The life and Times of India’s only MRS. World Aditi Govitrikar

The Embodiment Of ‘Beauty With Brains’ Aditi Govitrikar was born in a Chitpavan brahmin family hailing from Pune. Aditi was schooled at Panvel’s Barns High School and received her MBBS degree at Grant Medical College in Mumbai, where she graduated from in 1997. Following that she opted to do her MD in Gynaecology and Obstetrics but finish it because of her career in modelling.

The 42-year-old continues to be as glamorous today as she was back in 1996 when she came into the limelight after winning the Gladrags Megamodel Contest, followed by the best body and face awards at the Asian Super Model Contest in 1997. But this was just the young doctor’s first step into the glamour world. Yes, doctor – you heard right – Dr Aditi Govitrikar, to date, remains the only Indian supermodel with a medical doctor and psychologist qualification.

She traded her medical career with modelling for a while, endorsing top international brands such as Coca-Cola, Chopard, Fendi and Harry Winston. She also featured as the leading lady in music videos such as ‘Kabhi to NazarMilao’ by Adnan Sami and Asha Bhonsle (1997) and ‘Aaeena’ by Jagjit Singh (2000). But videos and ads were not her only forays. In 1999, Aditi ventured into the movie world bagging the lead role in ‘Thammudu’ – a runaway hit at the time.

Glad For Gladrags!

After winning Gladrags in 1996, she had quite an eventful career as a supermodel, crowned the Gladrags Mrs. India pageant in 2000 subsequently winning Mrs. World contest in 2001, thus becoming the
only Indian woman to have won the title thus far.

She bagged major Ad campaigns for brands like Clinic All Clear, Phillips, Eureka Forbes, Shopper’s Stop and Pond’s followed. A step higher in the modelling hierarchy, Aditi was the object of Govinda’s road-romeo style affection, in a music video, pilli skirt waliladki, from his maiden album. AnuMaliik’s Baarishhorahihai had Aditi looking softer than the rain and 100 percent film material. Adnan Sami’s
Kabhi to nazarmilao was another one of her lost-inlove videos.

QUESTIONS

  • How would you describe your initial days as an upcoming model and what challenges did you encounter?

Gruelling! Haha. To imagine – from being a simple geeky girl to walking the ramp – the transition wasn’t easy but it was a fun ride and a completely new experience to say the least. The biggest challenge, hands down, was to accept myself into this new role and mentally mould myself to be a sponge so I could absorb everything this new industry had in store for me.

  • Choosing a glam career over medical is a tough call, what or who has been your pillar of support ?

It wasn’t an easy decision, but given a chance to pick again,I’d choose what I did back then all over again. My parents have always been my strongest support system and even today, I rely on their kindness to guide me on the right path when I absolutely need it. My father always supported my dreams, of becoming a doctor, of becoming a model and my mother with her unconditional love gave me the boost to act on my goals and achieve them.

  • Being a successful model and only Mrs. World from India, what advice you would give to the aspiring models?

Take your training seriously. Understand your own motivation behind entering the industry. Seek help from a mentor or a trainer. And ultimately Love yourself deeply and give every day your best shot.

  • What have you learned about yourself since you became a celebrity?

I would say Resilience. Celebrity life is tough with its own share of hardships, just like any other profession, and learning to bounce back after every stumbling block has been humbling and enlightening. It’s made me stronger & wiser.

The Movie Celebrity Aditi

Aditi Govitrikar ventured into films in 1999 with the Telugu blockbuster Thammudu, which starred South star Pawan Kalyan, the younger brother of Megastar Chiranjeevi and PreetiJhangiani. The film was a sports drama, which was loosely inspired by the 1992 Aamir Khan starrer Jo JeetaWohi Sikander, which itself was inspired by 1979 movie Breaking Away. Aditi played Kalyan’s love interest in Thammudu.

