’s crucial to know your stuff. I have a strict exercise regimen and diet plan. My personal trainer, dietician and nutritionist have all helped me. I am also going dress shopping with my friends, and bargain hunting with my mum. It’s all a blast!”


She believes integrity, compassion, and positivity will see her through.


“Everyone is preparing for the best. The thing to always remember is that I am in competition with myself and no one else. It keeps stress away and makes me work on my shortfalls. I become a better version of myself every day.”

Thinking out of the box

Tanisha Roy


Born and raised in Kharagpur, West Bengal, Tanisha moved to Bengaluru after Class 12 to continue her studies. She has a master’s degree in biotechnology and has worked in the corporate sector for more than 10 years, starting with Kingfisher Airlines as a Guest Relation Executive and moving up the ladder slowly to a Manager of Corporate Communication and finishing with General Electric, where she handled corporate events. 


She is currently on a sabbatical to follow her deepest dreams and passions.


“I am also a solo traveller, and strongly believe that jobs fill our pockets but adventure fills our souls. I have travelled to 22 countries, including Dubai, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Mauritius, the US, and others in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. This has also taught me to come out of my comfort zone where actual growth and success occurs,” she adds.


After Tanisha’s father passed away in 2012, she has been supported in every endeavour by her mum and her husband.


As for the future, Tanisha says she is not afraid to step out of her comfort zone. “I want to be a powerful motivator, life coach, TEDx speaker, and reach out to millions of people and help them start living out of the box,” she says.


She says she exemplifies the dictum, ‘you never know how strong you are, unless being strong is the only option you have got’.


“Count your blessings, stop complaining, and turn your weakest points to your strengths. Change starts with you. Believe you can and you will. Quit thinking of what others will think or log kya kahenge, rather listen to your heart and only yours. There will be haters who will want to pull you down in every step but as I say jealousy is earned, sympathy is free. The higher you go, be prepared to step out of the box, and live your own life,” Tanisha says. 



(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)


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