Varsha Rajkhowa - The Pathway to Success
Varsha Rajkhowa says, “I was 4 when I told my parents ‘I want to be a superstar’. I loved being in the limelight. Be it the school dances, dramas, or musicals I was always first in line to participate. But, I never got to be in the centre stage. Nevertheless, I enjoyed being on stage so I always took part with whatever role I was given with full enthusiasm.
Even in college, when I didn’t make the cut to ‘the team’; I somehow managed to make my own team & participate in the nationals. I took Mom’s help for costumes & jewellery. I was happy that I got on stage but a part of me was flaxed out of the continuous dejections. So, mom suggested that I participate in the RSI May Queen Pageant. I got selected! Weighing 75 kgs & getting shortlisted for a pageant was all the reassurance I needed. But, along with my determination, the rejections were back too.
During a pageant selection, a well-established personality from the industry told me ‘You can be anything, but a beauty queen’. I was shattered. On my way back home, I called my mom & said ‘I’ want to end my life’. I was sobbing in grief. But what Maa had to say was ‘OK tell where should I take you’, that shook me. Later I did break into laughter with mom. After all the rejections maybe, an approval was all I had to hear to get back on track.
That pageant rejected me 7 times in a row. ‘You’re too dusky. You don’t have that model look’ they’d say. But I’d bounce back every single time. And it was during one of my national pageants when I got to know about Miss Scuba International India finals & went for it. I became the first Indian to ever qualify! I was finally in the limelight. However, not the way I’d longed for. ‘Varsha doesn’t seem like a worthy candidate to represent India’ said one of the officials. I wasn’t given my costumes & visa until 5 mins before I boarded the flight.
But, once I got on that flight, there was no looking back. I went on to create history. The world that had labelled me as ‘dusky’ & ‘incapable’ was now addressing me as our Nation’s Pride. & after years of rejections & ‘You don’t fit in’, I finally found my right fit – The first Indian woman to win Miss Scuba International!