In A Conversation With Meenakshi Mathur- Going Behind the Scenes of Pageant Training!

An Exclusive Interview With Meenakshi Mathur

Behind the glimmering ramp of pageants where beauty queens walk with their crowns, lies hard work, guidance and efforts of a trainer who never gave up. Today, The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry is here to unveil the untold story of a pageant trainer wherein hundreds of would-be beauty queens have beaten a path to her door, seeking her wisdom over the telephone, Skype, text message and in person, because Mrs Meenakshi Mathur has an enviable record.

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Meenakshi Mathur, who has been a renowned face in pageant industry by bagging several titles in both Mrs and Miss pageantry still oozes with exuberance as she turns out to be pageant trainer of Mrs Tourism Universe India pageant. Lately, Tanya Mittal, who is trained by Meenakshi represented India at Miss Tourism Universe 2017 and won the title of Mrs Tourism Universe Asia 2018 title, subsequent to which The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry talked to the queen maker, discussing her vision towards the pageant training scenario. So without much ado, let’s find out what Meenakshi Mathur feels about the pageant training criteria.

Hi, Meenakshi. You have already garnered much fame via your previous stint at Mrs Universe. How does it feel to be on the other side of the table?

Hi, The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry. I have been in the fashion industry for last 24 years. After my stint at Femina Miss India in 1997, Ford Supermodel in 2000, I was lucky to get placed in TV Commercials, Print ads as well as Ramp shows. This exposed me to vast experience in all the arenas of modelling. As a Master of Ceremony I hosted over 500 events and went on to win the Best Anchor of India award in 2012. I have established my own academy and started training and grooming pageant aspirants after winning Mrs India and subsequently Mrs Universe Famous in 2016 and trust me it is the best decision I have made. It makes me happy to be a catalyst in giving wings to the dreams of young talent. I also get to relive my love for stage through my students.

How are you feeling after Tanya Mittal won the title of Miss Tourism Universe Asia 2018? How rigorous was her training process?

It is surely satisfactory when your disciple wins and becomes the pride of the nation. At Star Steps Academy, the entire team puts in efforts for each candidate to succeed. Tanya had everything perfectly set, her National Costume on peacock theme was hugely appreciated. Moreover, she secured highest score in the question and answer round, her rampwalk and turns to hand movement, it was all well rehearsed. Also, she is a People’s Person, which I think really helps. It is rightly said, “Success comes when opportunity meets perfection.”

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Tanya Mittal after winning Miss Tourism Universe Asia 2018

How did the organization approach you for training the contestants?

Our academy Star Steps India is delighted to serve in the field of personality development, image consultancy, pageant and model training. For a pageant we cover all the requirements like, posture training, right eye contact, perfect gait and ramp walk, introduction, question and answer, personal interview, make up, posing for the camera, selection of wardrobe according to skin and body type, hair and eye brow styling, fitness and diet consultation. We are also associated as training and grooming partners with 4 national level pageants.

Please tell us something about your previous training experiences, giving us the glimpse of your trained contestants.

Sharad Kelkar won the title of Mr. Photogenic and went on to become a well known TV/Movie actor. Kajal jain won Miss beautiful hair at Femina Miss India, she is also a TV/Movie actor.  My Academy was set up in June 2017 and soon 12 children of different age group who took our training swept away all the major titles at Junior Mr. and Miss India 2017 in August month itself, with Priya agarwal, Pranav Sethi and Siddhi Suri making a hat trick by clinching the Top titles in their respective age category. Meetender Meeth Singh won RuBaru Mr. India and represented India at Mr United Continents at Phillipines. He secured the First Runners Up title and also a sub title of Mr Photogenic in the year 2017. Tanya Mittal is representing India at Miss Tourism Universe 2018, at Lebanon. Besides those trained at academy, there are several others who are trained at various pageants, who become winners and later go on to become actors & models.

What does typical pageant training involve?

Training for an international pageant requires developing a psychology of “I love it, I want it and it is possible. I believe I have what it takes and I can”. It is most difficult to help them make that psychological shift. Meditation and self affirmation techniques are also helpful. Next, the way a contestant speaks plays a big role in winning a pageant. At academy they are trained to control their pace and pitch, correct diction and voice modulation makes a huge difference. Also, they learn to make the camera their best friend, we do photo shoot practice in different moods like elegant, playful, smiling and shots like headshot, mid shot, full length and profile. We practice over 5000 pageant questions and ensure the trainees are fluent and confident while facing question and answer round. The introduction is also prepared individually which highlights the best traits of the contestant. Fitness and diet is monitored on weekly basis. Fine dining etiquettes are a part of training. At pageants girls must look their best at all times, they are taught the complete make up as per the international standards. It takes a little while to learn the correct ramp walk with perfect turns in high heels. Once a student is ready for a pageant, we assist them with purchasing wardrobe according to their skin tone, body type, Face type etc. Colors, cuts, design and fabric vary from person to person .We also guide them with enhancing their looks with appropriate hair style.

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What is the most common goal of your clients when they come for the pageant training?

Surprisingly, most of the aspirants have smaller goals like participating in local pageant. They lack self belief and think it is not possible to make it big. As I said earlier, we curate these young talents and help give wings to their dream. Once they develop belief in their own potential, the sky is the limit.

Who do you look up to as your pageant idols and how do you help your disciples to follow the same pathway?

