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Beauty is about having a pretty heart and mind: Mrs India 2018 second runner up

Apeejay Kharghar alumna Jagisha Upadhyay, who won the second runner up title at Mrs India Beauty Queen 2018, says every individual has an X-factor

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Jagisha is the co-founder of Simplifit.in, a corporate wellness programme that emphasises employee well-being in and out of the office by incorporating various activities within the daily work schedule to promote their physical and mental well-being.  The mother of two has also worked as an educator for more than four years. Her spouse is a Chief Technology Officer at EazyDiner. In a freewheeling interview, Jagisha talks about her idea of beauty, the role of Apeejay in shaping her personality, what was asked from her in the Q & A Round of the beauty pageant, and more. Edited excerpts:

Tell us what made you participate in Mrs. India Beauty Queen 2018?

Not even in my wildest dreams I thought of participating in a beauty pageant or be a model. However, my friends convinced me to give it a shot. So, in 2018 I participated in my first state-level competition and was crowned Mrs. Haryana. A couple of months later, I participated in Mrs India Beauty Queen 2018 (MIBQ) and stood second. I also won Mrs. Intelligent title at the contest and for that I had to ace a test comprising questions related to Maths, analytical abilities and general knowledge. This couldn’t have been possible without the support of my teachers, parents, husband and in-laws. I will forever be indebted to them.

How do you define beauty?

I have always seen beauty from a different perspective. For me beauty is not about having a pretty face, it’s about having a pretty heart and mind. It might sound cliché, but this is what I believe. I also like to state that every individual has an X-Factor, but most live their life without finding it. However, finding your X-Factor is not tough, all it requires is curiosity and the willingness to be honest with yourself.

The question and answer round is decisive in crowning a winner at beauty pageants. What were you asked in the Q & A Round?

The jury asked the same question form each of the participants, ‘What does success mean to you?’ I said that success is a state of mind just like happiness. I further explained my point that for some contestants winning the pageant could be the hallmark of success, but for others participating and reaching so far is a feat in itself.

How was your school life?

Apeejay Kharghar will always hold a special place in my heart for bringing out the best in me. Initially, I was quite timid and used to shy away from competitions. However, my teachers saw some potential in me and backed me to start participating in different activities and competitions. They said don’t worry about the results, just go and express yourselves. It really helped boost my confidence and self-belief. I can proudly state that my teachers made me what I am today. I would like to specifically thank Bina Shukla Ma’am (Social Studies) Sujata Ma’am (English teacher) and Usha Aggarwal Ma’am (Hindi) for guiding and supporting me through thick and thin. The best thing about Apeejay is that it focuses on the holistic development of students, as a result, I don’t get afraid moving into uncharted territory.

You are a former teacher. Do you believe that educators are getting enough respect in our society? 

I started my journey as a Montessori Teacher. I believe you can always count on children to brighten your day. My teachers have been instrumental in shaping my personality, so one of the reasons for becoming a teacher is to contribute to your community in a meaningful way. I thought even if I could inspire and made a difference in the life of one child, I would be happy. Though I think that as a society we don’t give adequate respect and appreciation to our teachers.  I also like to point out that teachers too should take pride in their work and not treat teaching as a 9 to 5 job.

Through your business venture, you also focus on employee well-being. Do you think Covid-19 has nudged people to focus more on self-care?

Absolutely. People are significantly more health-conscious since the outbreak of Covid-19. They have started to understand the importance of a healthy, body, mind and soul. They also recognises the ‘prevention is better than cure’ principle and are more than willing to adopt it.

Dheeraj Sharma is Asst. Editor (Newsroom). He covers events, webinars, conducts interviews and brings you exciting news snippets. He has over 10 years' of experience in prominent media organizations. He takes pleasure in the small things in life and believes a healthy work-life balance is key to happiness. You can reach him at [email protected]

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