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The ‘monk’ girl who loves to ride a Royal Enfield

An 19-year-old college girl usually talks about Bollywood films or Facebook or Instagram posts. But Nidhi Shaji, a final-year commerce student at BMC Thrikkakkara, is different and she talks about spending days as a monk in a monastery or a trip to the Himalayalas on her Royal Enfield. An all-rounder, she was recently chosen as one of the Golden Girls (a contest by Times of India and Malabar Gold) at her college. A tete-a-tete with Nidhi.

You were selected as the Golden Girl. What was the selection process?

The selection process was nothing but performance. From shortlisted 70 students from my college (BMC, final-year commerce, Thrikkakkara),I was selected as the Golden Girl. We could perform anything that suits us the most. Well, I chose to share my perspectives on LGBT equality. And I got selected as one of the Golden Girls from our college. I couldn't win the final stage which was based on votes. It was the stage where had to get maximum likes in our profile, where our performance was uploaded. So I lost it at that stage.

What made you win the competition? Explain a bit about the competition.

Of course, Almighty’s blessings. And yes, I did perform quite well. There was also an interactive session with the judging panel. I did carry myself well throughout the competition.

Winning a competition at this age must have been a major confidence booster. What was your take-away from the event?

Of course, it was. And my takeaway? Well it's nothing but the opportunities that we grab in our life. I got Rs 20,000 and the title from that competition just because I grabbed the opportunity. It's not the outcome but the initial step we take for the journey that counts. And I enjoyed every moment with crew members and the entire team of Golden Girls. It was a great experience and exposure. I am still connected to some of them. For a ‘toddler’ like me, it's something very close to the heart.

We hear you are a motorcycle enthusiast? Tell us about your rides.

Well, I love my Royal Enfield and my bicycle. And I have got a passion for vehicles. I would love to ride all kinds of vehicles, let's say from bicycle to even heavy trucks. I try to cycle almost every day after my college hours. And during holidays, I do for long bicycle rides. And one day I did go to my college by bicycle and it's nearly 50 km, to and fro. Yes, I love sports and films.

We hear you have stopped eating non-vegetarian food and staying away from hotel food. What made you think on these lines?

I love the concept of minimalism where we have to practice the art of ‘let-go’. It’ is an attempt to de-clutter ourselves from the every day junk. Since I want to try out the life of a monk, I decided not to have non-veg food. As far as hotel food is concerned, they don’t serve fresh food. It has been a great experience, and it is certainly not a sacrifice. I just love it.

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A young girl talking about experiencing a monk life. Do you have any monasteries in mind?

I have heard there is a monastery in Tibet and I need to find out the details. I want my life to be disciplined and I love to meditate. Before that, I would love to travel to the Himalayas where I plan to meet mystics and sages. One day I plan to ride all the way in my Royal Enfield.

What is your career plan? What’s your ambition in life?

Since I am a commerce student, I want to become an entrepreneur. I think I am good at marketing and I am really confident of making things work. There are many things in my bucket list, and I want to tick all of them one by one, phase by phase.

How supportive are your parents?

My parents are like a rock and they are behind all of my success. I should also must thank my grandmother and sister for their constant support. My father taught me how to ride a bike and encourages me to think big in life. My father is my coach and my guide. My sister is everything to me whom I can share anything and everything. My support system has been really great.

Nidhi’s 5 favourite films?

Into the Wild, Forrest Gump, Ratatouille, Moana, Marley and Me

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