Female Fingerprints is a monthly feature created to highlight women around the globe who have had an impact in their local communities and beyond. Each month throughout the year I will share some of the best and brightest stories of women who are making a positive and lasting imprint on our world.
What’s the shape of your life? There seems to be such a focus on our physical “shape” to the point of over-anxiety. But how often do we assess the contours of our actual existence? Our lives take a form in the same way that our bodies do. And this should cause some pause and reflection.
Is the body of my life’s work reflecting what I had hoped? Am I having a positive impact on others?
In what areas of our daily lives have we built mental, emotional and spiritual muscle? In what areas are we gaining strength (or depriving ourselves of needed exercise)?
Someone to Emulate
Needless to say, taking stock of entire scope of one’s life is a difficult endeavor, but one worth conducting on a regular basis.
One way to measure our personal growth is by identifying a model for good living and well-being – someone to emulate. There are numerous examples of men and women who have excelled in life, leaving behind a positive, indelible mark. Some are born with gifts that they leveraged for a lifetime, others who had to overcome limitations and adversity before discovering how to live well.
Whether “well endowed” or not, those who tend to excel are generally people who “do”! A person of introspection and action. The person who accepts how she is made, and moves forward from there. They are the souls who are teachable, inquisitive, who hunger for progress, new experiences and ways to push themselves beyond themselves.
Kiran Sukhani is one such model. And what a unique journey her’s has been. Mother, fashion stylist, runway model, nutritionist, entrepreneur – all titles of which she is immeasurably proud. But there are also trophies, sashes and crowns that must be acknowledged….Mrs. India and Mrs. Universe 2018!
Kiran hails from Bhopal, India. An avid sports enthusiast and athlete, she is passionate about cricket, running and arrow throwing. “I miss these activities and will pursue them again with the inclusion of sky diving and writing my memoirs, but right now my priorities are my family!”
After achieving a university degree in chemistry, Kiran became captivated with fashion. Her natural draw towards the industry emerged with opportunities at big fashion houses such as Calvin Klein, Diesel, and Dolce Gabbana.
With ten years of modeling under her belt, and an immense amount of traveling for photo shoots, not surprisingly, Kiran decided to hang her hat and start a family.
I noticed though that of all of Kiran’s qualities, the defining one is that she is never done. Whether it is her desire to pursue long-lost sports, continue her education, or start her own food and fitness business, she won’t settle with “just enough”.
Sure enough, having stopped her modeling career, this high-octane, versatile lady remained motivated to stay on the fashion game. Kiran curated her own fashion brand “Ash Tailors”. This has been her baby for the past ten years.
As if that wasn’t enough, between 2014 and 2018 Kiran continued her educational pursuits at Oxford, Harvard, and Hong Kong Universities, in Human Physiology, Clinical Nutrition, Child Nutrition, and Myths about Food and Nutrition, respectively.
When asked where this drive came from, she responded: “I have been a fitness freak forever. I was a chemistry graduate and I like to break things down in my head in order to understand. My curiosity around the food and the interaction with our internal systems was my force.”
Education & Enterprise
“At Harvard I learned the values of removing milk from our diet. But I was raised in India and my grandmother literally fed me the milk from the cows’ udders! I chose to look at a different course from Oxford, on how and why gluten free food was a beneficial choice. This induced more questions in my mind. I chose Hong Kong University to further my knowledge.”
Kiran’s way to help her community was to bring her knowledge in to best use. So, this risk-oriented, chemistry graduate, with a desire to create impact, launched her two enterprises.
CalFit (Calories that are Fit,) launched in 2018, felicitous for a certified nutritionist and optimistic chef. By way of bringing “Clean Eating in HK”, providing Door to Door Nutrition, punctuating Western and Ayurveda influences, she knew she would quickly grow an extensive and enthusiastic audience. Pesto Bread, Red Pepper Bread, Herbal Bread cradle some of the innovative contemporary sandwiches.
Rolling Up Her Sleeves
Tagline Restaurant & Bar (Modern Indian-Arabic Cuisine) in 2020. Kiran rolled up her sleeves and used her “granny and mom’s” legacy of Indian cooking handed to her over the years, and got to work relentlessly on the extensive menu.
The a la carte menu offers dishes such as, Paav Bhaji Fondue, a beautiful table-side presentation, which has been a crowd pleaser. Vegan/Shrimp Dynamite as appetizers, Shish Touk from the grill, Fish Madras per entrée, I’m Possible Seekh Kebab on the tandoori section and Beetroot Raita, a beautiful side dish.
In my opinion, the introduction of fusion Holi Bao Sliders takes the cake. Pulled Chicken Tikka Bao, and the Paneer Bao Truffle Chicken Bao are novel.
Following a brief setback of health issues and family matters, Kiran garnered success in 2021.
“My resilient mindset pushes me to keep going. I have a vision of where I would like to see these two companies in the years to come. Some challenges are inevitable, I believe the support from my family and friends will get me to where I need to be.”
More Than Mrs India
“The many titles that I am proud of did not come easy though. I had one of those life changing scenarios where I felt action had to be taken if I wanted to see change.”
One might conclude that anyone who achieves success or acclaim would simply fall back on those achievements and “enjoy life”. But as anyone watching their figure knows, if you stop exercising (body, mind, soul), excess tends to form. The shape of our lives is formed by exercise, by motion, not by standing still.
Amongst all of her pursuits, Kiran’s success was heightened when she was crowned Mrs. India in 2018, Mrs. Universe Woman of Compassion 2018, and honored with Peace Ambassador of Earth.
Mrs. India Universe Pageant is designed to focus on equality amongst women, is the largest platform to showcase a great coming together of intelligence, beauty, talent, and culture of Indian married women. Showcases each delegate’s journey that impacted her life, her message to others on embracing life’s possibilities. Self-confidence, hard work, focus, determination, community involvement, new friendships are all part of the journey.
“This journey led me to meet many talented females from all around the world, namely my mentor, Shelly. Her energy and positivity were very inspiring.”
Our multilingual queen was in her element as she chatted with her fellow friends in Hindi, Mahrati, Sindhi, Cantonese, and English to say the least. Kiran was ready to use this platform to empower other women on the importance and choices of education, why resilience is necessary, and imparting her knowledge on food and fitness.
Even though she has experienced a lot, Kiran is not complacent. For Kiran, the resounding moment was during the challenging pandemic times. “I wanted to have complete control over the reins of my life’s progression and that’s led me to where I am now”.
A strong proponent of encouraging and empowering women to push the limits of what is possible, Kiran has left her fingerprints by way of breaking stereotypes that the world has for women. She continues to demonstrate the strong will and commitment to excel all walks of life.
More About Kiran
Philanthropy: I started an initiative in the form of a free health program for young children that provides short informative videos and workshops. Additionally, I have been actively staging plays and performances to help raise funds for underprivileged children.
Life Balance: My Vitamins are my family & friends, absolutely necessary! I am obsessed with adventure. My work is my protein, and I make sure I do a lot of it! All these things together add up and make life a plate of healthy, filling, yummy food! After all, you need to nourish yourself to flourish yourself.
Empowerment: My husband has always given me the freedom of adventures; he lets me fly. Along the way, I hope I am also able to inspire and support other women to take control over the reins of their lives.
What’s Next?: The body and it’s connection to yoga. Following which, she would like to write her memoirs!
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