- A Brief about yourself and how you describe your own Personality and Persona.
On a professional front, I completed my engineering in computer science from the University of Pune. After gaining some professional experience, I came to United States for my masterâ€™s in computer science at the University of Texas, Dallas. I currently work as an engineer for Microsoft in their headquarters in Seattle. In the past, I have worked for VMware and Syntel. On the personal front, I really enjoy modelling and have walked for some of the Indiaâ€™s finest designers including Vikram Phadnis, Mandira Bedi, and Ashima-Leena. My passion for modeling started when I participated in Citadel Miss Pune back in 2007 and walked for the very talented Nivedita Saboo. I am a trained Hindustani Classical vocalist and have been learning the art since the age of eight. I like making things by hand may it be software, greeting cards, or various forms of paintings like Tanjore, Madhubani, Finger painting, to name a few. More recently, I started learning Kickboxing and have been thoroughly enjoying it. I have performed various dances like Indian folk style, hip hop and contemporary at many events for non-profit organizations. So overall, I am a person of many interests where I like to explore and seek multiple experiences. Few I let go after trying whereas a few stick with me as they add more meaning and joy to my life.
- Your Achievements that makes you feel high.
My decision to travel to USA for higher education, although life changing, was a very challenging process in many aspects. I had to study hard while working to get good grades in the entrance exams, procure an education loan way beyond my capabilities then to pay off the fees. Later while coming here, I did on-campus jobs along with studies to pay off my daily expenses. Moreover, I had no friends or relatives here in the United States to act as a support system. Nonetheless, these circumstances encouraged me to take control of my life and taught me to be very independent. Looking back, I cherish those moments and certainly feel good about them. On a related note, the zeal to pursue and contribute to the causes that I care about (e.g. women empowerment) despite of my hectic professional life and managing home, is certainly something that brings joy to me at the end of the day. Women empowerment through education is a cause that I deeply care about and have been actively contributing. But I feel there is a lot more that I can do in this area.
- Define the true beauty.
True beauty is being comfortable with whatever and whoever you are but also keep trying to become a better version of yourself in every dimension.
- What makes a complete, healthy and happy family for you?
A family where the members exhibit mutual respect, shower unconditional love, and trust each other will surely stand by through thick and thin. Such a family will always be in a happy and healthy state regardless of what life throws at them.
- What is your favorite Idea of Holidaying?
I think it depends on how I feel during a moment. Sometimes I would want to go to a new country, roam around and do all the touristy things, whereas, sometimes it is going to a place where I have already been to many times to live back certain great moments of your life, and last but not the least, sometimes itâ€™s just spending time in India with my parents and grandparents.
- Why you are participating in Mrs India Queen of Substance?
My main motive is to use this platform and the title to seek the opportunity to meet new wonderful people and also to get a platform to present my views on various social causes which are dear to my heart. I want to nourish my hobbies but at the same time cherish the whole experience and learn from it. The possibilities are plenty.
- What bothers you most about what is happening in the country today?
While there are many things to be worried about, what saddens me most is the plight of the women in certain areas of our country. The fact that there is a sizable group of people who still treat a woman as a commodity is disappointing. The unreasonable expectations of how a woman should behave before marriage and after marriage, in public or at home reflect the hypocrisy of our society in certain regards. Although we are advancing in many dimensions as a country, itâ€™s sad to see the number of incidents against women (e.g. molestation, rapes, domestic violence, among others) are only increasing year-by-year even in our cities. This is a direct manifestation of our perception as a society towards women.
- The Quote or saying that encourages you?
Quoting the â€œlaw of attractionâ€ gives me immense encouragement. It says that if you truly believe/want something to happen, the universe will help to get it to you. Thinking about this makes me feel that nothing is beyond my reach and I am the only one who can attract positivity or negativity in my life. It makes me feel in control of things and empowered.
- What is true â€œSportsmanshipâ€ for you?
True sportsmanship is not just about sports, itâ€™s an attitude one carries in everything they do regardless of the outcome. Itâ€™s about respecting your teammates and treating your opponent as equal.
- If you were selected as a Charity Ambassador what Value addition would you like to make for our Society and how?
I am an evangelist of women education and believe that more and more girls should join the tech industry. Empowering girls with the tool of education is a cause I truly believe in and being in the IT industry gives me a chance to contribute towards it by volunteering with organizations who encourage and promote â€œwomen in technologyâ€. I have volunteered with CodeChix(http://codechix.org/), an organization to promote girls who code. In addition, I have taught coding and computer security sessions in high school girlâ€™s camps at Stanford and UTAustin(http://blogs.vmware.com/careers/2014/07/vmware-hosts- best-first- bytes-camp- yet.html). Currently, I am working closely with IGNITE (http://www.igniteworldwide.org/) and Technovation (https://technovationchallenge.org/) in association with Microsoft to get high school girls on campus for coding classes and mentoring them at national computer science competitions. I am also working with IGNITE to start the initiative in India. As of now, we are targeting our efforts in Hyderabad and Microsoft has its HQ there, but I really want to bring it to northern India too and expand the computer science knowledge to women and girls in association with local government bodies.