Meenakshi believes that responsibility, discipline, hard work and her go-getter attitude are what define her.
Meenakshi Chaudhury is all smiles, she is wearing a crown as she returns to India from Myanmar after the sixth edition of the Miss Grand International 2018. Meenakshi was adjudged as the first runner-up at the competition. “I felt blessed and grateful to have been on this journey, and was elated when they made the announcement.”
She says she was emotional, nervous, and excited when the announcement was made. In a quick chat with YourStory Meenakshi from her home in Chandigarh, she tells us about herself, what’s changed, and what really matters to her.
A big win
A lot of things went into preparing for the pageant, especially for the international one. “I worked on my walk, the way I spoke, communication skills, hair and makeup. I worked on all these things to be able to have that kind of confidence that ‘yes I am going to go there and do my best," she says.
Meenakshi's love for biology led her to take up dentistry in college. She loves writing and listening to poetry. She doesn't like traffic and is a very emotional person.
True to her roots
“I am the kind of a person who sticks very close to her roots, values and and what I have been taught in childhood. I think responsibility, discipline, hard work and my go-getter attitude define me as a person,” shares Meenakshi who has had a tough year since she lost her father.
Dealing with loss has been one of her biggest challenges. She says,
I realised that after this loss I value the people who are in my life, I understand how short and very unexpected life is and how important it is to live in the moment and make your loved ones feel how lucky you are to have them.
Mindsets need to change
The notion that women are lesser beings or can’t do something because of their gender is something that doesn’t sit well with Meenakshi. “I think we have proven no matter which field it is, be it medicine, beauty pageants, sports, we are not less than anybody else," she says.
In a world full of hatred and intolerance, the only way change is possible is by changing mindsets. However, she emphasises that the need to make a difference starts from within.
“I think we need to change our mindset, because I truly believe in what my father taught me, 'The day hatred and violence goes out of our mind is the day it goes out of our sight', and therefore, change begins with us,’"she says.
Meenakshi looks at the future in the firm belief and knowledge that everything is possible if you believe in it.