1. When and how did you realise that this is what you want to do?
Education was always very important for me and the fact that I should focus on my studies was inculcated in me at a very young age. But when I was in college, a few people recommended me that I model as I had a good height. I didn’t really take them seriously at the time, but then I gave it a thought and asked myself “Why not?!”

2. What are the hurdles you had to face to reach where you are today?
I’ve always had the support of my family with the only condition being that I complete my education and don’t let my studies get affected. It was my mother who encouraged me to learn Bharatnatyam and that’s where it all began. Having said that, I worked extremely hard on myself, my walk and my personality, to be a part of this prestigious pageant.

3. Please share some of the highpoints of your journey so far?
I would say, three things – the support of my family and knowing they were praying for me back home during those 40 days is what kept me going everyday.
– The friends I made during the pageant and the sisterhood that we shared is what I’ll cherish forever. The competition never stood between any of us. We were each other’s cheerleaders.

– The talent round! I absolutely enjoyed a being part of it and dancing to such a beautifully choreographed track. Dancing is how I emote what I feel within and I remember the awards night when I performed, I felt ecstatic and peaceful at the same time!

4. What in your view did you have that gave you an edge over others in the pageant? Which language comes closest to your heart?
Every girl was unique in her own way. But I feel that my passion for a win came out stronger. I emote my best when I’m dancing and I think the awards night after my performance I had a lot of people come upto me and say that they saw the fire in me for the crown.

I’m comfortable in English, Hindi and Tullu.

Closest would be Tullu as that’s my mother tongue.

5. It’s not easy the way we women juggle around so many things- our work, homes, families, social life, fitness etc. Some tips on how you like to balance it all? Would you like to share something more about your personal life that many out there don’t know and may want to know?
Something that people might not know about me and which is extremely relevant to the question you asked is that I began working at the age of 16. I used to conduct dance workshops while studying and working in a corporate at the same time.

I was able to juggle all three of them because at an early age I understood the importance of financial independence. I have seen my parents come to Mumbai with nothing and create an empire on their own. A woman needs the understanding and support of society and her family to be able to live her dream and I wish every woman in India gets that.

6. What is your fitness, wellness and beauty mantra?
Eat fit, stay healthy and enjoy a cheat meal once in a while!

7. What is your fashion quotient?
Be comfortable in your own skin.
Become a trend, don’t follow one.
If you are not comfortable with what you wear, then it will reflect in one’s behaviour.

8. What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty is not only how you are physically perceived by the world, but also how you make those around you feel about themselves. I feel beautiful if I make someone smile.

9. What is your take on women standing up for each other, especially in the glamour and entertainment industry, do women really do that?
Absolutely! Contestants in Miss India who didn’t make it to the next rounds stayed back to cheer on the others. Sisterhood was at its peak during my pageant and I feel that behind everyone successful woman is another who supported her.

10. Please share all the details that many entering the pageant may want to know and also some fun incidents on the days leading to the finale.
Firstly if you wish to enter Miss India, one should be absolutely certain that she is prepared mentally. It’s not I just about ramp walks or the glamour out aspect but also to have a strong purpose in life even when the spotlight is not on you. She should have a beauty with purpose and be able to bring about change in society with the help of the platform provided to her. Unsure if it was Fun but leading to the finale I just had a minimum of 4-5 bandaid on my feet due to being in heels the whole day! I remember all of us used to practice for hours to ensure we could’ve delivered our best.

11. Indian women are known internationally for their dusky skin but there’s still a section that believes in white skin being beautiful. Although you’re not dusky we would like to know your views on dusky skin and your observations on the same in the industry?
The grass is always greener on the other side. Foreigners sit in the sun for hours to get a tan and as you mentioned a certain section of Indians prefer fairer skin. However that’s drastically changing I must say. Not only is the colour of the skin being accepted but also plus body sized models are being used by the biggest of designers in the country.
So we are evolving.

12. Which are some of your most favourite holiday destinations?
Switzerland! I could get very ‘filmy’ at times. So I love the whole concept of photoshoots in the snow and singing songs with scenic backdrops.

13. Did you master any passions or hobbies in the lockdown period last year?
Dancing!!! I started teaching and also got time to reflect upon how It felt so good to be financially independent. Apart from the things I mastered I must say I felt gratitude to have a roof over my head and food on my table. So many people underwent immense losses in their professions and I’m so grateful that my family and I were safe.

14. What is in the pipeline in terms of your work currently?
Lots of exciting things coming up, however the most exciting being my journey to Miss World. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to and I can’t wait to begin the preparations. I’ve been blessed with the best panelists and trainers and I hope that you continue to support me in my days ahead! And when it comes to anything apart from Miss World, well, you have to stay tuned!

15. Are there any movie offers coming already and are you considering doing movies now?
At this point of time, I’m enjoying the moment and my homecoming with those who supported me and loved me from before I won the pageant. I’ve always been someone who is open to opportunities and why not. I would love to explore all chances coming my way however at this point, I also do want to spend as much time as I can on preparing for Miss World.

Rapid fire

1. Your dream man?
Tom Holland.

2.Your favourite movie?
The dog’s journey.

3.Some essentials that are always in your bag?
Lip Balm, chocolates and sanitiser.

4.Yoga or gym?

5.Indian food or global cuisine?

6.Date someone from the industry or outside?

7.Beaches or hills?

8. Veg or non-veg?
Non veg.

9. Any pet peeve?
None as yet.

10. Fame or money?