It is so common to think that students who pursue fields like Engineering, Medical, CA are boring and impassionate. A few weeks ago, Manushi Chillar with her Miss World 2017 crown, proved the world wrong. Similarly, this is a story of another girl, an aspirant CA who went on to become a Miss Diva Finalist in 2015.
“I believe there is no success greater than the one that satisfies your burning passion”, says Shivani Shetty, a Miss Diva Finalist, 2015.
In order to feel successful or taste a spoon of it to start with, Shivani always wanted to do something that feeds not only her stomach but also her soul. But like every story, her story had hurdles too.
No one in Shivani’s family is educated. Her mother is from a small village that falls on the border of Haryana and Rajasthan. Her father has made a career in hotel management from scratch with the help of his skills. Because of the poor background of both her maternal and paternal sides, their survival was extremely difficult at times, let alone education. So, she has always had the pressure of earning the bread, with dignity. For her, earning being the most important factor and dignity being the clause, she decided to pursue CA(Chartered Accountancy) and has cleared all her exams in first go hitherto.
The smoothness of accomplishment had definitely been a nice feeling for her. But there was something that didn’t feel right. No sense of true happiness or pride. She wanted to take a different leap.
One of the well-known beauty pageant titles in India is ‘Miss India’ and it had fascinated her since childhood. She decided to participate.
“It was scary at first, but so are all unfamiliar things”, she says. Her major drawback was that she knew no experienced person, even remotely related to it, who could guide her through the pageant and its preparations. It was an alien world to her. “The only thought that kept me going was – I don’t want to regret not doing something for myself ten years down the line!” Her companions were her sincerity, dedication, and hard work. The goal was as focused as Arjun’s aim on the fish’s eye, i.e. being one of the finalists.
Shivani started preparing and the schedule was ultra-hectic. She had to cope up with article ship, CA final class, gym, and preparations of speech, voice modulation, ramp walk. She took extra classes, learned different forms of dance, and thoroughly watched videos of Miss India Q&A’s of the past 20 years making important notes. She went for photo shoots and worked on both her figure and portfolio. All of this and just 24 hours on the clock with no energy left at the end of the day. Paying for all of the above was another challenge for Shivani. As they say, ‘there’s nothing called as a free lunch’. “I am fortunate enough to have supportive friends and family who helped me in every possible way.”
Finally, auditions were taken and all the efforts bore sweet fruits. From about 20,000 entries that year, Shivani passed through each round becoming one of the top 16 finalists. “My goal ascended and I wanted to be a winner but destiny had different plans. I couldn’t make it to the top that year but it has given me a new sense of confidence and I have emerged stronger, bolder and wiser.”
Now Shivani is back to studies and shall soon clear the last set of exams to become a Chartered Accountant. Once she is done, she will again compete in the pageant. “This time, I know how it works and what all preparations I need to do to make it to the top and become Miss India.”
Chances are, by the time you read this story, Shivani might bring you another success story to read! She truly proves that dedication is one of the most important things to be successful.
Every journey teaches you something. Juggling through the tides with grit, she has learned her lessons. She has not achieved everything she wanted yet, but she is ready.
Have you given up on your dreams already? She has not yet. Just keep at it. As J.Cole so rightly said once, “The bad news is nothing lasts forever, and the good news is nothing lasts forever.”