An individual’s journey towards success should not only be gauged by the milestones one has achieved, but the amount of hard work one has put into achieving it. Successful people always risk the usual because they never want to settle for the ordinary. One should constantly try to do at least one thing that scares them the most and celebrate the excitement of winning over your fear. People often complain about the hardships they face and about the people who constantly criticize them. From my personal experience, I believe that criticism is the displeasure of people, not for having faults, but having faults different from your own.
Humans are molded in a such a manner where one person is in a constant search for role models, heroes, and someone to inspire them. But what we forget is the real hero within ourselves and most often than not, sometimes you have to be your own hero.
Whenever we search for a job or even think of starting our own business venture, we always hear a standard question; “How much years of experience do you have?”. I passionately believe in the concept that gives you a deep understanding and insight that you may never find in any book. Your experience is the book of life.
In 1998 I met with a life changing and traumatic experience of suffering from a severe undetected case of hypothyroid that led to loss of speech clarity and physical imbalance further creating a series of hormonal issues. Undeterred and with strong resilience I faced the first major challenge in my life, and this was the moment I decided to channel my pain and sufferings to a path of positivity and self-development. My goals were simple now, I wanted to convert the negatives into positives and be an inspiration to myself and the people around me. In 2003, I was blessed with a beautiful baby girl but in 6 months the home had shifted into a hospital and ICU, but my aim was to make daughter independent and still progressing and hopeful to make her stand on her own feet.
Life gave me another setback in 2010 when I collapsed on the road and was admitted to the hospital for 21 days followed by 2 months being bedridden at my home due to major lung issues, resulting into multiple health complications and fight for my survival. Amidst facing several setbacks and health issues I decided to ignite the fire within me and grow stronger just like they say, “When we suffer, we survive and prosper.”
I began working out and focused on health & fitness. Worked hard to get myself ready for my first leap for marathons. I failed several times during the first few attempts and dealt with major injuries along with Plantar fasciitis and Achilles’ heel, but managed to reach the finish line after several attempts. In 2019 I completed several half marathons and later completed a full marathon of 42 Km at the Berlin Marathon Run and that transformed into my starting point for a new beginning. I never looked back and further decided to complete the ultra-marathon of 50 Kms successfully which required a lot of discipline, weight workouts, diet, and all of this came along while I was managing home with my profession.
Being dusky habitually revolves around social rejection and humiliation which is a common paradigm around us. Even though I was not deterred by the idea of having a dusky complexion, dark or dusky has never been synonymous with beauty. We should envisage the idea of a society in which colour is more beautiful and not estranged. It took me no time to realize that instead of changing the perception of the society in general, I should converge in investing on myself, developing body positivity.
Acceptance and inclusivity come with being a dusky woman at the age of 46, trying to break barriers and making a difference through the fashion industry as a medium. My achievements defined my journey of success, and not my skin colour. I managed to become the finalist of Mrs. India International 2021 after competing with 25,000 other equally motivated women.
I was conferred the title of Mrs. Glamourous and Mrs. FIIT runner up and today, represent myself as a Brand Ambassador for BadassNation, a fashion magazine. It has never been easy, but it also never felt this delightful. From walking the ramp Asia Awards 2020, Kochi fashion League, Bangalore BN Extravaganza, Mumbai IFW to becoming a brand Ambassador for La Global Foundation, the journey can not be expressed in words.
I personally feel that understanding is the primary step to acceptance and the more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you. I feel it is my responsibility as a parent to a child requiring special needs to make this world a better place to live in. Today, at the age of 46, I want to break the stereo typical image of a typical normal Indian women and aspire to be known as a woman who finally figured out her significance, passed through her obstacles and boarded a flight to freedom, which landed in the valley of change.
“To see something different gives you a chance to be something different!”