She appeared in the 2002 murder mystery Soch,which was a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1951 film Strangers On A Train. It starred Sanjay Kapoor, Raveena Tandon, Arbaaz Khan, Danny Denzongpa among others. Aditi portrayed Kapoor’s onscreen wife, a jealous woman, who suspects her husband of having an affair, and ends up murdered. Aditi Govitrikar played Kamli, in Amol Palekar 2005 directorial Paheli, which starred Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukerji, Juhi Chawla, Suniel Shetty and Amitabh Bachchan. The film, which was a ghost story, was a remake of the 1973 classic Duvidha, which itself was based on a short story by VijayadanDetha in Rajasthani language. It was India’s official entry into the 79th Academy Awards in 2006 and was also successful at the box-office.

The same year, she starred in the action spy thriller 16 December, which was based on a plot to destroy the capital city of India, New Delhi with a nuclear bomb. It also starred Danny Denzongpa, Milind Soman, Dipannita Sharma, Sushant Singh and Gulshan Grover in pivotal roles. It received mostly positive reviews from critics in India and abroad.

Aditi made her small screen debut in 2003 with the show Aktion Unlimited … Josh and then starred in Baaz: A Bird in Danger, as the winner of a beauty contestant followed by the horror-slasher Dhund the same year, which starred Amar Upadhyay, Apurva Agnihotri and Irrfan Khan. Directed by Shyam Ramsay, it was a remake of the Hollywood blockbuster I Know What You Did Last Summer and was released internationally as The Fog. She next worked in the 2004 television drama Kkehna Hai KuchMujhko, which starred Pallavi Joshi, Kiran Karmakar, Surekha Sikri, VivanBhatena and Ronit Roy. She then appeared on the TV show Ye Meri Life Hai, which starred Shama Sikander.

Aditi Govitrikar was a judge on 2006 reality television series Kalakarz along with Amol Palekar, who directed her in Paheli. It aired on DD National, was produced by Supriya Khan and hosted by Shraddha Nigam and Hussain Kuwajerwala. Kalakarz was a competition for new actors, which was won by Richa Tiwari, from Sagar, Madhya Pradesh.

Quickies

If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and what would say to them?

I’d love to meet Larry Page, the founder of Google. I’d salute him for changing our lives and would learn how he did what he did.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three items would you take with you?

Solar flashlight, a sleeping bag & books!

If you were God for a day, what changes would you make to the world?

I’d like to wipe off all country borders to make the world into a giant body of undiscriminated, equal & free people where we’d all be a one-big-family with no countries fighting against each other.

If you could ask a sage any question that you want to know the answer to, what would you ask?

A way to mass awaken the public into realizing the reality of our current world & a way to inculcate peace in everyone’s life.

What things in life is still a mystery to you?

We have all means of Happiness within us and yet, more & more people are falling victim to mental illness. We have all the possible gadgets yet there is a rise in loneliness. I wonder when all this will end and we will focus on together, peace and happiness.

Her next Bollywood outing was the 2006 film Manoranjan: The Entertainment followed by Victoria No. 203 in 2007, which was a remake of the 1972 hit of the same name. It starred Om Puri, Anupam Kher, Jimmy Sheirgill, PreetiJhangiani, Javed Jaffrey, Johnny Lever and marked the big-screen debut of the late Vinod Mehra’s daughter SoniyaMehra. The movie failed to perform well at the box-office. She also had another 2007 venture titled, KaisayKahein…

She had also been a celebrity contestant on the first season of Fear Factor: Khatron KeKhiladi in 2008, which was hosted by Akshay Kumar. She was a finalist on the show, which was shot at Johannesburg, South Africa. Aditi joined the third season of the controversial reality TV series Bigg Boss, which was hosted by Amitabh Bachchan in 2009, and was a semi-finalist.

We saw her again in the 2009 comedy flick De Dana Dan, which was a partial adaptation of director Priyadarshan’s 2004 Malayalam film Vettam. The cast members included Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty, Katrina Kaif and Sameera Reddy. The film had the tenth biggest opening weekend of all time at the time of its release and also went on to do well overseas.

After a small role in the 2010 Marathi film RingaRinga, Aditi Govitrikar essayed Raveena Kapoor, the owner of a television channel in the 2011 comedy, Bheja Fry 2, which was the sequel to the 2007 hit Bheja Fry and also starred Vinay Pathak, Kay Kay Menon, MinisshaLamba, Amol Gupte, Suresh Menon, Virendra Saxena, Kishwer Merchant and others.

