Miss Kerala 2019 Ansi Kabeer is thrilled to have won the title!
The winners of Miss Kerala 2019 strongly believe that hardwork and passion eventually pays off. Interestingly, all three title winners believe that it is journey that matters more than the destination. With each passing year, Miss Kerala pageant gets tougher with more number of applicants, multiple levels of screening and shortlisting protocols. Impresario Events zeroed in on twenty two participants this year who underwent a series of training and grooming sessions on how to handle various aspects of the competition! The winners revealed that contrary to popular perception, all 22 participants shared a strong bond with each other. They were there to support each other in times of need and they felt more like a gang of friends who were ready to the take on the world! RITZ is in conversation with Miss Kerala 2019 Ansi Kabeer.
Interview: Riya Sonny Datson
Ansi Kabeer was always a good student who preferred to be seated in the front row of her classroom. But one thing she dreaded the most was facing an audience. As she completed schooling and went on to attend college, something started to change within her and she started to participate in inter college competitions. She won the ‘Best Model’ Title at a college event which boosted her confidence and she felt the urge to try her hand at pageants. Before she joined work at Infosys, she had a six month gap during which time she participated in three pageants. Although she would be shortlisted till the last round, she would lose the title each time. But that didn’t stop her from trying again. With each pageant, she grew determined to keep trying until she won the title.
How tough was the Miss Kerala 2019 pageant?
I had just joined Infosys when I applied for the Miss Kerala pageant so it was difficult to juggle it all as I had to apply for leave at each stage of the competition. I hadn’t revealed to my team that I was participating for the pageant as I didn’t know how far I would head into the competition. The auditions were tough but I wanted to participate and win the title this time. The drive to win is what kept me going.
What kind of preparations did you undertake?
Since I had already participated in three pageants earlier, I had the experience and learning from every mistake I made previously. In terms of fitness, I had joined the football team at Infosys and we used to play until I had to take leave for the pageant.
How did you manage to stay positive amidst so much stress?
I was happy that I had received another opportunity to participate and I didn’t want to lose it. I must say that all the participants were just brilliant! Of course, when you are in a competition, the desire to win is always there but the confidence to keep trying is what keeps you going always. I feel if your passion is strong and honest, you will eventually win.
What was the most challenging part of the pageant?
The question and answer round. Whenever I had to face an audience, I have always felt that words failed me. Though I had much to say, I would always falter in the question answer round as I wouldn’t be able to articulate effectively. But this time, fortunately, I had overcome my fears to an extent as I had watched so many participants during my previous pageants. It was inspiring to see the presence of mind shown by the each of them while answering questions and I had picked up a few pointers from them.
What is your biggest Strength?
What is your biggest Learning?
My belief in life has always been that with strong passion and hardwork, you will eventually achieve your goal and my belief has come true!
What was the response from friends and family?
At office, only my project lead and closest friends knew about the pageant, I had not discussed it with anyone else. It was only when they read the Newspaper that they realised that I had won the title. They were all very surprised and excited. My parents are very happy that I won. I come from a conservative family background and girls in my community are usually married by the time they are twenty. If it were not for my mother, who urged me to chase my dreams, I would never have reached where I am today! Whenever I had to face negativity, she would always encourage me to keep going.
When it comes to pageants, there are a lot of aspects that may not be favourable to girls from conservative communities. How did you handle that?
I know where to draw a line when it comes to pageants. No amount of limelight or recognition can change my thoughts and beliefs. But what is amazing is that people in the industry are open to accepting you as you are. Like for example, when I mentioned to the stylist at the pageant about my reservations about dressing, they were quick to address my concerns and they made me feel absolutely comfortable.
What is next on your bucket list?
At a personal level, I don’t plan in advance. I prefer to take life as it comes. But when it comes to society especially my community, I want people to realise that the world has progressed and it is important to educate the girl child. She should be allowed to be independent, capable of earning a living. I am grateful to my parents for not yielding to pressure to get me married at 20. They allowed me to study, get employed and chase my dreams. I feel the real change has to start from each one of us. I am hoping that my title will give me an opportunity to be heard, to inspire more girls to follow their dreams.
What is the one advice you would give to aspiring models who want to join the pageant?
Don’t worry about failures. Always remember that hardwork pays. Even if you have your reservations about dressing or any other aspect, be bold enough to talk about it, the industry is willing to support you. There is no need to change your beliefs. Just be yourself. I am a living example!