'Allow yourself to shine': Kamalpreet Mongia
October 3, 2019 | 9:26 AM
by Gautam Viswanathan

Meet Kamalpreet Mongia, finalist at the Mrs India Empress of the Nation pageant

This September, Indian resident Kamalpreet Mongia travelled back home to take part in the Mrs India Empress of the Nation beauty pageant, which took place in the city of Pune. While she did go out there to give it her all and compete to the best of her abilities, like so many of the other competitors who had taken part, little did she know that she would finish among the top three finalists. Having moved to Oman from India in 2004, Kamalpreet spoke with T Weekly about her preparations for the tournament, the challenges she faced, and the lessons she learned from them.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How long have you been in Oman?

My name is Kamal Mongia. I landed in Oman in 2004 from New Delhi. I have been in Muscat after my marriage with my husband, K.S. Mongia. It’s been 15 years now since I have moved to Oman. This place is my second home. I am mother of two beautiful daughters, Ishika and Vaanya. My hobbies are dancing, hiking and camping.

How did you hear of the Mrs India Empress of the Nation Contest? Could you tell us something about this pageant?

Mrs India Empress of the Nation is well known pageant in India conducted by DIVA Pageant in Pune, India. Mr Karl & Mrs Anjana Mascarenhas are the managing directors of this pageant. I’d heard about this pageant through one of my friends and Facebook played an important role in this.

How did you apply for the contest? When did you apply for it and what was the application procedure?

I applied for this contest by filling in a registration form. I applied for it in the month of May 2019, and it was an online procedure. The organisers had arranged for an online audition through a video calling facility and I was selected as one of the finalists for the DIVA Pageant.

What were the different events at the pageant and how did you prepare for it? How soon did you begin preparations?

There were various rounds in this pageant. They included a talent round, an introduction round, and a ramp walk in traditional as well as in western attire, as well as a question and answer round. I started preparing for the talent round as soon as I was selected. I chose to perform a zombie act, which was the extreme opposite of what was expected in the beauty showcase.

In addition, I have been following a healthy diet and health regime for the last two or three years. Ahead of the competition, I focused more on my diet and exercise under the supervision of professionals.

When you told your friends and family that you were going to compete in this, what was their reaction?

The list of competitors were announced officially by DIVA pageant through Facebook. My friends and relatives were very happy and excited to know about this. They showered on me all their love and conveyed their wishes. I won the Mrs. Popular sub-title as well.

Who helped you prepare for such events? Which one of them was the easiest and which one was the toughest?

My husband provided me endless support on this journey, starting from the preliminary photoshoot all the way to the finale. My daughters were of great support to me. My sister Jaspreet and brother- in --law also helped me a lot. My bestie Anchal Kapoor was an integral part of this journey, and she helped me in preparing for various rounds under the guidance of professionals, in addition to motivating me. My dearest friend Reena Kapur encouraged me on this journey throughout and inspired me to live my dreams. They were all were supportive and encouraging. It was only because of them, that I could change my dream into a reality.

On what basis were contestants graded in this pageant? How many contestants were there in total and where were they from?

The criteria of selection was not limited to just beauty. 50 per cent of the marks we received were for our grooming, while the other half was for the finale. We were observed at all times and were graded for even the smallest of our actions. This pageant had two categories, silver and gold. The silver category was for people between the ages of 18 and 37. I won this title under the silver category. The gold category was for people between the ages of 37 and 55. All in all, there were 45 contestants from different parts of India and other countries.

How did you feel when you realised you had come close to winning, but weren’t able to go all the way?

As the event moved towards its closure, the excitement and my heartbeat both were increasing. When my name was announced as one of the winners, I was very excited and happy. I believe that we all are winners as all of us confronted our insecurities and displayed the courage to be there.

What were the sort of life lessons that you learned from this?

I have learnt many lessons on this journey. People will judge you, but that’s okay. You may fail, but allow yourself to shine. The qualities that are required to win such competitions include confidence, self-love, humility and politeness. It is also important that you remain down- to- earth and sociable. Be grateful and have a positive mind-set. Have a nice presence, be patient and adopt an easy-going attitude. – [email protected]

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