The film received mixed to negative reviews from critics but was a hit at the boxoffice.

She returned to television as a contestant on the second season of the reality show Welcome – BaaziMehmaanNawaaziki in 2013, did the crime show Arun the same year, hosted the cooking show Mothers Care in 2014. Her last two TV outings were the comedy Badi Door Se Aaye Hai and SuryaputraKarn, both in 2015.

Aditi Govitrikar also played the lead in several music videos most notably Kabhi to NazarMilao by Adnan Sami and Asha Bhosle in 1997 and Aaeena by Jagjit Singh (2000). She appeared in several popular television commercials for leading brands during her time as a model, most notably in 2001 opposite Hrithik Roshan for Coca Cola.

Which one of your Bollywood movie you find a special attachment to and why?

All the movies I have worked in, are the closest to me for obvious reasons, but in terms of a special attachment, I’d say De Dana Dan. The entire cast was such a cheerful & fun bunch, there was never a dull moment on sets. With a cast of Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal, Johnny Lever, Rajpal Yadav & Shakti Kapoor among others in tow – it just has to be it for me. Working with a master film maker like Priyadarshan was a great experience.

Which is your all timefavorite movie?

I like movies with a message, comedy films packed with unlimited entertainment, some sweet-spicy-saucy films – something we call as masaledaar movies in Hindi. My all-time favourite though, is Munnabhai MBBS.

If you could live like a fictional character in real life, then who will it be?

The character Lucy, originally played by Scarlett Johansson in the selftitled movie (2014). The idea of even portraying a character that manages to unlock the full potential of the human brain is exciting to me. Then to get access to unimaginable physical & intellectual abilities and getting to kill the bad guys in the end kind of gives me goose bumps just thinking about it.

The Most Scintillating PETA Ambassador You Will Meet….

Aditi Govitrikar launched PETA in India and participated in a photo shoot for a campaign titled ‘Let Vegetarianism Grow On You’ in which she was seen wearing a form-fitting gown made of lettuce in 2000. It debuted on the cover of a leading fashion magazine.

Dr Govitrikar says, “Being a doctor, as well as a model, I know that eating veg is the first and most important ingredient in keeping fit. If you eat chicken or other meat, you’re consuming toxins, fat, and cholesterol. Veg food is powered with all the vitamins and protein you need to be at your best.”

Millions of people worldwide are making the switch to vegetarian eating as they recognise the cruelty involved in meat production and the link between meateating and burgeoning rates of heart disease, cancer, and strokes.

The secret of flawless and timeless beauty?

Following your daily rituals. Have & maintain a skin care & hair care regime that you follow. You are what you eat so eat healthy. Exercise. Basically keep yourself up on every quotient of the 8 pillars of wellbeing – Social, Emotional, Physical, Nutritional, Spiritual, Environmental, Intellectual, and Financial.

One health regime you follow religiously?

I like to keep myself fit, so a 45 minute long intense workout at least twice a week is a must. ‘Sitting is the new smoking’ – I take a short walk every 30 minutes when I am sitting and working.

One healthy snack or eating habit that you feel proud of?

I munch on either carrots, a fruit, some yogurt, roasted channa or a cucumber in case of untimely hunger cravings.

Which diet are you going to try in upcoming months?

I don’t follow any particular diets. When we were young, we had none of these fads and our mom’s fed us perfectly nutritional food. I believe in eating everything in moderation. Home food is the mantra.

Who do you find having the fittest body in Bollywood?

Malaika Arora Khan, Akshay Kumar, Mandira Bedi, Tiger Shroff, Varun Dhawan, Shahid Kapoor….

Your current endeavors and future plans?

Mental wellbeing! As a Harvard qualified psychologist in positive psychology I want us Indians to be aware and accept mental illness, seek counselling and thereby remove the taboo attached to mental diseases. I am working on a Series of videos on 8 Pillars of Well-being, which I have developed. I plan to do this for my YouTube channel – Lighthouse by Dr. Aditi Govitrikar.

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