Uneasy is the head that wears the crown. Meet these city girls who are fabulous at their age and have crossed all hurdles to follow their dreams and win coveted titles with their sheer grit and determination.
BY NAMITA GUPTA
The dazzling Simran Godhwani, renowned Kathak dancer, walked away with the crown at the Mrs Universe Pageant in Portugal, Miss Lady Star Universe -2018. She was recently crowned Mrs India – Empress of the Nation, 1st Runner up – 2018 by Mrs World, Dr Aditi Govitrikar.
The first step: My entry into modelling has been purely accidental. A very dear friend of mine who saw some dance pictures of mine first offered me to model for her chain of salons across India and that’s how it all started.
The turning point: I have been learning dance since I was 5 and have been pursuing Kathak professionally under my Gurus Shri Murari Sharan and Pt. Birju Maharaj for the past 15 years. And with both their blessings I have also been sharing this knowledge to students across the world through my institute Krshala Dance Theatre.
The challenges: My relationship with Kathak started with my love for Krishna, his stories that I relished as a young child and folk tales from his childhood and youth that were carved in the various temples. And I have been blessed to learn only from the best in this field Pandit Birju Maharaj & Shri Murari Sharan. I have had the opportunity to play various roles in dance ballets. To be able to execute each of these roles has been extremely challenging as it requires one to understand the depth of the character and be able to internalise, emote and then present it to the audience.
The journey: Being the better half to my man, Rakesh, who is my friend, strength and guide. Being a mother to two wonderful children, Kian and Aarohi. Finding my dance Gurus and opening my school Krshala. Winning various accolades for my dance and the most recent one winning first runner up in Mrs India and thereafter winning Mrs Lady Star Universe. By being able to take part in this pageant, I had the honour to represent my country and opportunity to meet people from all countries. I felt so proud as I held my flag high during this contest. And when I heard them announce “India” as the winner, for a moment I was like “Is this real? And when the crown was placed on my head, it was a validation of all the hard work that I had put in. I was crowned the Winner at the Mrs Universe Pageant, Miss Lady Star Universe -2018 at Hotel Quinta Dos Tres Pinheiros in Portugal. I also won the subtitles of Best Talent and Best Gown Dress in the event. Girls from 24 countries took part. Since this is a pageant for married women, in all the rounds the stress was not only on outward appearance and presentation but on a certain maturity and intelligence in the way we conducted ourselves.
How has life changed after winning the crown: Besides the prize money winners receive lots of gift hampers and become the Contest Ambassador for an entire year and travel to the host country for various events. I’m the Contest Ambassador for a year and will travel to different countries and do a lot of social work. I’m getting platforms to encourage and motivate women across the globe particularly the married ones to step away from their comfort zones and explore the little desires that they had been nurturing inside, that will leave them more positive and zestful. I’m getting some incredible opportunities to present my dance form at various avenues and print and TV ads.
Future plans: I plan to do my bit to preserve the integrity and purity of my dance form and spread the knowledge of the pure Lucknow Gharana to more seekers across the world. I will be announcing an event soon – something very unique for the Women of South!