Debasree Das Mall is your average girl next door. Except, she’s not really average. The 32-year-old mother of one, was crowned Mrs. Singapore India 2014 last year and a couple of weeks ago, she went on to win the Mrs. Asia International Goodwill 2015 crown, outperforming 31 women from 10 countries for the title.
One thing about her that is average though is her height. Despite being only 5’2”, most other contestants standing a head taller than her, Debasree stood undeterred, with her eyes firmly planted on the crown. She says, “All I had in my mind was to keep my eyes set on the crown. I knew that I needed to bring that crown home for Singapore as a gift for my country on the occasion of SG50”.
The dusky Bengali beauty originates from Midnapore, a small town in West Bengal. She did her schooling in Kharagpur and went on to pursue an MBA in International Business from Pune. She then moved on to work and live in cities across the world – Moscow, Durban, Delhi, Pune, Mumbai and now Singapore.
After getting married and moving to Singapore 4 years ago, Debasree travelled extensively across South East Asia, for both work and pleasure. She fits multiple roles – a wife, a mother, a business manager, a beauty queen. A passionate dancer and an avid traveler, she loves cooking and exploring places.
Post becoming a mother, Debasree wanted to do something besides motherhood and her corporate career, so she decided to join the pageant world. Debasree says that she is a self-motivated person, who loves challenges. So when she got only 4 days to prepare for the Mrs. Asia International pageant, she took the challenge head on, giving it her heart and soul and winning the crown for the country. She fondly says “I always believed that your dreams have the ability to fly provided you give them the power to do so. I’m a positive thinker who abides and swears by the law of attraction and implements it in daily life”.
Urbandesis’ editor Pooja Bakhshi recently spoke to Debasree about her achievements. Here’s what she had to say.
1) Congratulation Debasree. You did us desis proud by winning the Mrs. Asia International Goodwill 2015 for Singapore. What do you think distinguished you from the other 30 contestants?
I think my confidence, my convincing aura of beauty, and my passion to make it big and grab the winner’s crown are what made me different.
2) What did participating in the prestigious beauty pageant entail?
As I was already a national level pageant winner, I knew what was involved. The additional preparation I went through was to build up enough confidence, and carry myself with pride throughout the competition and with elegance while I walk the ramp with my evening gown.
It’s essential that a title holder must be eloquent in whatever subject she’s questioned on, so I read through a plethora of topics – about society, about women, about the world at large.
I was also prepared for wearing the national costume of the country and an evening gown. There was a talent round too where we had to show case our talents, I’m a trained classical dancer and I choreographed a Bollywood number,
3) How did you juggle this with your career and motherhood?
It isn’t easy to juggle work, home, babies, travel, husband and a pageant life. But I believe that women are empowered to be multi-taskers, it’s all about time management and the passion that drives us, for what we wish to achieve in our lives. This is what helps me carry off all my responsibilities smoothly and happily.
4) In what ways are the ‘Mrs.’ pageants different from the ‘Miss’ pageants, of course, besides the obvious difference?
The ‘Mrs.’ pageants, unlike the ‘Miss’ pageants, don’t look for supermodels. In the ‘Mrs.’ category, you look for someone who has this perfect amalgamation of grey matter, skin deep beauty, the ability to juggle myriad roles, and a passion for serving society. It’s an arena for celebrating womanhood, while being a homemaker and a mother.
The ‘Mrs.’ pageants give women a wonderful platform to discover themselves beyond what the world knows them as – a mother, a wife, a corporate woman. This helps you to live and work for a good cause, at the same time setting an example for women who would love to look beyond the social roles and responsibilities bestowed by society.
5) Tell us about your (extremely interesting) costume.
Singapore having a multi-ethnic culture, I wanted to bring together cultural elements from all these harmonious races, into my costume. I wore a high slit red coloured (red being the national colour of Singapore) cheongsam gown, with a fortune God hat representing Chinese culture, a Malay wedding crown from Malaysian culture and a tiara, representing the Indian culture. I also carried a red feathered fan, which added the much needed flamboyance on stage.
6) What does this win mean for you? What’s next?
Being one of the distinguished faces of Asia, I would be interested in doing brand endorsements, celebrity chat shows and hosting events. On the personal front, I always wanted to do something for woman empowerment as I know what it takes to be a woman in this world, and I would really like to start this from my own home town – sharing a bit of my journey and making a difference in the lives of women.
7) So what do you love about Singapore?
I love living in Singapore, I feel it’s one of the safest countries in Asia. It’s amazing to see all the 4 cultures Chinese, Indian, Malaysian and Eurasian, living in absolute harmony and celebrating each and every festival with joy.
8) Anything else that you want to say to Urbandesis.
Word that go out to every woman today, believe in yourself and you can do wonders with your life. Thank you Urbandesis for featuring me and letting me share my achievements and passion with the world!