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2019’s Mrs Delhi NCR runner-up runner up gives an insider’s look at the behind the scenes activity, letting us see that there is more to it than just body measurements.
“I have a dream…”, these historic words of Martin Luther King Jr will capture all the hearts, that dream of making, the impossible possible. Life has its own way of hinting and pushing you towards the goal, God has created for you.
My first rendezvous with the pageant world was when Miss Universe Sushmita Sen became the first Indian to bring an international crown home in 1994. I was very young, yet her winning helped many millennial women like me to dare to cherish this dream. For the first time, I felt, “I too can!” Her journey was inspiring, her courage was path-breaking, and her story, heartwarming to all the women who always felt that a crown was for the ‘out of the ordinary’!
Like many women who let their dream die to harmonize with the world and begin to believe in the bare reality the world introduces them to, I began to believe that the pageant love was a short-lived allure that had to perish. I let my dream fade away in the clouds of procrastination, the ‘excuse syndrome’ and a lowering self-perception. Little did I know that my halted dream needed a ‘massive action’. I would have to look beyond my comfort, push myself to more, stay hungry and stay foolish.
So here I was, living my life just like most of the people do. I was busy complaining over little things that wouldn’t matter, comfortable in my routine, running a race without knowing what really matters, no goal nor ambition to pursue one.
Life was beautiful in the mist of darkness till ‘the day’ arrived. As Mark Twain says, the two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. I still have not figured out ‘the why’, yet I now know that I am born to make a difference, like a small droplet in the ocean who knows that it’s millions of her who make the ocean and is proud in leaving self behind to live as the Ocean.
Life cannot be all well, yet when it is, do not hesitate to thank God with open arms and bow to Him for those moments that make you smile, smallest as they may seem.
All was not well in my career, and life was moving to a new circle when I had all the time to explore the unexplored. I had been complaining of not having enough time for myself during my work days, yet now, time was in abundance. This was the hour to bring back the pageant woman in me that did not perish with my happy go lucky lif-itude.
In the midst of a dilemma, fear, and fog, l usually lose the independent, self-reliant woman that I seemingly am, and turn into a child seeking help from my soul mate, Nishant. It’s not easy to admire a man who you are sharing your life with, yet it’s his vision that has helped me grow to who I am. He encouraged me to give a Pageant, a try.
I finally got over the sinking feeling that ‘I am not ready’ and was working on something I had always only dreamt of. Hence even before I could cry over my probable job-loss, I was already filling the registration form for my pageant!
My pageant dream gave wings to the thought that I could influence others and had to give back to the platform more than I receive.
The most difficult part was choosing the cause I would be working for, for the rest of my life. I realized this had to be close to my heart as I would be working unvaryingly towards this. I decided to work for a voluntary group supporting new moms and dads and creating awareness of postpartum depression, to steer my transition from sympathy to empathy.
I decided to search online for a pageant aligning with my goals. Soon my Facebook account was flooded with all the upcoming pageant registrations.
I decided to shortlist mine after a few searches of past title holders, pageant women, and their achievements.
I chose MrsDelhiNCR, first! There was no reason, in particular, to choose this platform first. I decided to call the organizers and enquire about a few things I wasn’t sure about. Yet it was this call, that changed my life. Little did I know I was speaking to the pageant director himself. All my queries were resolved, doubts cleared and everything was put on a platter leaving the final decision for me. I did not expect this, I thought I would be requested to be a part of the pageant as was aware further participation would cost a fee. Yet what happened was the opposite. This motivated me more!
Little did I know that the coming days were going to be a barrage of tasks waiting to be accomplished.
The audition was the day that tested my creative and nonlogical brain to its capacity! I had to do my hair again as my curls loosened up and even changed my attire to a dress to beat the competition heat. I realized that auditions are meant to sift through the people with a purpose and the ones without! I cleared my auditions as had answered fairly well.
The prime focus of my pageant preparation was weight loss and ‘Q and A’ (question and answer). The leap from finalist to top 10 was all in the details. If I managed to crack this, I would nail it!
I started working out, after a gap of 3 years. I realized I had to lose my ‘mommy fat’, something many women take a lifetime to lose or never do at all until a disease is knocking at their door asking them to do so. Well I, managed to lose 3 kgs in this journey as a healthy weight loss requires time. Toning was the focus again. By the end, I had lost my waist inches yet I realized more could be done.
On these three days I saw women from different walks of life come under one roof for one purpose. We were trained in financial planning, makeup, skincare, diet and image management. The best part was the pageant walk, a learning that will make me proud whatever my career hence will be.
These three days will remain the best part of my life for years to come. My pageant directors were the most inspiring people I met, who went out of their way to ensure our experience was seamless.Your pageant directors are the torch bearers who mentor, guide, inspire and share. Take as much as you can from them.
My fellow contestants! These were women who were known in their own circles, yet came here with their own individual goals.
The pageant may have been a first of a kind arena for many of us, yet they were experts in their pursuits. They were all performers in their own ways, some fighting their fears, some beating their own limitations, some pushing their thresholds.
I guess that is what a Pageant is all about. It helps you break free! The fact that they had so much more to them came out during conversations, discussion and even disagreements. They all knew so much!
These were the trainers who were pageant women at one time in their careers. They watched us behave, they helped us grow, shared their thoughts, warned us for the unseen, listened to us, and motivated us all through the pageant journey.
It’s not just walking the ramp for the family, it’s for yourself too.
The pressure is intense; that to perform is even more. Yet we had learnt to let go of fear, as the love for the walk was more than the fear of the unknown. Yes, they say, your worst and best behaviour is out in peer pressure.
This happened on the big day too, but all’s well that end’s well. I secured first runner up for the pageant. There were no tears but all smiles!
Crowning is just the beginning. They say with great power comes the great responsibility. It’s my year, and the only dream I have is to leave a legacy behind for all my future Mrs Delhi NCR winners to meet and exceed.
This year’s s crucial. I wish to leave no stone unturned for the platform I chose and represent. I’ll be working on spreading awareness on Breast Cancer and Postpartum depression. Come along as I take my baby steps to fight the stumbling blocks that topple our strength and shake our beliefs. Let’s fight together.
After all, I proudly call myself, A pageant woman! A woman who is ready to look beyond and is comfortable in what she is. She needs to look beyond her limitations, her fears, her family. Yes ‘Family’! She needs to be comfortable with herself. She’s ready to break the glass ceiling!
‘Thank yous’ complete your gratitude. A big thank you to my pageant directors Mrs Barkha Nangia (The iron lady) and Mr. Abhishek Nangia (The man behind the show).
So, here I am, Your Mrs. Delhi NCR first runner up, leaving you with a hope, a dream that “You too can!”.
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