Two women from Nagpur are going to represent the city at the finals of Mrs Maharashtra 2016 beauty pageant to be held in Pune on October 23, 2016. Nagpur women – Swati Banerjee and Sholly Sethi who are all set to complete with finalists from other parts of Maharashtra are currently undergoing a four-day grooming session for the finale. In a conversation with Nation Next, Swati and Sholly spoke about their journey till the finale and their reasons for being a part of the pageant.
You have reached the finals of Mrs Maharashtra 2016. Did you expect to reach till the finale? What made you be a part of this beauty pageant?
Swati Banerjee: I have been training students of LAD College, Nagpur for its annual event – ‘Miss LAD personality contest’ since the last two years. I went for Mrs Maharashtra 2016 audition to know how exactly it feels to be on the other side! I always wanted to experience the feeling of walking on the ramp. Also, I’m more of an adventurous person who wants to experience everything in life. I feel extremely elated to be a part of this beauty pageant.
Sholly Sethi: At the risk of not sounding modest at all, I’ll say that I always knew that I had a pleasing personality and good analytical and verbal skills. It was my daughter Juhi who motivated me to be a part of this pageant. I had won a beauty pageant title in my school. Also, I was offered a movie by Subhash Ghai when I was 21, but I wasn’t allowed at home to be a part of it! Since then, I always wanted to be a model. When I got the opportunity of being a part of this pageant, I grabbed it immediately. I never got my due recognition, which my husband got, while working together in the family business. So, I became all the more ambitious.
Did you face any difficulties in being a part of Mrs Maharashtra 2016?
Swati Banerjee: I faced no difficulties as such. In fact, my family was too supportive. My mother has flown down from Australia to Nagpur to take care of my daughters for a week since I’ll be gone for the finale. My husband and my daughters are my support system and are extremely proud of me. I learn from them every single day.
Sholly Sethi: Had this pageant taken place three years back, it wouldn’t have been possible for me to participate! My husband wasn’t too convinced with the idea of me participating in a pageant like this earlier. But of late, there has been a sea change in him and he’s my biggest strength today. My children have also always encouraged me to chase my dreams.
Winning this pageant will bring a lot of recognition to you. What change will you want to bring if you win this beauty pageant?
Swati Banerjee: Nagpur is on the verge of becoming a smart city. People’s perception too is changing for good. People who know me would be extremely happy if I win this pageant and it will add one more feather in my cap. If I win, I’ll make sure that women come out and face the world confidently so that they are open to new horizons in life.
Sholly Sethi: I never got an opportunity to prove myself. I would always think of what all I could have achieved so far, whenever I would read about famous personalities in the newspapers. If I win, de-addicting youngsters from vices and empowering women would be my priority. I feel that this is the right time for a woman to understand that she is no longer the weaker sex. She should consider herself equivalent to a man!
How has your journey for the pageant Mrs Maharashtra 2016 been so far?
Swati Banerjee: My journey has been incredible! From the auditions till now; it’s been absolute fun. I never expected to come this far and I’m enjoying every moment right now. Right from getting my outfits designed to the preparations for the finale, everything is a wonderful experience.
Sholly Sethi: My journey in this pageant has been full of roses. I feel that getting selected was a cake walk. The moment I came to know that I was selected for the finale, I started shopping for good jewellery, make up, etc.