1- How your Defence background helped in shaping up Varsha Rajkhowa- who is the Miss Scuba International 2016, Ocean Ambassador, and Climate Reality Leader?
A. Defence background has been a huge part of the way, it made me stand strong and adapt to each situation in life. Since childhood, we have been travelling and learning about different cultures and languages. Meeting people all over India, learning about different traditions that people have in different states in India, also public speaking and code of conduct in a public forum.
Similarly fine dining, time discipline, dress to the occasion, to be courageous, management in life, and how to greet each person that you come across including exchanging great values of life and to participate in extracurricular activities. We were exposed to an adventurous life at a very young age, wherever dad was posted we travelled by road some of which includes road journey from Jodhpur to Assam and Assam to Pune.
Our childhood was full of adventure and some thrilling experiences. We learned the art of adaptability very soon and at a very early age. The grooming of defence life plays a huge role in who I am today and will always be grateful for that to Dad especially who is from the Air Force.
2. Scuba Diving is not that popular in India, what made you opt for it?
A. I was always a water baby and a national level swimmer. But I opted to go for scuba diving after winning the National Pageant of Miss Scuba India 2016, as to represent India internationally you have to be a certified scuba diver, to enter the international pageant that is Miss Scuba International. It’s an International Beauty pageant with the purpose of saving oceans through the beauty and this International Beauty Pageant has been taking place since 2011. Selecting Beauty Queens all over the world, who are also certified scuba divers along with being beauty queens and the winner also becomes the Ocean Ambassador who travels around the world to spread awareness about ocean conservation, environment protection, climate change, and safe diving practices after winning the prestigious crown of Miss Scuba International.
This is one of a kind of Beauty Pageant. I did my scuba diving certification from Havelock Andaman with fin kick adventures.
I also did my Masters in environmental science but always worked for the environment above the water and never got a chance to see what all damages and changes are happening underwater till I dived. Only read about coral bleaching, climate change, threats to marine life but only got to see and realise the changes that were taking place in the ocean once I started diving. It’s a different world and mesmerizing. After my first dive, it pulled my interest to know more about the life underwater. It’s a lifetime experience and one must try at least once to go for scuba diving and practically experience the life underwater which is magical, colourful and breathtaking.
3- Pls elaborate more and educate us on What is Scuba Diving all about?
A. Scuba Diving is a magical lifetime experience of underwater diving where the diver uses a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus, which is completely independent of surface supply, to breathe underwater. At least once in your life you should go for this adventure sport as you get to see life underwater which is colourful, captivating and extremely enthralling.
It’s an utterly different world and the visuals are very engaging. The way marine life runs and works around the corals, variety of species and their different characters is something to observe. Sharks, dolphins, octopus, manta ray, barracudas and many others. The school of fishes and also turtles to safely swim along is a definite must-do thing in your bucket list.
Scuba diving is like yoga teaches you to be calm, composed and most important teaches you the discipline and value of life. It can do wonders to you as it did to me and changes your mindset and personality bringing out the best in you, making us realise that life is beautiful.
4- you are an international Beauty Queen, such a heavy position comes with loads of responsibilities – what are the key roles you are playing as Miss Scuba International/ Ocean Ambassador?
A. Yes, it is true that along with the crown comes great responsibility when you represent your country the sense of responsibility is higher cause people assign you by your countries name and the pride to carry the image of 7.8 billion and called as Miss India is something one can not express by words. As a Queen after winning internationally, you need to serve for the purpose as the Pageantry World assigns each queen as Beauty With A Purpose’. Miss Scuba International serves for the purpose of saving oceans through beauty, so after winning the international title the as Reigning Queen and Ocean Ambassador I was travelling across the world, attending different Conference, Dive Expos, Events that exhibit the importance of marine life and scuba diving, talk shows, interacting with different communities- spreading awareness about ocean conservation and environment protection and also participating in beach clean up. I still continue to do that along with training and grooming girls for Miss Scuba India.
