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Birthday girl Harnaaz Sandhu shares her favourites, from cuisine to dream destination

"I never do anything special on my birthdays. I just go to gurudwara, worship, have a family time," the Miss Universe said

harnaaz sandhuIndia's Harnaaz Sandhu looked quite elegant in her reunion with Andrea Meza. (Source: Harnaaz Sandhu/Instagram)

Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu turns 22 today; and it is a special year for her as she is celebrating her first birthday after winning the prestigious crown in December 2021.

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In a tête-à-tête with host Sachin Kumbhar on Miss’s Instagram handle, she spoke about impending celebrations, life in New York, the importance of taking care of one’s mental health, and living every moment.

“The days of me pinching myself if it is real are over. Now, I wake up with a feeling of gratefulness every morning. It is all about what’s next,” she said, while adding that life after the crown has brought in a lot of changes around her, while she continues to remain the same old Harnaaz.

Take a look.

Some excerpts from the conversation.

When did she begin to dream?

Not from childhood. I never plan my life. You never know what can happen. So, be ready to explore and begin and go with the flow. I never look back.

Stressing that she has a “balanced attitude” towards things and opportunities, Harnaaz said she always made sure to take time out for herself. “Mental health is very important to me. My father has always told me that whatever happens, or how so much one earns, everything is temporary. Never ever lose yourself. So, whenever I get overwhelmed, I remember what he said,” she said.

How was the experience of winning Miss Universe?

It was a beautiful feeling to represent my country. At the same time, meeting all the beauties from around the world, and learning from them. These are memories I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Does Harnaaz cook?

Absolutely, yes! I love cooking. It’s a kind of therapy. Spending some time with myself, cook, sing, act out. I do cook. I am a good chef.

How does she deal with feeling low?

Feeling low is a human feeling. It is nothing to escape from or feel uncomfortable about. I feel low a lot of times. I tend to talk to myself. I read books, or watch my videos and think about how I started from scratch. Think about it for a while, cry it out, and let it go.

Did she imagine being the crown holder?

“Honestly, no! I wasn’t even ready. It was my mother who said that you need to participate this year. I was in hospital for three days before participating. I learnt about my celiac disease; that I am allergic to gluten. I didn’t know. Those three days made me feel like now or never. The hospital episode also made me feel I should do it.

What does she do on birthdays?

I never do anything special on my birthdays. I just go to gurudwara, worship, have a family time. I like sharing the cakes with people who can’t afford,” she said.

Responding to a quick rapid fire, she said

Harnaaz loves to

Apart from eating candies and chocolates, I love to share things. I want to be a little different. I love to share smiles, time, love, knowledge.

Harnaaz hates to

Stay free. I have always been versatile. Even in school, I was participating in extra curricular activities.

Can’t leave house without

Apart from mask and sanitisers, my water bottle which is very important.

Can’t live without

Family, food, my ambition

Favourite cuisine

Indian, Mexican, and Mediterranean. Mediterranean is also so healthy.

Dream destination

New York, Paris, Japan and Philippines. New York is off my bucket list now. It is an incredible city, and I am enjoying every moment.

Message to young dreamers

To ‘be you’, don’t stop achieving, live in present, work right now to change your future.

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