Well, I come from Kolkata and went to an all-boys school. Coming from a strict family background where my dad was a senior government officer, I had to abide by the rules of life and my upbringing. I was kind of well aware of my gender diaspora at a very early age. Ever since, it hasn't been easy. To understand yourself, not being able to die in a certain way the people's fragmented society wants is a huge problem. But to my belief, my strong reassurance of who I wanted to be kept me going. I definitely nurtured myself into being the person I am today within the closed walls of my home. Coming out of Kolkata and starting a new life many years ago gave me a feeling of freedom in my soul. It's all the self-determination that kept me going, and I always knew who I would be. That's Nitasha.
Failure is a steppingstone to learning. And with that learning, you become a better person through the process of your failure. Each time I failed, I got back up and never gave up. There were many situations in which I was not able to make ends meet, but I had the zeal to not give up at all. And that's how I kept going. Each time I failed, I leaned in and carried on to my next step.
The biggest challenge was understanding myself. To come to peace with myself was one of the huge challenges of society's way of living. It's never easy. Making my family understand who I was and how I was embracing my true identity was not easy. Then came society's outlook, which was also a huge challenge. As society wants you to be a certain way, they would question my existence. I didn't give up. I fought to create my place with dignity and pride.
It's my self-resilience, determination, and focus that never took my attention away from where I am today. I was totally focused, even after I fell many times.
The Winning Moment
Well, yes, my life changed when I created history after becoming India’s first trans person to win a beauty pageant. My life turned into greater responsibilities for becoming the winner, and I had a lot of responsibilities to become the voice for the unheard. The only way I approached my objectives was by being confident in what I did, always being open to learning to be a better person and listening and learning.
Advice to Budding People
I would say, "Just love yourself. What you see in the mirror is the power that is "you". The person you see is the person you are going to nurture. Hard work has no substitute. Whatever stream or career you choose, always remember that you need to put in your efforts and hard work to make it happen. You will lose the way in between but remember to make the doors the same. Hard work is the key.
Being a self-learner
In my case, I was pretty much self-taught. I remember my father giving me the Internet when I was in school. And I would work on my computer lessons and find anything about my gender diaspora, and then I learned I was not alone. That gave me a lot of confidence and reassured me that I could be my true self. With due time, I eventually looked up to people like Caroline, who was a transgender model of her time.
To see pageant role models like Susmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai. They teach us a lot about life. Their words weighted my belief. I made sure to understand what they meant by spreading the idea of being a role model to millions. I had very keen eyes to follow them and their lives, which helped me, reach where I am today.
The Strength Within
I’m totally proud of the person I have become over this period of time. Life has taught me the hard way. But I'm happy I have given myself wings to make the dreams real. And that makes me a very strong person overall. My most euphoric feeling was when I won India's first transgender beauty contest. To be able to represent India on global platforms and bring on many shows to show how our representation is important for a growing society that includes everyone. My personal achievement is giving birth to the woman I am today.
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