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Monday, April 6, 2009

Miss India 2009 Contest

April 5, 2009 was a Sunday with a difference. I was at home nursing a fractured leg. That's when I came across"Pantaloon Miss India Contest" on Sony TV. And, when my fingers refused to move any further on the remote I realised that this was what I wanted to watch. Certainly a nice shift from my broken leg, from politicians bribing the people for votes, fathers raping their own daughters, and sons killing their own parents.

The programme seemed interesting. The hosts R. Madhavan and Malaika Arora were at their best. So also Swapnil Joshi and Karan Wahi who were the co-hosts. I and my Physiotherapist-daughter( who had dropped down for the weekend to see me) sat down to watch the grand happening.What's more, my husband joined us , even if, for a short while!

The contestants were from various places such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, etc. One contest was from Indore. Unfortunately, she didn't make it to the semi-finals. Lack of command over English I guess! But then, an Indore lass making it to the national level was by no means a small achievement. Better luck next time (as my husband always says)! Surprisingly, there were no contestants from Punjab, Gujarat, and the north east regions this time.

What left me spellbound was the height of the girls! No contestant was less than 5ft 7inch. I was reminded of the time when Kiran Juneja and Swaroop Sampat were Miss India. The average height was 5ft 3inch. Even Juhi Chawla was about the same height.

I was however disappointed by the western style of costumes. Saree or Salwar kameez would have any time looked elegant and beautiful on the Indian beauties. "Oh, come on! They are being groomed for the international event." My husband snapped. But then, that's no explanation. We can't dump our national costume this way. International event preparation can always done later. Midway somewhere, the contestants did drape something that had a semblance to sarees.

The judges were an eminent lot- Former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen, Director Madhur Bhandarkar of Page 3 and Chandni Bar fame, Actor Ajay Devgan, the scintillating new stars -Deepika Padukone and Asin Khan.This apart Nandita Mahatani, Ravi Krishnan and Mickey Broadman were also among the judges.

An actor par excellence, Ajay Devgan should do away with that perpetual bored look. But, I do agree that his question," What issue troubles you most today?' did not get a fair answer from Pooja Chopra-the winner of PFMI World 2009 title. The contestant could have touched the woman issue, especially in the light of recent incidents where fathers have emerged as rapists.

Judge Sushmita Sen Asked the same question that was put to her once-What is the essence of being a woman? The answer was disappointing again. Feminity and gentleness are the essence of womanhood. Something which we women are fast losing today. Sushmita Sen had sure given a good answer there and won every one's hearts. Ekta Chowdhry, PFMI Universe 2009 answered very well to the question, "If you were to meet God, what would you ask him and why?" Ekta answered if we are born equal, why is there demarcation in the name of religion. And why is there so much bloodshed.

There was yet another good question-Given a choice, what would you choose-career or family? The PFMI Earth 2009 winner Shreya Kishore gave an all time bad answer when she said, 'career'! Charity begins at home, my dear!

I think that's what makes Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai stand out . The two women are truly great. But then, should we really have Q-A session in beauty pageants? Were Cleopatra, Shakuntala, etc. judged for their sharpness of minds? I think we are mixing the 2 issues and in the process being unfair to both the class of people-the intelligent and the beautiful.

Me thinks, let the beautiful people look beautiful. Ethics and standards should be left to people like Shashi Thiroor, Bachchi Karkaria and others.