Fashion

The world after the release

Ruhi Singh. Photo: Appurva Shah  

You might know her as the spunky teen aspiring for the crown of the country’s most prestigious beauty pageant in Nisha Pahuja’s acclaimed documentary The World Before Her.

Three years after the film documented her heartbreaking journey, 22-year-old Ruhi Singh from Jaipur sounds every bit as positive and ambitious as she did in the documentary, even if she didn’t win the crown. Twice.

Yes, even after the loss in 2011, she applied again but ended up a finalist.

“But I was not heartbroken. I was young when I took part in it. And quite young the second time too. But the pageant is responsible for my success. The kind of exposure I got, the confidence… It was never about winning or losing. It’s about the journey and not about the end. Twenty of them are chosen for the pageant and each one is as good as the other. The pageant always helps and supports us. It’s up to you to make use of the right opportunity. The movie I’m doing now is because of that,” she says.

She is bound by contract not to talk about the film but it will be announced soon, she adds. “It’s a dream project and I’m glad I landed it. The kind of character I’m playing is what I always wanted to do, and the filmmakers are people I always wanted to work with. I was in talks with them and I finalised it when the documentary released.”

She recently got to meet Prachi Trivedi, the girl who conducts Durga Vahini camps, from the opposite end of the spectrum during the last leg of the film’s run. Did the film or meeting Prachi help her see the other side?

“Not really,” she quips candidly and laughs. “But yes, it was amazing to meet Prachi and understand how the camps work. I was always aware of the cultural diversity in our country, but we were able to get on to such a big platform and make people see it. The film has impacted a lot of lives.”

So, are she and Prachi friends now?

“Not at all,” comes the instant giggly response again. “I’m sure it’s possible for us to be friends but then, I don’t make friends very easily. I would love for Prachi to be my friend. As I mentioned even during our interaction, I can totally relate to what they teach in the Durga Vahini camps.”

All of it? Even the politics of hate for other religions?

“No, just the self-defense and the karate part of it. I’m from a Hindu family. I go to church every Sunday. I am also delving into Buddhism. Now it’s Ramzan, so I go to my Muslim friends’ houses to eat there. I do not believe in religion. I believe in do-whatever-you-want-to-do.”

She loves Mumbai and the independence she has found in the city.

“I have been here and in Jaipur, on and off… Mumbai has treated me really well. I have my own place. I enjoy my independence. I love the city and how ambitious all my friends are, compared to Jaipur that’s laidback and where everybody’s chilled out and satisfied.”

Ruhi had mentioned in the documentary that she might think of getting married and having kids at 24.

“I’m 22,” she insists when you ask her how she feels now. “I don’t think I should get married right now or in two or five years. I don’t know why I even said it. People’s priorities change. My priority is my career right now. And a little later, my priorities may change again. I enjoy what I’m doing and have a good life. I think you should only do things because they make you happy.”


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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 12:13:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/fashion/the-world-after-the-release/article6213647.ece

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