It’s a big time for Indian models as beauty pageants are in season. Joining the gang of beauties going forward to rule the world is 33-year-old Shilpa Bhagat who has been chosen to represent India in the Mrs World contest. This contest will be held in Guangzhou, China from November 14-23. Married for the last eight years with four and a half year old twins (a boy and a girl), this Kolkata lass did her MBA from Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies and is married to Karan Bhagat, MD-CEO, IIFL Private Wealth Management. Having worked with HDFC Bank’s financial institutions for a few years, she now is a co-founder of The Cuddles foundation which tries to improve the lives of children from lower income groups via providing medical help.
Speaking on the phone just before leaving for China, Shilpa excitedly spoke about how her friend suggest she participate in the Mrs India competition. “There were a few parameters on which I would be judged – my beauty, educational profile, family and my NGO work. I started my foundation in 2012. Though I was initially not sure, then I realised why not. I was encouraged by my family and I thought this contest will bring out the best in me.”
While participating in the Mrs India contest, she found that more than the outer beauty, it was the inner beauty that mattered. “I had a lot of questions within me, but had not looked at them. I was busy looking at so many things like family, kids and so on that one does not have time to look at oneself. Via this contest, one gets to keep all things aside and look at these questions. There is a self-discovery involved. Beauty means striving for being better in all forms. I got selected because I did not pressure myself and was being just being myself. I did not rehearse but put myself on the platform.” It was a three months process for selection and nomination, during which she seeked help from celebrity pageant coach Ritika Ramtri at her Tiara Academy.
She plans to be herself on the larger platform – Mrs World contest. Calling herself a pure Indian soul, she plans to show herself and her values in the contest. “I am very Indian by heart.” The contest consists of 50% weight-age to the Q-As, while the swimsuit and evening gown rounds get 25% each. “I plan to go with an open mind and treat the contest as an adventure camp. I will give it my best and as I said before, give it my best shot. I can bond with people from different places and get a different exposure.” That’s what we call beauty with brains.