Today, I write with the utmost respect for mothers, working or homemakers. You might be able to relate to this. I have a mother who tries that neither me nor my sister has to cook a meal unless necessary. And then I wonder what is it that she has done solely for herself. Not for the lack of space and time, but she didn’t pursue her passion. Not that she ever complained or didn’t have the support from us, believe me, she did. But what was it, age, apprehension, judgment, convention, or the just fact that she wasn’t given a chance to do so? Only a mother would be able to answer these.
So, I had the opportunity to meet a Mrs. India Earth contestant. A mother of two, 39 years old, Kanchan Korani from Rajkot lives in Hong Kong with her spouse. I know better now to say that these pageants aren’t just about tainting and painting.
Kanchan got married right after she completed her B.Com and moved to Hong Kong for her husband’s work. She started her own shop there, importing Indian groceries and food for people living in Hong Kong and other countries.
“Meri khudki pehchaan chahiye thi mujhe (I wanted a name of my own)”, she says with pride in her voice.
She started after her son was born. Kanchan wanted to have some connect with her native place and hence she started off with Indian food, sharing it with others who felt and craved what she did.
The wife of a man who assembles watches, Kanchan was trying to find her feet, nurture her kids, and do justice to her life in Hong Kong. Not that her husband wasn’t supportive, he was, but there are things you want to do, things you love without giving up on either one of them.
The 39 year old Kanchan Korani I met is beautiful, elegant, graceful, and looks way different from socially accepted convention falling under mother-of-two. But she wasn’t the same after she got married. With a shop to run and kids to manage, Kanchan had gained weight. Her daughter persuaded Kanchan to apply for the Mrs. India Earth Pageant.
“I had come to India for my brother’s marriage. All through the marriage I heard comments from relatives, ‘She’s married and has two kids, her youth is done for’. That moment shook me. I realised that I am not what I used to be. It wasn’t about how I looked, but how I felt about myself. In my head, I didn’t prove to anyone but my self. ”
That is when she joined a gym and started working out. Simple, no? No. A fit body undoubtedly requires a lot of hard work, which too doesn’t matter, if not clubbed with patience and determination.
“I used to weigh above ninety kilos in my brother’s marriage. Today I am forty-two.”
With the support of her husband, her kids, her younger brother and his wife, Kanchan participated in the Mrs. Earth India and moved to becoming a finalist.
“With their support, I won the subtitle of ‘Mrs. India Earth Beautiful Skin’.”
Kanchan is known amongst the Indian community in Hong Kong because of her established grocery business.. After her recognition in the pageant, she was approached by a lot of women in the community so that she could give strength to them as she found her strength in her kin. She is even the face of Closet Love a fashion app who styled her during the contest.
With this, I ask her what’s the next mountain she wants to climb? And she was ready with her answer.
“I want to study, I wanted to become a Chartered Accountant. So I’ll pursue that, I’ll help further the cause of education. I didn’t pursue higher education. But I want to and would love to help others who want the same.”
Kanchan believes if she will think that she’s forty and is too old to pursue such endeavor, people will always accept the easier and let her, because we have grown up in an environment where no one wants us to step out of the box but keep steady at our places, maybe because that challenges their way of life.
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