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 first step: It’s been a gradual journey, for a very long time- but been more focused with my efforts since about a year ago. I received a flyer on Whatsapp inviting married women for the Mrs India 2018 pageant.
The turning point: 32 finalists at Mrs India Karnataka pageant in Bangalore in the month of March, 72 finalists at Mrs India pageant in Chennai in the month of July and 31 finalists at the Mrs Asia International pageant in Thailand in the month of November.
The challenges: Though, I come from a loving and supportive joint family; participating in the pageant took away a lot of my time and I found myself being away from my domestic responsibilities like other professional women. Balancing between the two was a big challenge, also, at the same time my elder son moved to UK for his studies so to an extent, that was also difficult to handle. Entering a professional life after so many years of being a homemaker can be extremely challenging specially because I was entering the field of glamour where most women are half my age, have better bodies and so much more time to dedicate. But, with my mantra: “patience and perseverance leads to success”, I was able to overcome all the hurdles.
The journey: Winning talent shows, dance competitions and athletic races all through my childhood. Best dressed Diva – Century club 1996. Pink Carnation Queen – Bangalore ladies wing 1999. Bowring Club Queen 2005, Bangalore Club Queen 2008, Mrs. Best Personality and Mrs. Glamorama- Ladies Circle India 2015, Winning the Classic Mrs. India Karnataka 2018, Mrs. India Karnataka Best Diva 2018, Mrs. India 2018 Classic category, Classic Mrs Asia International Most Charming 2018 and winning many other titles and endorsing some well-known brands. On the home front, marrying my teenage love Sunil Bhatia was the best thing that happened to me and my two precious gifts, my two boys – Karan and Tushar. It was an extremely proud moment getting the opportunity to first represent my State and then most importantly my country at an international platform. I wasn’t just competing with beautiful women but it was also a great opportunity to interact and learn from all these mature and wonderful co participants as we all came from such diverse backgrounds.
How has life changed after winning the crown: I am always learning from life every day, but after the competition. My outlook towards life changed a great deal. Achieving four titles consecutively – after the age of 40 has given me a great sense of accomplishment. I feel I can be that spokesperson for all the women who post the age of 40 are often lost trying to find a niche for themselves in this world. I want to use this platform to reach out to all of them encouraging them to follow their own passion and dreams just like I did because it’s never too late!
Future plans: I wish to continue this journey of self-discovery and be an inspiration to all women around me to believe in themselves to achieve their dreams. I wish to introduce my clothes line under the label Kajol Bhatia by the end of this year and looking out for dynamic partnerships and considering new business opportunities which will help my goals. I’m also looking to collaborate with some socially responsible brands and companies that believe in empowering women. At present, I have received offers for catalogue shoots and commercials which I am considering. And of course continue the social service that I’m doing.