Himangini Singh Yadu has broken India's 12-year-long dry spell by winning the Miss Asia Pacific title. Vanya Mishra says it's a proud moment for the country and she hopes to replicate the feat by triumphing at the Miss World pageant in China.
"Every win at an international pageant is a proud moment for India. At this time I'm just focussed on my Miss World title and I hope I win millions of heart with the win," Vanya, winner of the Pantaloons Femina Miss India world 2012, told IANS while speaking on Himangini's win.
The Chandigarh girl, an engineering graduate, is right now concentrating on the Aug 18 contest in China.
"I am all set for D-day. The preparation is going in full swing. You are groomed from head to toe to compete with other representatives from different countries. I'm definitely going to put my best foot forward," she said.
The beauty queen, whose interest lies in badminton, music, dance and books, said the grooming sessions needed a lot of hard work and it's difficult for a girl of her age to get into that mode.
"Well, definitely it's difficult for a girl of my age to get into the mode of 13 days of strenuous grooming session. I am an engineering student, I can easily bunk my classes, but I was not allowed to bunk grooming sessions. It was difficult, but I am satisfied with the outcome. It helped in exploring hidden beauty," she added.
In 2000, Priyanka Chopra won the Miss world title and after 12 years another international crown has come home. A lot has been written about the continuous disappointments on the global stage.
Vanya said: "People get very judgmental sitting at home. It's very easy to say that the girl didn't perform well on the stage. For me, it's all about timings as being on stage and competing with so many girls takes a lot of courage."
The 19-year-old further added: "Losing doesn't mean that previous Miss India winners were not beautiful, but then at the end of the day there can just be one winner and everybody else would be left behind."
There are many beauty queens who entered Bollywood, but Vanya feels that a platform like a beauty pageant opens other avenues.
"Yes, it open doors because it is a kind of platform that is seen by the world but I would definitely say that beauty pageants are not just meant for getting into Bollywood. The concept of beauty queen is entirely different as the winner represents a country that is seen by many during an international pageant," she said.
Any plans to enter Bollywood?
"I love glamour, but I haven't given thought to entering Bollywood as of now. I was just the student and then I became Miss India, so it's too early for me to plan future. I just expect and hope to win the international crown. My main focus is international pageant," she said.
(Nivedita can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)