In December 2000, Dia Mirza, then just a wide-eyed, 18-year-old was crowned Miss Asia Pacific International and life was never the same. The young girl who had never travelled abroad before was now the toast of an International beauty pageant. Life had suddenly turned even more beautiful than dreams and Dia recalls, “I have said this before that I was not raised to be competitive. And perhaps that is why I never wondered what would happen if I did not win. As this young kid from Hyderabad, I went to both the Miss India pageant and to Miss Asia Pacific International with the thought that I would value the opportunity and make the most of it. Whenever I felt the stirrings of the desire to win, I in fact felt uncomfortable. But looking back, winning felt like transitioning from my old life to a new one. I was still the same but everything else had changed. And since then my attitude towards every new opportunity has been the same. I approach it with gratitude and humility and I learn, imbibe and make the most of it. “
She has since then walked through many new portals. That of an award-winning actor, producer, UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador & United Nations Secretary-General Advocate for SDGS (Sustainable Development Goals), an environmental change-maker and a tireless student of life. She says, “When I look back, I just feel, it was all meant to happen. Me being spotted by a modelling agent at 16, the advertising campaigns, fashion shows, editorial shoots that followed. And then the Miss India pageant and the international crown, of course. It all seemed daunting then but I guess, at some level, I was ready. Just as I always am, when another new and exciting challenge beckons me.”
Ask her what the secret of winning is and she smiles, “Believing in yourself, being authentic and trusting life. And always knowing that a bigger force is at work to take you towards a higher purpose where you can make a positive difference, somehow.