We as Beauty Queens truly believe that the purpose never dies and we keep serving till the end and that is exactly what I intend to do. It’s like parenting you need to pass on the knowledge and the art.
5. You have been roaming around the world and am sure you have learnt many things while travelling and interacting with people – please do share one memorable incident of our life?
A. As a Queen, there were many a time which was magical and memorable but would like to share an incident that happened during a conference, post the event we all were sitting around the table interacting and suddenly one the person and my pageant director said we give you a situation, imagine we take back your crown now tell us why do you deserve to be Miss Scuba International, now that was something I wasn’t prepared, I was caught off guard and my but after I replied she gave me a look and said you truly deserve to win this crown and gave me back my crown and title. Living the magical moment again was something that gave me chills that time and tears of happiness that yes I do stand up to my Title and for the 2nd time after being retested that was one of the most memorable evenings for me.
6. You have been working towards climate reality change – what’s your take on the youth of the country?
A. As a climate leader, I think the youth of each country are the future of tomorrow and are adding great value to their work towards climate change and environmental conservation. The contribution that they have towards society whether it’s spreading awareness, educating people and even reaching out to different parts of the world through social media, conducting cyclothon giving the message to reduce carbon footprint is scarcely credible.
7. We have seen that most of the Beauty Queen eventually ends up in Bollywood: do you have any desire as such?
A. Yes definitely, every personality who is in the field of glamour loves to be noticed and recognised amongst the people. We all feel delighted when we hear people say that they aspire to be like us. Films are a major part of the glamour world and it also gives you a chance to reach to the masses and influence them. I would love to act in a movie given a chance and a strong script that has a strong and impactful message (moral). But I first wanted to set my base strong and serve towards my duty as the Queen and winner of Miss Scuba International before exploring and entering other fields. Now I am open with the thought to work in the film industry. Let’s see what’s lined up for me in future. As I believe to go with the flow.
8. How do you manage so many Roles at a time?
A. To be honest I love my work and the responsibilities that come along with it. It brings out the best in me and keeps me going. My work takes me places, gives me the opportunity to interact with different people from different regions and countries. I enjoy working on new and creative projects and I am a workaholic. Big responsibilities make you wiser, mature and grow as a person and handle (manage) things better in life. Yes, sometimes it gets very difficult to manage everything so you need to let go certain projects or work and go ahead with the one you that you first gave the commitment to cause fulfilling your commitment is very important to be successful, one must focus in a particular direction to achieve what he or she wants and that’s exactly what I pursue.
9. Since you are from NE, have you faced any discrimination as such?
A. Being from northeast yes I have had hurdles and challenges that I faced sometimes for looks, sometimes for my accent especially the way I speak Hindi but we all have our share of problems and challenges in life, I was bullied but the same place gave me equal amounts of love and respect. So the feeling is mixed were on one side I get bullied or rejected the same place accepts and gives me love. I was fortunate to have an astounding set of friends who supported and stood by me when I needed it. The crowd is a mixed type, It’s up to us how we take it, face the issues and move ahead. A calm and kind mind can do wonders and that’s the mantra I followed. If you need to make your mark and presence strong and loved you need to be smart in dealing with a situation and blending with that same place rather than always fighting or shouting loud. Sometimes simple actions can change minds in a good way. Blend and rule
10.In India where they can learn professional Diving and what can be the future possibilities for them as a profession?
A. Scuba Diving is a thrilling and exciting experience teaching you many aspects of marine life and the importance of the ocean so we must dive once in our lifetime. You can go for scuba diving certification to Goa, Netarani Island (near Goa, off the coast of Karnataka), Puducherry, Lakshadweep and Andaman Islands. These are some of the dive places in India. Scuba diving is a life-changing and exhilarating experience. You can practically see life underwater and learn about them. You feel like there are so much to live and so many things to explore that you feel like diving again and again.