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Why should singles have all the fun?

Thursday, February 08, 2018
By Shaiber Raichur. Photographs by Azad Shrivastav

Aanandana Garg has bagged the most respectable title in India that identifies Married Indian Women who exemplify Beauty, Talent, Intelligence and Compassion. She is an Interior designer and a mother of two. She recently participated in the Mrs. India contest and bagged two coveted sub titles of Mrs India Remarkable West 2017 and Mrs India Splendid Star West 2017.

How did the Mrs India Splendid Star 2017 happen, was it a dream come true?
Basically, I am an Interior designer by profession but have been stuck up with household chores of late. I have taken a break from my work for my kids, so this was one time I really wanted to break the  monotony and do something different and it just came to me as a divine thought and that's how my journey started. Yes, it was a dream come true, it was a very prestigious moment for me when I bagged this title.

Tell us more about your pageant win.
The journey was very inspiring for me because a lot of people actually think the pageant is more for the beauty and to wear nice costumes, gowns and walking the ramp but I think pageant is way beyond what people actually think. Pageants are much beyond what one needs to know about themselves and how they are; it's more about dealing with yourself because the day I registered myself, my journey started and I wasn’t thinking about winning or losing. The thing that bothered me was that I have to go there, I have to stand with other potential women of the same stage, its a very different feeling, when you are there, like at that moment all are equal so the journey teaches us a lot. We learn a lot every single day during the journey. I remember, I had learnt so much in terms of reading books. I used to read lots of Swami Vivek Anand, Mother Teresa, Robin Sharma books during the journey.
 
Who is your inspiration and why?
My inspiration I would say, is my own instinct, I always listen to my heart when my heart says that this is the right time to go ahead with something, I never doubt it. I am not a fashion girl, I am not a model, I am just a very creative person in terms of interiors so I love playing with colours, shapes, designing the spaces and all, so that's my forte. My forte was never modelling or fashion for that matter. I am still not a model but this thing just came to my mind that why wouldn't I go and try Mrs India? That's how I registered myself and it just started on. I never went for any grooming sessions also. Whatever I did for the semi-finals, the finals were my only hard core work along with the support of my family, without which nothing would have been possible. I believe in one thing; if you want to achieve something, just listen to your heart and work on it like anything. I am that kind of person.

Your most memorable moment as Mrs India Splendid Star 2017.
This was one moment when I was there in the west zone and I bagged two subtitles, one was Mrs India Splendid Star West 2017 and one was Remarkable West 2017. Before the finale, there was one moment when our husbands were called on stage along with our kids and I proudly walked the ramp along with my husband and kids, so that's one moment that is registered in my heart forever. It was a beautiful moment.

What do you think was the prime asset that helped you achieve the title?
Myself, my inner strength, my willpower to just go ahead and crack whatever comes my way, my determination gets me going no matter what. Being a woman, especially a married woman and a mother, it's not easy to take out that amount of time for yourself, this kind of a contest needs an ample amount of time; it requires nights and a lot of nights. Last year, I had given a lot in terms of sweat, blood, money and my time. There was a time when my kids used to actually miss me on certain occasions. So, through the day, I would spend time with them, attend to their studies, do my work, handle my house, and other work and only at night, I would keep time for myself in terms of grooming. I used to take no breaks, just on and on. So yes, I lived with a very determined attitude.

How has the experience enriched your personality?
It has enriched my personality in various ways. Before there was a time, when I wouldn't really do too much with grooming myself, which is generally the case with mothers. Like they just forget to put on lipstick or Kajal, but this thing really does matter so now I make sure that I necessarily give myself that five minutes before stepping out. The second thing is the fitness factor, we just leave the fitness factor behind thinking that we will do it tomorrow. Fitness comes first because if we are fit, we can look after the family well and simultaneously do our work, go out for jobs and perform well otherwise. I don't go to the gym. I do yoga at home and take walks, that's it. I believe in drinking a lot of water, it brightens the skin.

We have seen you working for many social causes. What is your take on it?
Social cause I would say, it’s just a beginning as I am very young and I feel it's something that has infinity to it. I really want to go out there and do a million things for people especially for juvenile diabetics; that is for kids. I would really like to appeal to people that parents need to understand what is right for children. Secondly, I am into girl child education. I really support education and it's very important and whenever I get time, I visit NGOs because it gives me inner satisfaction. I also support women empowerment.

The Indian woman in her lifetime plays many crucial roles that make her indispensable. Tell me about your personal life, your likes, dislikes, and most importantly what makes you happy.
My happiness I would say, is anything that keeps me going especially when it's creative and I am a complete workaholic. Sitting at home and doing nothing, I will fall sick. I love working on spaces since Interiors was what I was qualified for. I was given a special mention award from my college too and that was a major achievement. Spending time with my family, my children especially makes me happy.

What are your future plans?
I am still working on my future plans. I socially want to come up in touching the lives of women. I want to empower them, I want to really make my experience an example for them; that after marriage, after having children, life doesn't stop. It's time to come out and chase your dream if you have a set determination in yourself. The world will have a lot to talk about you but don't stop at anything. Age is just a number, is what I feel and it's never too late to start anything.

You achieved all of it post marriage and children. Do you think it's the time that married Indian women break the stereotype of "All is gone after marriage" and work towards exploring their potential after marriage as well?
Definitely, because it’s high time and there is a need to realise that now because married women should not be bound in the kitchen. Women should actually think of how she can actually chase her dreams and go ahead with what she wants to do. Marriage should be one more milestone; which should push them higher and not let them settle for anything less. Rather than saying, 'now I am married, I cannot do anything', instead of it say, 'I am married and now I should take it up and do something more inspiring for others, which will make me happy too'.

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