Well, all of you have read and cherished my journey in Mrs. India Washington, now its time to walk through Nalini Keshava, my fellow contestant's experience in the same pageant. I am not using any adjectives to describe her, but can tell you THIS GIRL IS SOMETHING ELSE :) to know what I mean keep reading....
I had always dreamt to be a part of beauty pageant since my childhood. But, I never participated in one, because of my focus on education and my family background. It almost remained as a dream until I got married and came to the United States. I felt it is time to explore my passion in dancing and modeling.
My first year in the US, I started volunteering for Red Cross and CRY. I made some good friends there, who introduced me to dance and modeling shows. Through one of my friends I came in contact with Manisha Malhotra and expressed my interest in modeling. I got a call from her in the next half an hour. Her stylish yet down to earth nature attracted me to work with her. I did my first show in US on Independence Day for Menka Soni's Ravishing Marketplace. Little did I know that even ramp walk needs choreography.
During the show I met some really beautiful and talented women like Rinku Jain, Latha Pat, Sowmya Shah and a few others. Rinku and Manisha were the choreographers and asked me, if I was interested to participate in the beauty pageant they were hosting in May 2014. I told them that I was not sure since I have always been an introvert. After a lot of hesitation I said "Yes".
My pageant journey started slowly with a lot of doubts and nervousness. On the first day I met all the participants. "My God" was my expression. I could not differentiate married from the unmarried ones. Everyone were so enthusiastic. A few of the participants even had kids, yet they looked so toned and beautiful. Manisha and Rinku divided us into groups. Each group had four members and had to do its own choreography. As the days passed by, members of our group became very comfortable with each other. But, I was looking forward for an event to meet and know all the participants. They had a boot camp in April and I had to miss it for a dance performance in Portland, something I had signed up months before. I was eagerly waiting for our next event. Soon enough a hike was arranged to the Poo
Poo point. ( Yes its not a typo, the name is Poo Poo Point :) )
On the day of hike to Poo Poo Point, we had to be at Issaquah highlands by 8.30 am. My eyes were half open when I started the hike. I was kicking myself from within to have said yes on a Sunday morning. Our hike started with instructions from Rinku which I barely remembered. The first half hour was the toughest. I had to lift my legs one by one and make them walk, literally. As the hike progressed, I started enjoying the cool breeze and the awesome weather. Doing the hike with all the other participants made it even more exciting and entertaining. We started singing, sharing stories and by the time we made it to the view point, I was all energetic and feeling ecstatic.
When we reached Poo Poo Point, our destination, Sun welcomed us with his beautiful smile. I was offered tea, something I never tried before. But after such a tiring hike I could not say no. I had to have something. I tasted it. I like it so much, I could not stop myself from having 4 refills. While walking around, we met a Punjabi couple who were experienced hikers. They were carrying snacks, which I started sharing even before they offered it to us. Asking a stranger for food is not me. But, it felt so right and so good. The taste of the food justified it even more. Yummmm is the only word to describe it. I was enjoying everything, maybe it was because I was hungry or because my mind opening to all experiences in life. I do not know. There were a lot of dogs running around at the Poo Poo point. I am very afraid of dogs. I will never forget how all the girls were guarding me against the dogs while we walked around.
I then suggested to everyone that we should all scream really loud together and that will release a lot of tension. Screaming is one thing I always do with my Hubby, frequently. It is our tradition. On a count of 3 we scream together and burst into laughter. I would suggest that everyone give it a try. All of us screamed really loud. Everyone around us, including the dogs, were taken by surprise, stared at us for a few seconds. On the way back home I was so energetic and active throughout the day. I will always cherish this hike and plan to do more of such activities.
Stay tuned for the next part !