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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Vanya : This year , Moment belongs to me !!

Pantaloons Femina Miss India World 2012 Vanya Mishra describes her journey from a 19-year-old engineering student from Chandigarh to a beauty queen


PFMI World Vanya Mishra sounds a little breathless on the phone, and who would blame her? After a grueling 12-hour photo shoot, the beauty queen is now hurrying to the airport to catch a flight to Pune. "It's hectic, but I'm loving it," she tells us.

We ask her to elaborate on this post-win feeling, and she says, "Well, you're a teenage girl. This is your first Miss India contest. You've been watching it on TV your whole life. So many of the people who've inspired you, have become successful through this very platform. They've made a successful career out of this. Fame is one, but I think, for a young girl like me - it's a sense of achievement. Everybody has a certain aim in life, and you follow a certain path to achieve it, I chose this. And now, no matter what - I will be known as a Miss India World, forever in my life. It totally belongs to me. That year, that moment, that title..."

When she looks back, she can't really point out - when it all 'began'. But besides her hard work, brain cells, endless legs and pretty face, this 19-year-old girl from Chandigarh also has her mother, fate, Dabur and social networking media to thank.

"I came into this pageant through the Dabur Gulabari round, it was a wild card entry to the top 20, and it was through Facebook. I really wasn't sure about applying, I didn't think it would be something that would start from Facebook. But it was my mom who told me that I was getting a chance to enter PFMI top 20, that I should go for it. I got chosen and that was only the beginning. I was then called to audition in Delhi. Around 12 girls from Delhi were selected, after I won that, I was up against the winners from all the other states. The day I won that final round, that was when I finally started believing that things are finally taking shape, that I was actually entering the top 20. It happened on January 9, my place in the top 20 was confirmed right there and then, when the other finalists were not even decided, that's when the anticipation slowly started building up. That's how it all began."

Before this, Vanya was busy studying for her semester exams. An engineering student entering a beauty pageant, quite a contradiction, non? Here's where Vanya and you would disagree. "During my school days I was always a 93-94% scorer. In my 10th boards, I topped math with a 100%. I was also very active in sports. I was a gold medalist skater in 7th grade. I was into dancing. So, overall I have been, an all-rounder. Miss India has been on my mind since I was 12. This is something I always knew I would never give up on. No matter what, I would give it a try. I was in the engineering field, and everybody asked me, 'how will shift your focus to something that is so different from academics?' But I said, 'No, being a beauty queen is not just about being a model and I think, this year. It showed in all the winners. Two of us are engineers," she argues.

So, for someone's whose only 19, with no modeling background whatsoever, the contest must have been intimidating at times. "Swimsuit was one (scary experience)," she says after a pause and then dismisses it offhandedly, "The way I carried it off, the confidence with which I did that round - not just once, I wore it a lot many times, nobody could've actually said that I was doing it for the first time. It wasn't just the swimsuit, even the Q&A round. During the top 5 one, I was the last one to go, the last one on stage. I even asked the anchor to repeat the question. That final moment, it's your decider ... decider of your destiny. Either you're gonna make or you won't, so I think that pressure builds up. I wasn't as scared for the top 10 Q&A, but the top 5 one, I knew it was make or break - that stresses you all the more. I was honest, I think that was liked by all the judges."

So what's next, we ask. "Definitely, my international pageant," she replies. "We all know how desperately India wants the Miss World crown... back. It's been so many years, more than a decade (since we won). I don't have much time, the finals have been preponed. So that's my main focus. It's why I am here."

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