Full Name: Poojah Ganesh
Zodiac Sign: Cancer
Favorite Color: Pink and Red
As a kid, I loved listening to my parents tell stories about Indian mythology. Trips to India allowed me to further appreciate the traditions and history I would see only in films. I became thrilled to narrate those stories and experiences to anyone whom I laid my eyes on. It was there that my passion for storytelling grew into something far colossal than I expected: it became a heavenly escape for my vividly wild imagination. Since then, I have always aspired to be the greatest storyteller.* I was 8 when I started writing; over the years, countless notebooks and pages have been filled with stories, novels and poetry (some of which have been published in magazines and online publications).
*Fun fact: I went to college to become a professional storyteller; I received my degree in broadcast journalism in 2016!
Around the same time, I saw a Rangapravesham (dance debut) of two girls; that was the day I knew I wanted to be a dancer, and I insisted to be taken for lessons. I started to live for the stage and was ecstatic to portray different characters through the new storytelling art form of Bharatanatyam (classical Indian dance). Eventually I learned to adopt dance as a lifestyle. I have and still do perform in dance productions, cultural programs and for fundraisers for various causes (e.g., children’s education, victims of 2010 Haiti earthquake).
Studying Carnatic (classical Indian) music has helped complement my dance training, improve my pronunciation and understanding of various Indian languages and get closer to my Indian culture. Not only do I perform at various temples, programs and competitions, but also I teach music to kids and compose my own music.
When I’m not rehearsing or performing for shows…I model, hang out with my puppy Aryhan, travel around the world and eat my Mom’s fabulous food (especially idli and dosa!!). My passions are many, but my curiosity and thirst for knowledge and stories can never be quenched. It is this hunger that drives me to pursue and indulge in my interests enthusiastically.
What are you doing presently?
Most likely doing any of the above-mentioned activities, maintaining my travel blog Dramatic Wonders and completing freelance writing projects.
What are your future plans?
I aspire to make a positive impact on the world and a name for myself with my innovative ideas, storytelling, music, dance and my other creative strengths.
I would also like to get an MBA, travel and perform around the world, publish my novels and start my own dance and music school to keep the Indian culture alive.
Why do you want to participate in the pageant?
My past experiences and desire to learn have brought me far, but my journey has just begun with these first few steps.
I have yet to meet more people, hear their stories, take on bigger challenges than the ones from yesterday and be enlightened by the wealth of knowledge that people have to share.
Participating in the pageant will help me accomplish exactly that-I hope to establish new relationships and learn things that I will carry on to the future.
In the different rounds of the pageant, I will also get the opportunity to showcase my own talents and knowledge and be inspired by the talent and knowledge displayed by the other contestants.
Talent you plan to do for pageant (Please include song name if doing a dance, this can be changed later):
I will be singing a song.
What 3 words sum you up?
Passionate and (Com)passionate:
I’m extremely passionate about my interests and dedicate my time and efforts to achieve the best results. I’m also very compassionate-I try to understand the other side of things. If someone is in pain or has a problem, I am easily concerned and will try to do my best to help out however I can.
I don’t like taking “no” for an answer. However long it takes to create something perfect, I will do so without giving up.
If I do not know about something, I will go great lengths to empower myself with research about the topic.
Coldplay said it right-my head is full of dreams. I dream the impossible and work to make it happen. Sometimes my ideas and inventions are bold and quirky, but they are definitely unique.
What is an interesting fact about you that not many know?
I flew a plane once…and I still love listening to music (tapes) using the Boombox my mother got me when I was 10.
If you were a super hero, what would your super power be?
My super power would be:
SPF-Super positive force.
I would spread as much SPF to the world as I can and would encourage and empower people to always smile and be positive in the face of adversity.
As many positivity gurus and books say, positive thinking generally attracts good things.
If you could take three things to a dessert island what would they be and why?
I would take with me a camera/notebook to capture my experiences and share my thoughts and new findings. I’ve always traveled with a notebook. Traditions don’t change.
I would also carry a basket with food, water, cutlery and napkins. The cutlery could be used to cut vegetables and fruits that I find on the island.
Lastly, I would bring my family to create even more wonderful memories. I’m very close to my family-bringing them to the island would alleviate major homesickness. Plus, an advantage is that I can make THEM bring other essential things like clothing, a tent, etc.
Most embarrassing moment:
In the middle of a dance performance, I fell hard on the wooden stage from spinning so fast. Everyone in the audience laughed so hard, even I couldn’t help laughing. But after the performance, I bolted out of there as fast as I could.
I am inspired by many, but here are my biggest inspirations:
1) Mom and Dad: My parents were dreamers. They dreamed of coming to America and starting their journey here. And they did exactly that with hard work, determination and good spirits. They provided my sister and I everything we could have ever wanted and instilled in us the importance of good values and morals; the benefits of following the traditions of our beautiful culture; and the significance of working hard to achieve our own dreams, becoming strong women and having fun.
2) My Grandmother: She constantly encourages me to do my best and is always proud of me…I am always excited to share everything I do with her.
3) My Gurus: They push me to do better than I did last time and they teach me an ocean of knowledge that I hope to share for generations on.
Besides feeling the indescribable pain of losing someone or seeing someone suffer immensely, my other worst nightmare would be living without achieving my dreams or highest potential.
If you knew today was your last day on Earth, how would you spend it?
If today were my last day on Earth, I would spend it at the temple with my family. When I go the temple, I sing and dance in front of the deities and always feel a sense of peace and fulfillment meditating on God.
I also have a diary where I write four things I am thankful for every day. On my last day, I want to reread the entire diary and write another four things that I am thankful for.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten:
1) “Yesterday is today’s past. Tomorrow will be today’s future. So live and enjoy each moment.” –Mom
2) “I take my work seriously…but I don’t take myself seriously.”
Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years?
I hope to establish an immensely successful career in music and dance, perform worldwide, teach the classical Indian arts to as many people as I can and continue to do even more volunteer work.
Open Text: (Ask people to come support you):
Hey everybody! My name is Poojah Ganesh and I am competing for the Miss India-DC Title. Come see me and my fellow contestants perform and showcase our magnificent talents and knowledge! Thank you for reading my bio, and I hope to see you support us at the pageant!