I dreamt of wearing the crown: Meenakshi Chaudhary

I dreamt of wearing the crown: Meenakshi Chaudhary

 Haryana's Meenakshi Chaudhary (1st Runner up) with Miss United Continents 2017 Sana Dua during Miss India 2018 pageant, in Mumbai on late Tuesday, June 19, 2018. PTI file Photo

Miss India first runner-up Meenakshi Chaudhary says she has been eyeing the title ever since she was a child and that all former beauty pageant winners inspired her to realise her dream.

While Anukreethy Vas, a 19-year-old college student from Tamil Nadu, was crowned Miss India, Haryana's Meenakshi came in second.

In an interview with PTI, Meenakshi says, "Ever since I was a kid, I used to cut out pictures of Miss India and paste that on my cupboard always thinking 'I will be there one day wearing that crown'.

"I was motivated by all the Miss India winners, Aishwarya Rai, Gul Panag, all of them. My childhood fangirl dream has turned into a reality."

Meenakshi, 21, is a state-level swimmer and badminton player and is currently pursuing Bachelors in Dental Surgery. For her, taking part in Miss India was "life-changing."

"These 35 days of Miss India helped me discover this other side to me. My confidence got a major boost. I was an introvert, I never took initiative. But here, I was answering in front of millions... It is a big transformation for me," she says.

Though the win still feels like a dream, Meenakshi is gearing up for the Miss Grand International 2018 title, where she will be representing the country.

"I never wanted to limit myself, because I knew I was good in studies, sports, extra-curricular activities, so I wanted to do everything. When your dreams turn into a reality, you feel so overwhelmed. I had that self-belief to achieve all. Right now, my focus is to represent India on an international level. Later, I don't know where life will take me," she says.