Hits & Misseshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/hits-misses/

Hits & Misses

The weather is perhaps the harshest it has ever been on a January afternoon. Despite the warmth inside the Pantaloons store in Zirakpur...

Simran Kaur Mundi on what its takes to be a beauty pageant winner

The weather is perhaps the harshest it has ever been on a January afternoon. Despite the warmth inside the Pantaloons store in Zirakpur,a set of ladies,most in their early 20s can’t wait to slip back into their fur-lined coats and jackets once the shutterbugs are done with the photo-shoot. It’s a proud moment for this pack of six ladies which has been hand-picked by former Miss India Simran Kaur Mundi to compete in the regional rounds at this year’s Pantaloons Miss India pageant. “The line-up of contestants this year was really good…a welcome change from last year,” mentioned Mundi,looking ever so fresh dressed in nothing more than jeans,boots and a full-sleeved Tee. A day earlier,she “assessed” as many as 25 enthusiastic ladies who auditioned for a place in the regional rounds. “The first thing,more than even clothes or looks,that I notice is personality. The overall persona wins many brownie points from not just me but by any judge assessing a pageant participant,” explained Simran who brought down the number to 15 before a final set of six on day two. “My advice to all looking to be the next Miss India is to observe…how models walk the ramp,how finalists groom themselves and above all,be yourself. It would be horrible to be pretentious,” the former title winner and now full-time model listed her tips.

Among those who succeeded in making an impression and winning themselves an entry were Piyu Jagia,Akshita Agnihotri,Aprajita Sharma,Deepti Chauhan,Disha Sharan and Rupinder Kaur. These shortlisted contestants would now compete in the regional rounds in New Delhi and Mumbai on February 25 and March 1 respectively. Thereafter,the selected contestants will undergo a ‘Residential Training’ programme for a month in Mumbai,in March. This would be followed by the Miss India 2010 grand finale in April 2010 in Mumbai.

“Being selected at the first go is very encouraging as I have dreamt about the beauty pageant for as long as I can remember,” spoke a visibly excited Piyu Jagia,a 22-year-old B.Tech student from Delhi. Also “thrilled” at having being chosen were two Patiala girls – Akshita Agnihotri and Rupinder Kaur. The sole contestant from Chandigarh was architecture student Aprajita Sharma. “It’s been a cherished dream but I am hoping to turn it into a reality,” quipped the tall girl. Interestingly,most of the aspirants are already into mainstream academics – from MBA to architecture to B.Tech…”But somewhere all girls dream of winning that elusive crown!” summed up Mundi who has herself bagged L’oreal’s coveted brand endorsement. Way to go!