Joined: 21 June 2005
For once, Femina Miss India contestants didn't want to be Mother Teresa. They didn't pray for world peace either. Their answers sounded honest and straight from the heart.
When the first five were to be announced, hosts Madhavan and Mini Mathur chatted up the contestants and everybody seemed to be thinking of God, their parents and the crown.
22-year old Neha Kapur (centre) from Delhi won the Miss India Universe 2006 crown. Mumbaiities Amrita Patki (20) (right) won the Miss India Earth 2006 award, while Natasha Suri (21) was crowned Miss India World 2006.
Miss India Universe 2006 Neha Kapur, 22
"It's such euphoria. I can't even cry right now. I want to. It hasn't sunk in," she said. "It's an unbelievable feeling to be here." When Madhavan stood beside her 5 foot 9.5inch frame, he said, "And I thought I was tall," to which everybody present burst out laughing.
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra congratulated her and wished her luck before asking, "Do you believe in an arranged marriage or love marriage? And why?"
The lady who won the Miss Photogenic and Miss Fresh face award said, "I definitely do believe in love marriages because we have the right to choose. I believe marriages are not made in heaven, they are made here."
The question for the final round was: Does society influence Bollywood or does Bollywood influence society?
Her reply: "I believe, society influences Bollywood as it a medium through which a democratic country like ours expresses our opinions, thoughts and, most of all, our emotions. I definitely believe a culturally inclined society as a whole influences our film industry."
Neha's parents, who had come down from Delhi, were at a loss for words when their daughter was crowned.
Rama Kapur, her mother, is from Bihar, and married a Punjabi. She said her daughter is very family oriented and has put her on top of this world. "She was only 14 when she began modelling. Three years ago, she tied up with Elite Modelling Agency and the CEO, Sushama Puri, groomed her for this. She began learning classical dance in childhood and has four years of training in Bharatnatyam and eight years in Kathak."
Sushama Puri said, "Winning a crown like this takes you to another level. During the training, people would call and tell me she was having panic attacks. She was very nervous. She had a lot more to lose and there was extra pressure on her mind because she has been a successful model in Delhi for 3 years now. She had to come back and face Tarun Tahiliani and Suneet Varma if she hadn't won the crown. It's been a stressful 6 weeks and I have spoken to her every night. She pulled a ligament in her ankle and we were all worried as she was limping for a few days."
Miss India Earth 2006 Amruta Patki, 20
When she had to select her judge, she couldn't read out the name due to nervousness. Madhavan stepped in and called reader Vaishali Rajapurkar who was sitting next to Zayed Khan. "What do you need India needs most today? Why?"
She replied, "India is full of values and humanity. What it needs is unity! " Her short, witty reply won her accolades from people present. For the final round, she said, "Movies are inspired from social issues and causes because, nowadays, people enjoy watching the truth rather than dreams and glamour."
Her soft-spoken banker father Vijay Patki and mother Neeta said, "I never expected her to come this far. We are very proud of her."
Miss India World 2006 Natasha Suri, 21
Her contestant number was 13, which proved very lucky for her, she said. Even before she could start her question, her sister was rooting for her from the audience.
Karisma Kapur wished her the very best before asking her the winning question, "If you had three wishes what would you ask for?" In her nervousness, Natasha blurted out, "I need time for this. I really need to think." She lost some time there, but what followed was sharp and straight from the heart. "At this point, I need the crown. [This was followed by applause and one could see the judges smiling.] Secondly, I wish good health for my mom. The third wish, should I be clichd enough to ask for three more?"
Her answer for the final round was, "I believe Bollywood is part of society and society is a base on which Bollywood exists. Together, they form sides of the same coin and make life really beautiful."
Judges Tarun Tahiliani, Neha Dhupia, Vaishali Rajapurkar, Karisma Kapur, Suneet Verma, Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra, Zayed Khan, Karan Johar entertained the audience as and when they spoke. Rakshanda Khan, dressed in a black sari with silver embroidery, was a refreshing surprise. Madhavan, with his wit and humour, shared the spotlight with hostess Mini Mathur.
Fardeen Khan's performance was a drag, while Kareena Kapoor's okay. Though her outfit was outstanding, her performance lacked the oomph and ability to entertain.
The Band of Boys were a delight. Dressed in white, they sang tunes from their album as well as a song especially for the event. Throughout the evening, the contestants were in a fantastic mood and kept clapping for each other.
Joined: 08 June 2005
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