ANDOVER, MA– When Anita Ganesan, the newly-crowned Miss India New England 2015, first told her mother that she was competing in a pageant, the look her mom gave her could have been out of a sitcom, recalls Ganesan. “My parents are very traditional and our whole family comes from a very studious background so participating in pageants is a completely foreign concept to them,”Ganesan told INDIA New England News.
On Sunday, Ganesan was crowned Miss India New England. On Dec. 6, she will compete in the national Miss India USA pageant, which will be held in Edison, New Jersey. If she wins the national pageant, Ganesan will go to compete in Miss India World Wide. She is now venturing into Indian silver screen with her debut comedy sitcom: “Breakfast in Bangalore.”
Ganesan spent her college years majoring in electrical and Computer systems engineering, devoting her free time to improv and envisioning the moment she could pursue acting as a career as well. She actualized her dream after years of working at her nine-to-five job and experimenting with the nights and weekends. Over the course of a year, Ganesan has landed several principal roles in dozens of national commercials, print advertisements and independent films.
She is passionate about helping her community through Saheli Boston and volunteers by making brochures and other training materials for them. She is an avid runner, kick boxer and studied Indian classical dance.
In an exclusive interview with INDIA New England News via email, Ganesan talks about her journey to the world of pageants.
INDIA New England News: How do you feel being crowned as Miss India New England?
ANITA GANESAN: Words cannot describe the feeling! I am beyond honored and humbled to continue on as the next Miss India New England.
INE: Are you going to participate in nation Miss India Pageant? When and where is it going to be held?
AG: Yes I am and I intend on bringing the Miss India USA crown back to New England! It will be held on Dec 6th 2015 in Edison, New Jersey.
INE: How is your performance going to be different there?
AG: I will just continue working hard by training myself both mentally and physically so that I can be prepared on all aspects of the national pageant. Especially since it is quickly approaching, I am determined to work even harder, not just for myself but now for our whole community.
INE: What did you learn from New England pageant?
AG: The list could go on and on but one thing I learned is how important it is to show off that spark that makes me unique. It is always difficult to put ourselves out there, on any platform, but I was standing with some of the most intelligent, powerful women in our community so that energy gave me the strength to focus on what makes me who I am!
INE: When was the first time you thought about participating in a pageant?
AG: I participated in Miss Massachusetts USA in 2013 and participated in Miss India New England 2014 where I won Miss Talented so the pageant world is not completely foreign to me. However, each pageant is so different and the judges focus on different aspects so I had to prepare in different ways for each one. Confidence was a key factor and that came over time, as I grew as a person. This year, I was finally able to show off my personality and strength on stage.
INE: What role did your parents play in your interest in pageants?
AG: When I first told my mother I was competing in a pageant, the look she gave me could have been out of a sitcom! My parents are very traditional and our whole family comes from a very studious background so participating in pageants is a completely foreign concept to them. There are always pre conceived notions about beauty pageants, but they quickly realized after last year how Miss India New England is not just a beauty pageant. It takes skill, hard work and self-confidence so really anyone who participates is already a winner!
INE: What made you participate in New England pageant?
AG: I find the concept of pageants very fascinating and empowering for women. I wanted to be able to experience it for myself and form my own opinion about them. Working alongside these beautiful, talented women (on and off stage) created a strong bond for me and has inspired me to continue to achieve anything and everything I want in life.
INE: If you win national competition, is that going to change anything for you?
AG: If I were to win the national competition, I don’t think I will change but I will feel the responsibility and weight I carry when I wear the crown. I believe the title is a stepping stone to a platform each winner must define for themselves. I would love to use my title to inspire and encourage women to support each other and their goals in life, no matter what they may be.
INE: What are your long-term goals in life?
AG: I am in between the technology and entertainment fields at the moment, and as hectic as it is to keep that balance – I would love to continue to grow in both fields. As of now, I am very involved with acting – I just filmed my first television series in India entitled, “Breakfast in Bangalore” and I am hoping to work on other great projects like this.
INE: What are the core values that guide you in your daily life?
AG: My parents have instilled a very dedicated work ethic in both my brother and myself. From a young age, my parents have given us so many opportunities to thrive and we continue to not take these for granted. I believe hard work and dedication always pays off in the long run and I am blessed to have such a great support system when the road gets tough.
INE: What advice will you give to teenagers–both boys and girls?
AG: Technology is ever changing in our world and will continue to be a staple in our lives but I encourage teenagers ( and even myself at times!) to step away from the screen and read more; do more! Whether it is learning to play an instrument or exploring a new hiking trail, disconnecting ourselves from the grid can help us learn more about ourselves and what we truly find important. The media and the circle we surround ourselves with can continuously tell us “who we are, what we can wear, who we should be” so it is very important to take a step back and reassess what we find fun within ourselves and grow.