January 29, 2017 8:32:45 pm
With hours to go before the next Miss Universe is crowned in Manila, the Philippines, the contestants are busy competing in the preliminary rounds, which began on January 26 with the one on national costumes.
This year, life has also come full circle for former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen, as she sits in the judges panel for the competition, which she won right in Manila 23 years back. In fact, earlier in the month, Sen had posted a picture of herself on Instagram with the news confirming her inclusion in the contest – but now as a judge. She said she was both “excited and emotional” about this stint.
Coincidentally, Harimurthy was born the same year that Sen won the crown – 1994. In an Instagram video, Harimurthy says, “I haven’t practiced my winning moment… Just hard work, cracking jokes here and there, having fun with my team… that’s all.”
“If I am titled, then tears of joy would be landing on my cheeks. It’s pretty natural… You will see it, so tune in,” she goes on, reflecting a jovial mood even as she may be a bundle of nerves ahead of the keenly awaited contest.
The 22-year-old girl from Bengaluru loves reading, dancing, gardening and swimming whenever she has some free time. She is a multilingual student (she can speak five languages) at Mount Carmel College in Bengaluru, pursuing her Master’s Degree in International Business, according to her offcial bio on the Miss Universe website. She has also worked as a volunteer teacher at Thanisandra Government Primary School in association with EEco Foundation for Sustainable Alternatives.
Last year, Harimurthy won the ticket to the Miss Universe contest when she was crowned Yamaha Fascino Miss Diva 2016, chosen by a judges panel which included former beauty queen and actress Lara Dutta, model turned actor Arjun Rampal, actor Abhay Deol, actress Aditi Rao Hydari and designer Gaurav Gupta.
Recently, Dutta, who was the last Indian to win the Miss Universe crown in 2000, rooted for Hairmurthy in a tweet, “This is a girl I believe in, now it’s time for you to make her win. Tweet Miss Universe India to vote! India, it’s time to stand united and vote”.
Watch Harimurthy’s introduction video here.
Here’s a fan video of the contestant’s full journey through the preliminary competition rounds in Manila.
Behind the scenes for Harimurthy’s AV shoot for the pageant.
On January 26, Harimurthy participated in the national costume round wearing a stunning gown inspired by the Surya Namaskar. Just like the yoga asana is a salutation to the sun and universe, the gown – designed by K Krishnamoorthy and Melvyn Dominic Noronha – comes “as the Chakra of love from the Indian people, to salute the universe”.
The gown is influenced by the theatrical and dance culture from the south Indian states of Karnataka and Kerala, and is made with Indian silk brocade, embellished with accessories of wooden carvings and gold foil treatment. These techniques are one of the most ancient techniques used in the costumes of Kathakali (Kerela) and Yakshagana (Karnataka).
The costume is further embellished with intricately designed rays depicting the elephant, the sandal wood tree leaves and the lotus – state symbols of Karnataka. The initials of Harimurthy are also designed in Sanskrit.
This year, at the 65th Miss Universe pageant, Harimurthy will compete with contestants from more than 86 countries in Manila.
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