The recent Grand Finale event of Miss India saw Miss India 2022 Sini Shetty passing over the crown to 19-year-old Nandini Gupta. Like every beauty pageant winner, the teenager from Rajasthan couldn’t stop being emotional and thrilled at the same time. She is still in a celebratory mood, and why not? After all, the journey from Kota, Rajasthan to Mumbai wasn’t an easy one. As she was being taught, trained and tested during the beauty pageant away from her family, she experienced many stressful moments. But thanks to her healthy habits and positive thoughts, she conquered them all.
Nandini’s beauty pageant journey has just begun as after winning at the 59th edition of Miss India, she will prepare for Miss World. She still has some time as it will be Sini who will be representing India at the Miss World contest in May. The reigning Miss India shared her life plans and healthy habits in this interview with HealthShots.
Miss India 2023 Nandini Gupta will represent India at Miss World. Image Courtesy: MissIndia Org/Instagram
Excerpts from an interview with Miss India World 2023 Nandini Gupta
Q. Many Miss India contestants said that past winners like Sushmita Sen, Priyanka Chopra and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan inspired them to participate in the beauty pageant. Who was your inspiration?
Nandini Gupta: I tried to get inspired by different people. Right from Aishwarya Rai to Priyanka Chopra to my predecessor Sini Shetty, all have inspired me. Sini will be going for Miss World this year. I have so much to learn from her.
Q. None of your family members come from a modelling background or fashion industry. How did your parents react to your decision to compete at Miss India?
Nandini Gupta: They were very supportive. In fact, it was my mother’s dream to participate in Miss India. It was my mother who guided me through it. She is a homemaker and she helps my father in farming. My parents always let me be a free-spirited bird.
Q. How did all the pressure and stress at the competition affect your mental health?
Nandini Gupta: Yes, my mental health was affected, but I was able to manage things. Also, other models from different states were commendable. There were good days and bad days, but the girls were like a family to me. It was like living with 29 people on a 40-day journey. Even after the crowning and before we all left to our respective states, we all gave each other a hug, and cried our hearts out. There were stressful moments. Staying away from my family and living in a bubble where we just went out for shoots or to workout. We also had to follow call times. Things were not always according to me, but I always focused on the positive things.
Miss India 2024 Nandini Gupta with her family. Image Courtesy: Nandini Gupta/Instagram
Q. In times of body positivity, what’s your take on beauty pageants?
Nandini Gupta: People have misconceptions about beauty pageants. But on the first day of our orientation, we were told that they don’t want replicas of the past winners. They said, ‘We want you to be you and be real’. Beauty pageants have evolved. It’s about you, your true self and how comfortable you are in your own skin. Even in fitness, there are options. Some can dance, others can go for gymming or swimming. There is no body shaming, and body positivity is given an importance.
Q. What are your daily healthy habits?
Nandini Gupta: Every morning I do meditation for 2 to 5 minutes. I don’t skip it because whenever you start your day with positive energy, it acts like a shelter. My other healthy habit is that I put on my ear plugs, play music and start dancing. It’s like a way of getting fit. Whenever I get the time I do yoga as well. I started doing meditation and yoga because of my mother. She was a part of the Art of Living. Even during my hardest times like staying away from my family at the age of 18 and not knowing what to do in a big city like Mumbai and being alone, meditation helped me. I realised that chanting or just taking deep breaths in and out helped me to get a positive mindset.
Q. What’s next?
Nandini Gupta: I moved to Mumbai eight months ago to study business management. After finishing my studies, I plan to start my own business. I want to be a businesswoman and create jobs, because when you do charity, you feed them only once. But when you provide job, you feed them throughout their lives… even their families. I come from Kota which is famous for Kota doria fabric. Women who work on it end up with a hand disability because they continuously work on it using their hands. I want to give them proper working conditions and not exploit them and also popularise our fabric. I also want to create awareness around mental health.
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