Ashwini with husband Rohit Lala at Dhanbad Club on Saturday. Picture by Gautam Dey
She’s equally at ease with a mascara wand as she is with maths and, hold your breath, manure.
Meet Dhanbad’s bahu Ashwini Rohit Lala, a comely combination of beauty and brains, who’s looking forward to set Kuala Lumpur on fire.
Ashwini is vying for the Mrs Asia International 2014 title at the pageant to be held the Malaysia capital from May 25 to 29.
A techie-turned-organic farmer and mother of two young boys — 13-year-old Ayushman and 11-year-old Aryaman — Ashwini is among the three Indian contestants at the international event.
The two others with whom Ashwini will match steps on the catwalk are big city women — Promila Kapoor from Delhi and Bangalore-based Pratibha Saunshimath. All three will fly to Malaysia on May 24 from Calcutta.
Ashwini’s husband Rohit and two sons will also go with her to cheer for her.
Ashwini, along with Promila and Pratibha, were selected among 24 contestants during the three-day prelims held in Pune from May 9 to 11, where the pageant’s theme was “beauty in diversity”.
The panel of four judges — medical director of Skin City Dr Niteen Dhepe, cinematographer Sameer Belvalkar of Jodha Akbar fame, danseuse Mugdha Pathak and radio jockey Tia — found Ashwini ticking all the right boxes to bag her place among the final three.
Ashwini, who did her electronics engineering from Pune University and went to do an MBA from Canada, has worked with MNCs like CocaCola before her marriage to Dhanbad entrepreneur Rohit.
Now, she’s an organic farmer, who has put to good use some five acres that belongs to her father-in-law Deepak Lala, also a leading businessman of the coal capital.
A hands-on mother, she also helps her husband in his business.
Speaking to The Telegraph on Sunday, Ashwini said an Indian married woman was unique as she put herself at the bottom of any priority list. “But she should also understand that her life is a gift of god and she should make full use of it. And for this she should be healthy, fit and energetic,” she said.
On her beauty regimen, Ashwini it was not skin deep.
Contestants are judged on looks, fitness, know-how, social work, personality and articulation. “The package includes exercise, yoga, sharpening mental abilities, know-how events, charity drives, etiquette management and photo sessions,” she added.
Why did she take the pageant plunge? “I wanted to inspire other women to be fit and confident,” she said. The international contest is also committed to the cause of bettering youngsters with juvenile diabetes. “I find that very heartwarming,” she added.
“Wish me luck,” she smiled, adding she was felicitated at Dhanbad Club on Saturday.