Recently, Namrata Tolia Shah won the Mrs India 2021 beauty pageant organized by Skywalk Productions and managed to impress the judges so much that they liberally praised her for her charisma, character, confidence, beauty, wit, wisdom, grace and poise. It was as if she was a complete talent package rolled in one! A management professional, a business administration research scholar and a vivid international traveller, Namrata loves dancing, acting and even adventure sports. The smart and cheerful gal is also quite vocal about women empowerment and strongly believes in social causes and humanitarian service. Here, we find out more.
How has life changed for you after winning the Mrs India title?
Undoubtedly, there are a lot of prominent changes. Coming from a well-educated joint family culture and suddenly being in the limelight as the national title holder Mrs.India, made everyone’s perspectives, behaviour and attitude change towards me. I believe in giving my bit to the underprivileged and I have been into the practice of the same for years. But suddenly my donations and doing good for underprivileged kids came to limelight. I now have a voice that is heard. My routine has changed even more. The respect that I receive is overwhelming. Life has changed and the crown has come with lots of love, attention, respect and added responsibilities.
What is your outlook towards life? What makes you tick?
We get one life and have to live it to the fullest. I am an optimistic person who sees the glass half full. The greatest legacy anyone can leave behind, is to positively impact the lives of others. I get upset, when in this day and age, I see women being physically and mentally abused. Also when women and especially girls, are deprived of their basic rights like education, right to freedom and choice, not only in society, but also within their own family.
Who and what are your sources of inspiration?
To begin with, I owe any and every achievement in life to my mother, Dr. Aarti Tolia. She is my inspiration, my role model, someone who I admire. I want to be closer to her unique qualities. Her staunch and adamant attitude reflects in her and my audacious life journey. Some lessons of life are not taught, but rather learnt by living them. My husband is my greatest and best decision I have taken in my life. He is the most influential person in my life and I strive hard to become like him. He has a nature and manner of handling life with great compassion and maturity, with a stress-less attitude and positivity. He believes that worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles, but takes away today’s peace. He believes in giving to mankind and has ingrained in me, the spirit of humanitarianism. That makes him a true positive influencer for me.
You have been quite vocal about women empowerment. Plus, you strongly believe in social causes and humanitarian service. Has your Mrs India win helped these causes? If yes, how is it making a difference?
I have two hands — one to help myself and the other to help others. I want to do my part towards social causes like education for under-privileged children and women empowerment. This is the best phase of my life. The Mrs India win has given me an identity, respect and voice for social causes. I have been practicing donating for years, but since and after the win, I get noticed and I have a stronger voice. I get noticed for every small or big action of mine. With the help of the crown and the limelight and attention it has put on me, I am able to take my cause of humanitarian service ahead. By practicing it myself, I can now motivate others to give back to society. Yes, I strongly believe that a lot has been done towards women empowerment, but a lot has to be done. Half the battle is won when before empowering a woman we look into giving her an equal status in all walks of life. This can be achieved when women start speaking up for themselves and for those around them. Then, slowly but surely, we will see a change. I strongly practice giving, because I believe that giving leads to mental peace and is the easiest way to reach God — just like Mother Teresa, who devoted her life to giving and giving with compassion, consideration and kindness to the needy. One of the best feelings in the world is giving. The positive energy is contagious.
What are all the changes you would like to see in the lives of women across the globe?
I would like women to stand for themselves, speak for themselves and to create their own iconic identity as phenomenal superwomen. No matter in whatever field a woman is, she should take that to the next level. I would like to see women across the globe give wings to their dreams, pave their path. No one will stand with her until she roots herself firmly, asserts her rights, own identity and lives with self respect, self care and becomes self reliant.
You are a management professional and a business administration research scholar who also loves travel and adventure. Tell us more about these aspects of your life?
I have been lucky in all aspects of life, including my education. I did my schooling and BBA from Mumbai, MBA from the United Kingdom and a research study in Tanzania. My passport is filled with visas from across the globe. Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport and so are mine. I am lucky enough to have travelled so much. I’ve engaged in adventure sports like scuba diving, paragliding, parasailing, bungee jumping, skydiving, river rafting, zip lining, hot air balloon, shark cage diving, deep ocean snorkeling and glacier hiking. And I still continue exploring the world and still seek more adventures. My aspects of life are — it is not what we have in life, but who we have in life. I feel blessed to have wonderful friends and family around me. I am also thankful for what I’ve achieved.
Most title holders land up in the entertainment industry. Are you open to the idea of working in Bollywood?
Absolutely! Winning the crown was no cakewalk and it came with tons of effort. Juggling my responsibilities and weaving between my career and dreams, with my research studies and family duties, has been challenging. And I am thankful to my family for the support. While dancing and acting is in my blood, I feel that my win has already triggered my journey of guts, glamour and glory. The Bollywood industry is so vast and there are such beautiful people in it. I would surely like to be a part of the family.
Last but not the least, we have heard that once upon a time, the legendary Dilip Kumar complimented you. True? What was it?
Yes, once in my teens, I visited the legendary actor Dilip Sahab at his Bandra bungalow with my mom Dr. Aarti Tolia, who is a professor. Saira Banuji was also there. While my mom was speaking to Dilip Sahab, he interrupted looking at me and said, “You have a beautiful face. If I had a face like yours, I would be ruling Bollywood.” As he said that, Sairaji smiled looking at me. I had never taken glamour seriously. But I must admit that his words motivated me and triggered my journey to where I stand today.