Reaching for the Sky

In conversation with Paris Keswani, the winner of Mrs. India Earth 2016 International, who believes in turning dreams into reality.

How did the Mrs. India contest happen?

I am a member of UNICEF, United Nations Environmental Programme, New York Cares and I also opened Prince Foundation after my son Prince was born, where we feed 200 homeless people every week. I have been doing all this since 2004 and when I came across this contest I applied for it without any second thought because this is not just a beauty pageant rather it is an initiative with a cause, where all the married women get an opportunity to come forward and make their dreams come true

Was it difficult to break the stereotype of just being a housewife?

I have a very supportive and understanding family. Though initially I had not informed them about my participation, but once I was selected in top 41, I told my in-laws and they stood by me. They flew from Los Angeles to New York to help me with my son and even my husband helped and stood by me during the entire process.

Your inspiration?

In every phase of life, my mother had been my inspiration. She is strong, loving, kind, caring and all these qualities of her’s inspire me to move ahead with confidence.

What qualities helped you to win the contest?

Being myself, my confidence, determination and focus helped me to be where I am today and I don’t compare myself with anyone. Competition is a critical factor that can either make you succeed or fall prey to failure.

What are your future plans?

I am a jewelry designer and at present I am designing a line made out of 100% recycled materials. I am planning to launch it by name of Treasures of Prince before Christmas and all the proceeds from that line will go to the projects to improve & protect the environment. I want people to understand the importance of recycling and reusing. Moreover, I want to help children with special needs as well.

Do you think perception of others changed towards you after this win?

Yes, definitely, my voice has more power and I feel like a celebrity. I have already received modeling proposals, TV series and movie offers. But right now I want to be careful with every project I select. Right now my focus is at helping the children with special needs & have projects lined up to help & protect the environment.

How the competition helped you to grow as a person?

Competition is always healthy; it makes you better as a performer and human too. And with time, I have realized that helping others boosts your confidence level. I learned a lot by helping others in the journey and that became my strength with time.

Hearing good after winning is quite obvious, anything bad or weird you heard lately?

I am very positive at heart and I think that has helped me to grow. I don’t remember if there was anything bad said about me, and if I would have come across I would have neglected or took a lesson from it.

One thing that you will miss from the journey?

There are many moments, but above all I really miss Mridula Oberoi, who won the title Mrs India Earth face of west. There was some kind of positivity in her persona that really touched my soul.

Any message for aspiring women?

I think we need to live our dreams. Once you feel content inside the same will reflect outside and that’s the way to succeed in life.

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