Vidya Rani, whose name literally translates as Queen of Knowledge has taken over the beauty pageant scene here in UAE by bagging Mrs India- inner beauty title. She is an entrepreneur, public speaker, wellness coach, voice artist, avid reader, poet, writer, toastmaster and winner of several accolades.
In this exclusive interview, Vidya Rani shares her journey of winning the title and much more.
1. How did you feel when you heard your name being announced as the winner?
For a moment, it was unbelievable. It took a couple of moments to sink in and I was overwhelmed with joy. I then composed myself and went up on stage to get crowned and receive the trophy.
2. Tell us about yourself? Was it always your dream to win a beauty pageant?
I have been an obese child and have been overweight a major part of my life. With this body type, I never even my wildest dreams think about competing in a beauty pageant; leave alone winning one!
3. Be honest, did you expect the win?
I gave my total dedication and efforts to make sure I gave my best contribution to the process. I do this for all types of competitions. I never get fixated on the result. Winning will always be a by-product. Victory definitely adds the cherry on the cake. But I always value the changes that the process brought in me more valuable than the actual victory at any one event.
To be terribly honest, I did not expect to win as it was truly tough competition.
4. How did you prepare for the event?
I engaged with a Pageant Coach Ms Vinodhini Krishnamurthy who helped me in all aspects. I had a choreographer Ms Sheela and Mr Venky who helped me with my talent performance.
I worked on my physical grooming, walk, diction etc. The entire journey of the preparation process was intense and hectic. However, it was very impactful in shaping me to be a better version of myself.
5. How important is social and family support for a woman to pursue her dreams after marriage?
Women intrinsically fall back on the support of society and family. In many situations, when this support is not available; women tend to give up on their dreams.
This is where I want women to break out of the stereotypes and embark on fulfilling their dreams. The energy within ourselves is so strong enough for us to keep the fire alive. Connect with the universal energy and success will be ours.
6. What do you feel about the fact that you hail from a country that is declared as one of the most dangerous places for women?
These generalized statements do not have complete truth to them. I understand and agree that India can do much better in terms of safety for women. I have travelled to over 15 countries in the world. Safety for women is a universal problem and it cannot be measured on any yardstick from one country to another. It is a collective effort in the shift of the mindset, which should be done everywhere.
7. How did this beauty pageant redefine you as a human being?
This beauty pageant broke all the inhibitions that I used to carry. I developed the courage to face any situation without pre-judging. It is most definitely an important milestone that has changed the course of my life.
8. Beauty or brain. Which is more important to win a beauty pageant?
Both are equally important. The lack of one of them will not provide an edge to win the pageant.
Also, both can be acquired. We need not be born with it. We will put our sincere efforts, beauty and brain can be developed to a great extent.
9. What are your future plans and visions?
My plan and vision are to encourage and persuade young boys and girls to have the discipline to follow their dreams. To coach them to be beautiful stars of this world.
10. Which pageant queen is your biggest inspiration?
Sushmita Sen is my biggest inspiration. I resonate with her a lot and we have many common elements between us. She is also one woman who leads life beyond stereotypes.
11. What is your advice to beauty pageant aspirants?
My sincere advice to the beauty pageant aspirants is to embark on this journey for self-development. That should be the primary goal. Winning the pageant will be a by-product. Then irrespective of the result, they will be winners all their life in any field that they want to pursue their passion.
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