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Exclusive! Contestants Were Not Happy Seeing Me Grow Consistently: Aruna Vijay

MasterChef Contestant Aruna Vijay gets candid with us about her journey.

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Aruna Vijay talks about her journey

Photo Credit: Aruna Vijay Instagram

  • Aruna Vijay is a food influencer and content creator
  • She opened about up her journey on the show
  • Aruna: MasterChef has changed my perspective...

Aruna Vijay, who is known for her delicious delicacies rose to fame with her participation in India's culinary reality show 'MasterChef' 7. Her journey has been a roller coaster on the show, being one of the strongest contestants, she has faced severe trolling on social media by the fans of the other contestants. But unbothered and invincible Aruna has always been in bring it-on mode and that made her audience favourite.

We have connected with her for an exclusive interview. Here are a few edited excerpts from the conversation-

How do you look back at your journey of Master Chef? 

Those days were such a beautiful and memorable experience for me. I think that kind of changed my perspective towards food. I think made me a more confident person than I was. You know, coming from being a homemaker for almost 12 to 13 years, never stepped out of a home, never been alone. 

And then you know suddenly get out of my comfort zone. Staying in an unknown place for 3-4 months and meeting all new people from different parts of the country. I think it was a wonderful experience and I'm really missing those days. I feel it was like my once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

In what ways have your experiences at Master Chef shaped your life after the show? 

 The first time I sat on a flight alone without a friend or family member beside me. I mean, it might sound very silly to a lot of people, but it was like a liberating experience for me, you know like I was just going out in the world, going to live my life for the first time. Like I feel it as a free bird,  you get to live your life after so many years.

I have been a homemaker for almost 13 years and I have two kids. My priority has been always my family. So, I think that master chef has changed my perspective towards my life. Now, you know I have something to look up to every day when I wake up. 

How are you enjoying your newfound fame? What challenges are you facing with it? 

I'm not going to say challenges, but I think I'm liking this. I'm in a new phase of my life. But I think even before going to Master Chef, I was the social media content creator and the only thing that has changed right now is I think I'm getting more recognition. 

People are appreciating my work. They're recognizing what I was doing, what I did on the show, and what I'm currently doing as well.

You faced severe trolling on social media during your stint on MasterChef. How did you deal with that? 

My social media trolling happened for a lot of other reasons as well as because of a lot of misconceptions. But I think for some reason I say how I was on the show is what I am. You know because you can't act in front of the camera for four months or five months. You just have to be yourself. 

I don't know, maybe I came across a very strong blunt woman. I didn't know that about myself but I think that's who I am. 

What do you have to about the much-controversial episode where you denied cooking fish?

I think that the entire situation was misinterpreted. Something else happened on the set but something else was portrayed on camera. But you know what?  I realized that if you think you're doing right, you don't have to change for the world. The world will change for you. I just stuck to my principles and my roots. I decided not to cook with it. 

How would you address the rumors of favoritism you faced during the show? 

 I think that is an absolute nonsense thing. Nothing happens on the set believe me. Nothing like favoritism happened on the show because judges used to give us blunt feedback. But I think people around me were not very happy that I was doing well consistently. 

Do you think Nayanjyoti Saikia is the deserving winner or are you more deserving? 

No, I think I am genuinely happy for him. He is young. He has a lot more to explore. He is genuinely a very good person at heart. And you know what I will say, I think that guy deserves it. 

I can see the future in him. I think he can take it much forward. But I think one of the main reasons, I didn't win was me being a vegetarian. I swear some people have that mindset that if you're a vegetarian, you can't call yourself a chef because you can't eat or taste everything. So, in that perspective, yes, I did feel bad because being a vegetarian pushed me back a little.

When you were evicted, your fans called it unfair?  What do you have to say about that? 

I think that because you know what you see on TV and what actually happened on the sets is different. So, I think, yeah, my friends know the reality of what was supposed to happen. But everything happens for a better reason. Maybe God has better plans for you. 

Of course, I did feel very bad for a long time. I couldn't get out of that thing. I was like, why did I get evited just one day before the finale and couldn't be in the finale? That is the worst thing for me. But I think I feel it's okay. Maybe just God has better plans. I'm just going to go ahead with that now. 

Do you have any future plans of opening a food-related business of your own? 

As of now, the restaurant is not my thing but yes, I'm definitely looking for pop-ups in the future because this is my area of interest. I love to take my food and my food culture ahead. So yes, something related to that. I would love to do that. 

What steps are you currently taking to promote South Indian cuisine?

I'm trying to tell people that South Indian cuisine is much more than Idli Dosa. And so, I think our cuisine is very underrepresented. People have a lot of misconceptions about what we eat and all those things. So, I want to show and bring out that South India has so much more to offer than what people think it actually is. 

Are your kids inclined towards cooking and you would like to see them take this up as a profession in the future?  

Yes, I think my daughter is already, you know, she loves cooking. She keeps watching those videos all day. She loves desserts. So, I think somewhere she getting towards that.

Any advice you would like to give the people in the food business? 

I think I don't know if I am the right person to give advice. One thing I have learned is you know, read a lot, meet people, travel. I think all these things help you a lot in your knowledge about food and the culture around you. 

Also Read:

Aruna Vijay Pens a 'Thank You Note' On Social Media

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