Aditi Govitrikar: 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 Nazar Milao’ by Adnan Sami and Asha Bhosle (1997) and ‘Aaeena’ by Jagjit Singh (2000). But videos and ads were not her only forays. In 1999, Panvel-born Aditi ventured into the movie world bagging the lead role in ‘Thammudu’ – a runaway hit at the time.
Another contest that came along her way was the Gladrags Mrs India in 2000. She participated – and won. In 2001, she became the first and the only Indian woman so far to have won the Mrs World.
Since this win, Govitrikar continued modeling and appeared in a number of Bollywood films (Paheli in 2005, De Dana Dan in 2009), South Indian movies, and TV programs, including: ‘Ye Meri Life Hai’ reality TV series ‘Fear Factor – Khatron Ke Khiladi (in 2008) and, Bigg Boss (Season 3) in 2009. And, more recently, she was a speaker at TED Talk.
Namaste Switzerland approached her for an exclusive interview.
Doctor, actor, supermodel and psychologist – if you could choose one career, what would it be?
“Each career is unique, and I enjoy them all. I am an actor, and acting is my passion. It gives my life meaning of a different kind as compared to my role as a psychologist. As a psychologist, I am able to counsel people and give them tools to lead happier lives. Each transition has been a very rewarding experience. I feel I have become a better version of myself. Having said that, it always sounds easier in hindsight.
With reference to my recent TED Talk, we live longer and healthier lives than our forefathers could imagine; and as we age, our values change… So, what we decide to take up as a vocation in our 20s, may no longer be what we wish to do in our 40s, 50s or later. It is vital for our wellbeing to stay in tune with ourselves and change. ‘Meaning’ after all ensues from a meaningful activity.
How do you define yourself as a person and as a professional?
I wish to be known and remembered as the ‘beauty with brains’, who is calm, graceful and elegant. I am uniquely placed as the only Indian celebrity actor and supermodel, who is also a medical doctor and a psychologist. I remain the first and the only Indian woman to have won the Mrs. World title.
As a professional, I believe in delivering a body of work that embodies artistic excellence, civic engagement, and creative entrepreneurship with no controversies… for instance, obscenity or scandals.
How do you unwind and recharge yourself?
I am an ardent Vipassana meditation practitioner. That helps me recharge myself.
You’ve often been to Switzerland. Your views…
Switzerland is one of the most beautiful countries. It really is just a long series of postcard-perfect vistas, towering snow-capped mountain peaks and lush green valleys, flawless lake after flawless lake, villages of old wooden chalets, pristine cities where nothing is too big or overbearing. Plus, everything works in Switzerland. Everything is safe, easy and calm. It’s the perfect place to recharge myself.
When did you first visit Switzerland and why?
My career as an actor actually started in Interlaken (aka. Inder-laken) in 1999. It was here that I shot for my first feature film ‘Thammudu’. I enjoyed every bit of that memorable experience. Swiss people are such welcoming and gracious hosts.
How often do you visit Switzerland?
I visit Switzerland as often as possible. It is, after all, only a relatively short 7-and-a-half hour flight from Mumbai while enjoying the impeccable and meticulous hospitality of Swiss Airlines.
How would you describe the Swiss charm?
Switzerland offers ageless charm throughout the year. In Mumbai, I don’t get to experience four distinct seasons as in Switzerland. That’s special to me.
The romantic architecture of the towns bends around the lakes, the imposing Swiss Alps in the distance touch me with their ageless beauty.
Being a vegetarian, I am treated to such a multitude of choice in various cuisines executed to perfection. And the people are even better. Whether shopping or at a clinic, the quality of their expertise and communication is top notch. Swiss take so much care and time to explain everything in detail that I am rarely left with any open questions. Switzerland touches my heart in more ways than one.
Any plans on moving here for a longer term?
Zurich has become my second home now. I often stay in the Zuriberg area. So yes, I can well imagine a move to Zurich for a longer term – if not permanently than at least with my feet in two places – in Mumbai and in Zurich.
With that, we wish Aditi Govitrikar all the luck in successfully setting up homes in a country befitting her beauty and in her land of origin so that she gets the best of both worlds!
For daily inspiring mental wellness updates, please follow Dr Aditi Govitrikar on social media. Links available on www.aditigovitrikar.in
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