She was shy, and being from a simple south Indian family, childhood was more about academics than glamour. Always buried in books, Manasa found time for dance and music, she loved reading books, would volunteer for causes. As she grew up and went on to become an engineer and then a financial information exchange analyst, a job that she enjoyed, she continued to explore her soul and try and do things that enriched her and made her happy. This search led her to Miss India pageant. A field that is so different from what she was exposed to all along. Yet, she believed it will help her in personal growth, and she went ahead with determination. She won the coveted Femina Miss India World title and is already preparing to represent the country at Miss World Pageant. She arrives at home in proper Hyderabadi style amidst joyful sounds of drums to the loving family, happy to share her victory with her loved ones.
Manasa arrives at home in proper Hyderabadi style amidst joyful sounds of drums to the loving family, happy to share her victory with them.
On coming home, she shares, “I am a Telugu ammayi at heart. I am usually into flexible diet, but I was craving for home-cooked food. My ammama made delicious pulihora, rasam and aloo fry, and it was amazing. I am very happy to be back home to spend time and share my happiness with my family.
During an exclusive interview to Friday Wall, she shares her journey that has its ups and downs; it was not easy, but it looks like she enjoyed it and that made all the difference.
What has worked for you in your victory?
Miss India was a challenge and opportunity for me…it happened very organically. By the time I entered the pageant I was already working in a financial corporate firm; and things were going great work wise. But, somewhere I had this feeling that I wanted to engage in something that is much greater than myself and it was also through the combination of a lot of things I have been experiencing; I have been volunteering, reading a lot of books, exploring yoga, and all the things that were enriching to my soul that helped me in my preparation when I finally made the decision. If you ask what has worked for me, then that has to be my curiosity and determination.
Especially when we are from down South – we come from simple, reserved families and so we take time to come out of our shells. There have been many ups and downs. Convincing the family initially was a task to begin with.
What about the challenges?
There have been a lot of challenges. Especially when we are from down South – we come from simple, reserved families and so we take time to come out of our shells. There have been many ups and downs. Convincing the family initially was a task to begin with. There is a lot of glamour attached to this field and back home we are nowhere near to glamour. So, it took me a lot of effort to educate myself about nuances and different elements that go into it and its still work in progress.
What has been your inspiration?
Books that I read, music I listened to, the environment around me and people I met along the way – I drew inspiration from many, but more from the past winners. Miss India produced wonderful people who made their mark in their personal and professional lives. I was also inspired by this programme that gives a chance to grow.
It’s time people realise that everything you want to achieve is just a question away from you achieving it and you must have the courage to pursue it
What have you learnt from the experience?
It’s time people realise that everything you want to achieve is just a question away from you achieving it and you must have the courage to pursue it. I have been blessed to have parents who have been supportive of my decisions. Everything came together. It’s been a wonderful journey
What are your plans for Miss World pageant?
I think Miss India is as much a responsibility as it is a victory. Now I will be focusing on preparing for Miss World. Our country has huge cultural diversity, and we have been instilled with a set of values as we grew. up To represent the country and showcase all that our country stands for is a great honour.
Your Message to Youngsters:
I would urge them to continue being curious and if you continue to have the desire for learning and knowledge, then you are on right path. Keep chasing your dream and it will take you to the right place.