In a Conversation with Shefali Sood
Shefali Sood, who is representing the state of Uttar Pradesh at Femina Miss India this year is known as an avid traveler. She has participated in many pageants formerly, having claimed the title of Miss India Elite 2013 and Miss Indian Diva 2016. Shefali Sood also holds a degree in Business Administration and believes that dancing and singing are her favorite leisure pursuits.
Lately, The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry got to interview Shefali Sood, wherein she talked about her preparations for Femina Miss India 2017 pageant along with her aspirations to foray at the same. Lets have a look.
Hello Shefali! Many many congratulations for making it to the finals of Femina Miss India 2017. How are you feeling right now?
Thank you so much! It’s a bit of a whirlwind because it’s all happening so fast, but it feels like dreams are coming true and that feeling is unmatched, right?
How are gearing yourself up for the national pageant? Any insights to your preparations or future goals?
I think everyone’s preparation is subjective. But my mantra is to compete with myself and myself only. I remain focussed and determined every day.
Who is your biggest inspiration and how has he/she helped you to strive the challenges that have come your way?
I think it’s not just one person, but a lot of people have played a huge role in making my who I am by giving me so much love and support. No amount of words can sum up my gratitude for them. My family has been my greatest support in the most testing of times. They’ve believed in me in good weather and bad and have picked me up every time I fell. They continue to go out of their way to make things alright if I’m ever having a bad day. I consider myself very blessed and fortunate.
What quality do you think makes you different from other contestants?
I think it is my ability to empathise with people. Everything I say and do come from a place of love and compassion and I think the world needs more of that. That is what sets me apart.
If you go on to win Miss World India, how will you use your title and platform in your future endeavours?
First and foremost, I will put all my energy and time and resources into bringing home the international title. I strongly believe that a lack of education is the root of all ills and I want to help ensure that every child in India is educated. Also, stray animals cannot speak for or help themselves. I want to make sure that these animals get the care and shelter they need. Finally I believe that my win will set an example for millions of young people that no matter how big your dreams are, with hard work and integrity, they can all be fulfilled.
How confident are you about winning this title?
I’m quite confident. I’ve put in years of hard work to be here and I believe that whatever happens, will be for the best.
Tell us something about your leisure pursuits and your veiled personality.
As I mentioned before, I don’t compete with anybody but myself. I try and be better than I was yesterday, every single day. I’m very different from most people my age. I enjoy reading, I paint because it’s very calming, I love nature so I go out for walks every day. I’m still learning how to sing, and I love dancing. Writing is very important to me, I write poetry and prose. It comes from a very emotional place so I don’t publish it often.
As you know, Miss World rests its prominent focus on the “Beauty with a Purpose” project. What will be your BWAP Project for Femina Miss India 2017?
I have been blessed to have a very solid educational background. Even before Miss India and Beauty with a Purpose became a part of my life and what I do, I have been teaching underprivileged children for the past 4 years, associating with various NGO’s, orphanages among other things. I really want every child to have a shot at a good education and consequently a bright future so not only do I teach them, I educate them about the important of education.
What do you think is the most important quality every beauty queen should possess and why?
It may seem repetitive but for my the most important quality that a beauty queen, or any human being should have is compassion, empathy. We live in a shallow world where most people don’t think beyond themselves but the magic empathy has, the realisation that comes with understanding other people’s pain and joy as if it were your own, that can change the world.
What incident in your life made you realize about your passion in pageantry? Who assured you that beauty pageants are totally your cup of tea?
Whenever I talk about Miss India and my journey, I realise that my entire life has been about this. Who I am, what I am, my upbringing, everything in its totality has been about Miss India and all that it stands for, like making a positive difference in the world, setting an example. Miss India for me is beyond a career choice or a stepping stone. It is my dream and my shot at bringing into effect the things I want to change for the better in our world. My family, my best friends have given me unconditional love and guidance at every step of the way.
What message would you like to give to The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry and your fans reading this interview?
I’m a passionate person, and I’ve realised that hard work, integrity, humility and gratitude will take you a very long way in life. Never forget your roots, and always be true to who you really are.