It’s never too late to achieve your dreams, and namma ooru’s Kajol Bhatia lives by that moniker. The city girl and mother of two showcased our state in different motifs on her outfit, winning the prestigious Mrs India 2018 pageant in the classic category early this year. Now, she is all set to head to Thailand to participate in the Mrs Asia International Pageant that is set to happen on the November 14. Proving that dreams can be achieved even after the age of 40, Kajol Bhatia shares the inside track in a candid chat. Having married young, Kajol devoted her life to being a housewife and looking after her family. Till the ramp came calling.
She shares, “After 22 years of doing things for everybody, I decided it was time to do something for myself. I received a Whatsapp call for auditions, and it changed my life. But none of this would have been possible without my husband who is like my backbone.” Kajol considers two ladies to be her biggest inspiration; Pratibha Saunshimath, director of Mrs India Karnataka and Deepali Phadnis, director of Mrs India. She says, “These two housewives became achievers. They wanted to give a platform for ladies like me to explore this field.” Kajol started off by winning the Mrs India Karnataka held in March where she also won the “Best Diva” title.
Yet, every step has been a struggle and learning experience for this mother of two. “I had to take care of my fitness, diet, skin and hair, walk, talk and keep myself updated with current affairs. I had put on six kgs earlier. So I worked on my diet and fitness regime with my eldest son, and have maintained that regime throughout,” says the mother of two sons aged 20 and 13. Prioritising work, she explains, “It is difficult but not impossible. All women are multi-taskers but we don’t realise it until the occasion demands it. I learnt the act of balancing quite early. I would chalk out a schedule for the day and then follow through.”
Panic set in when Kajol got selected as Mrs India Karnataka, “I come from a joint family that is very modern but also traditional in some ways. Gathering courage, I broke the news at the dinner table and they were very encouraging,” she adds. Over 132 ladies auditioned for the pageant, and Kajol felt that each had their own unique personality, and strengths. “In this pageant, it’s not just looks, but also substance, role models, character, confidence, multi-tasking with a creative flare,” she adds.
Putting her passion of fashion designing to good use and having a creative flare that she thanks her mother for, Kajol designed her costumes for the pageant. She explains, “I picked up fabrics, chalked out designs, went into the details, adding an out-of-the-box element to each outfit.”
She also represented her home state beautifully at the Mrs India 2018. She had the Mysore Palace and the Dussehra festival motifs printed on her lehenga, a self-drawn dupatta and many other elements that accentuated the warmth and hospitality of the state.
An alumni of Bishop Cotton Girls School and College, Kajol wants women to power on. “I would like to be the face of inspiration to housewives and entrepreneurs who lead a mundane life. Even if there is small spark, where there is a will, there is a way,” Kajol adds.
For the international pageant, she plans to personify an Indian goddess at the Mrs Asia International which will see 12 countries and over 32 ladies participating. The passionate driver who loves free-style dancing, Kajol shares, “It took me a lot of hunting to get the look right. Then, I sat and designed it all and now I am ready to hit the ramp.”...