Manasa Varanasi, a 23-year-old Computer Science Engineer who has been crowned Miss India World 2020, says she was never really interested in modeling. Hyderabad-based Manasa was working as a Financial Information Exchange (FIX) analyst with a financial software firm; she says modeling was a pastime for her.
In a candid conversation, Manasa shares details of her journey, how she prepared for the contest, her future plans, besides revealing her beauty and fitness regime.
Q: How did you get into modeling?
A: I was a pretty studious girl, and never really interested in modelling, but I won a contest for Freshers in my college and that ignited a spark. Everything built slowly from there, with a lot of encouragement from friends. The reality is that modelling has been a pastime for me, as I was working full time as a software engineer, but it was a creative outlet and was born of a will to expand my horizons.
Q: Did you have to convince your family to get into this field?
A: My family is very academically oriented and traditional, so they really did not feel this was a path to aspire to. However, because I held a full-time job, their deepest concerns were allayed and today, they are very proud of what I have achieved.
Q: How has your journey been till you won the title?
A: More than anything, it has been one of growth. I have learned to look at my weaknesses, learn skills — from walking in heels to styling myself, made friends from all over the country. Most of all, I have learned to trust the energy of the moment, accept change and embrace what I am.
Q: How does it feel to be titled as Miss India World?
A: I feel elated, but it is based on a sense of achievement that comes from having worked very hard and having had the courage to fail. And today, I am filled with a sense of hope and a determination to use this opportunity wisely.
Q: How did you prepare for the contest?
A: I focused equally on the physical aspects of the contest — ramp walk, fitness, styling and the mental aspects — being self-aware and socially informed. But it is just as important to be emotionally prepared — a contest like Miss India is not for the faint of heart!
Q: How are you preparing yourself for Miss World pageant?
A: A big focus will be my ‘Beauty with a Puropse’ project, which is at the heart of Miss World. I will have to balance that with continued work on my ramp walk, talent and interview. And of course, lots of time will undoubtedly be spent on getting the right wardrobe and styling in place.
Q: How confident were you winning the title?
A: In a way, I both expected to win and lose the Miss India title. I was hopeful and confident in my abilities and preparation but winning is out of one’s hands — destiny, luck, the competition — they all have a say. The difficult thing about a contest such as this is that everything can change in an instant — and it only takes one bad answer or one judge to change the outcome. So, while I am very proud of my achievement today, I am also humbled and grateful that the stars aligned for me.
Q: What are your future plans?
A: What matters to me at the end of everything is that I live a life with integrity and without regret. My inspirations are people who continue to reinvent and redefine themselves and I hope I will continue to grow as a person my whole life. Who knows what the future can bring? I came to Miss India to create a new world of opportunity for myself and I am excited to see where it can take me.
Q: Please share your beauty regime.
A: I’m definitely a bit of a minimalist when it comes to makeup, but the competition has taught me to be more experimental, and to focus on creating harmony between my makeup, hair, clothes and most of all, carrying it all off with confidence.
Q: What is your beauty secret?
A: Nutritious food, natural products, and a balanced mind.
Q: What fitness regime?
A: I swear by yoga, it helps my mind as much as it helps my body.
By Puja Gupta