Indore’s ‘girl next door’ Manasi Moghe, who went on to become Miss Diva (2013), was one of the top 10 finalists in Miss Universe 2013 in Moscow, Russia. Manasi, who pursued her engineering from St. Vincent Pallotti College of Engineering and Technology, Nagpur, remembers her college days fondly. In a conversation with Nation Next, Manasi Moghe speaks about her family’s support and her transition from a techie to a beauty pageant winner!
Your parents are doctors. Unlike any doctor’s kid, you didn’t choose medicine as your career; rather you went on to pursue engineering. Why?
When I was in my 11th grade, instead of taking up biology as a subject, I took up Maths as I didn’t want to restrict myself to MBBS only. With Maths as the subject, I ended up doing engineering. I even had a plan to pursue MBA or something similar post graduation.
Despite a rigorous and intensive engineering course, how did you end up becoming Miss Diva in 2013? Please tell us about your journey.
It might sound a bit clichéd but this was my childhood dream! Coming from Indore, unlike a metro city girl, I wasn’t aware of any beauty pageant auditions. To my luck, the organisers of Femina Miss India, on their 50th year, conducted auditions in each and every city. I had just appeared for my engineering exams (from St. Vincent Pallotti College of Engineering and Technology, Nagpur) the day the auditions were being held in Nagpur. To my surprise, I got selected in the auditions. After getting selected, I became more health conscious and started working out in the gym. Also, I’m a foodie, so changing my food habits was quite a task.
You were pretty young when you were crowned Miss Diva. From a girl next door, you became a celeb over night. How did you handle stardom at such a tender age?
Nothing was pre-planned. Everything seemed to be happening in a jiffy to me. I love where I am right now because this is what I had always aspired to become ever since I was a child, but stardom never got to my head. I firmly believe that there is so much more for me to do in the industry. It’s a long journey.
Coming from a typical Maharashtrian conservative family, did you or your family have any apprehensions about you making your career in the modeling world?
Not at all! I’m fortunate that my parents have always supported all my choices. I believe mental support, especially from parents, plays a major role in a child’s life. Modeling was something that nobody in my family had ever tried a hand at. So, I had no clue of how things function in this industry.
How was the time that you spent in Nagpur? What kind of connect do you have with the Orange city?
While pursuing my engineering, I stayed in the campus hostel as my parents thought it was the best option for me to live in. Nagpur will always be close to my heart as it’s the city from where my career began. During my time in Nagpur, we discovered some good eateries where we would often visit. Ramdaspeth’s panipuri and Rajesh farsan’s samosa in Nagpur (in Deo Nagar) are the best foods I’ve ever tasted in my life!
You made your cinematic debut in a Marathi film Bugadi Maazi Sandli Ga in 2014. Do you have any plans of entering Bollywood?
I’d love to work in Bollywood. I’ve been offered quite many scripts of late but I won’t go ahead with them unless I’m fully confident about the story line. Also, along with a good script, I believe a good director has the capacity to turn things around for the film. I can’t choose one particular director, because all are so good. Still, I’d love to work with Imtiaz Ali, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Ashutosh Gowariker, Vishal Bhardwaj, etc. Salman Khan is my all time favourite actor. I envy Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra because of their hard work and determination. They’ve strived to become global stars and if given an opportunity, I would love to work with them someday.