I appreciate & follow Femina Miss India, Miss Diva, Elite Model look, Peter England Mr. India & Gladrags Megamodel amongst the Indian pageants. A few Mrs. India pageants are also setting new bench marks. I personally feel the need to judge a pageant aspirant on the basis of their respective personality traits and then recommend a suitable pageant to them.

What training principles do you live your life by?

I live with the principle that “Risk and give everything you have, to get what you desire”. It’s important to surrender yourself to your goal. Sincere practice with dedication, patience and faith can never fail.

What are your main rules when it comes to pageant training regime?

It takes approximately 3 months to 1 year for total transformation. The Thumb rule is “Practice for Perfection”. There is no short cut to success. A typical day involves workout, meditation, healthy diet, lots of water, make up practice, walk, posing, and question and answer practice. Lots of book reading and keeping abreast with current topics and off course the beauty sleep.

What are those little pageant luxuries a pageant aspirant cannot live without?

A well equipped gym with spa and healthy diet.

What are your prime objectives for the pageant? What kind of representatives are you looking forward to?

The Indian representative for Miss Tourism Universe ’2018 is Miss Tanya Mittal. Since it is a tourism pageant, we were looking for a candidate who can represent Indian culture, tradition and its values. Tanya has a perfect blend of elegance and confidence which reflects in her positive body language and communication skills. We have equipped her with best possible training and wardrobe. We are hopeful that she will make India proud.

Tell us more about your team. Who will grace the panel of official designer and trainer for different aspects in the pageant?

While I take care of the major part of on stage and in camera training, Mr Rohit Sharma is the official image consultant, he teaches the art of fine dining, manners and etiquettes and also decides the wardrobe and looks for every contestant individually. The national costume for Miss Tourism Universe has a peacock theme, it is designed by Miss Shikha.

What message would you like to give to the pageant enthusiasts, who are reading this interview?

Chase your dream, get trained by the best in the industry, a guru is essential, somebody who has walked the path you want to follow can definitely be the best guide.

What message would you like to give to The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry?

The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry has really made the global world of pageants a family. It is amazing to get the latest updates. Thank You.

That was an awestriking conversation, Meenakshi. We wish you all the luck and love as you proceed on the path to international pageants, shaping young talents.

Also Read: An Exclusive Interview With Rohit Sharma- National Director of Miss Tourism Universe India 

In A Conversation With Rohit Sharma- National Director of Miss Tourism Universe India

An Exclusive Interview with Rohit Sharma- National Director of Miss Tourism Universe India

Tourism pageants are the most spectacular lanes to gain an insight of different countries’ cultures, ethnicity and rich diversity. In the ongoing Miss Tourism Universe 2018 pageant, Tanya Mittal is the face of India. While the pageant has already commenced since September 12, 2018, the grand finale of the same is slated to culminate on September 25, 2018. 21 years old, Tanya Mittal hails from Gwalior, and is also listed among youngest entrepreneurs of India. The beauty queen has her brand named Hand Made Love. Believed to be a people’s person, she exudes confidence as she talks.

While the beauty queen is busy representing India internationally, we got hold of the National Director, Mr Rohit Sharma to voice out what made him choose Tanya as ‘India’ at Miss Tourism Universe 2018. Before we begin, let us tell, that Rohit is an Engineer turned Entrepreneur, which makes us wonder about how magnificent turns life can take if shaped in the right direction.

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Lately, The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry got to interact with the National Director of Miss Tourism Universe India, Mr Rohit Sharma, who not only gave an overview over how he shall be managing the upcoming editions of the pageants, but also shared his preparation regime for the candidates gearing up for the coming season. So without doing further ado, let us delve in!

Congratulations, Rohit for acquiring the franchise of Miss Tourism Universe India. How are you gearing yourself up for the voyage?

Thank you very much. The India delegate has already been declared. Since, the International pageant is beginning from September, 2018 in Lebanon, the contestant as well as the entire team of Star Steps is busy making all the preparations, specially the finale couture. Budding designer Shikha has created a vivid National costume based on our national bird-Peacock. We hope that our contestant clinches the title. Wishing her good luck.

You are an engineer turned entrepreneur. What made you believe in the idea of pageants?

Yes, I am a qualified Mechanical Engineer. I have worked with LG and Escorts Construction Equipment Ltd., but creativity was always my personal call. I quit my job to pursue an Image Consultancy course from USA. Later, I along with my wife Meenakshi, who has been an experienced model, decided to foray into imparting training and grooming to youngsters and children who dream to make a mark globally. So we launched our academy for personality grooming, pageant training & image consultancy. That is how Star Steps India came into force in 2017. In a short span of one year we had groomed many candidates for various pageants national & international both. We also organized a sub contest for Super Model International in the year 2017 with the participants from over 42 countries. More recently we organized Grand Kids Fashion Show which was a huge success.

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That is brilliant! Please tell us more about Miss Tourism Universe India. How did it come into existence? What is the principle of the event?

Our academy Star steps India is in the expansion phase and acquiring the franchise of reputed International pageant is its integral part. We wanted to promote the candidate who can represent the culture of India Internationally. Someone with remarkable communication skills, confidence, looks and the perfect attitude which is a must have for a winner. Miss Tanya Mittal is going to be representing India at Miss Tourism Universe to be held in Lebanon. Contestants from 31 countries are participating. The finale is on 25th September 2018.

We wish Tanya a very good luck for the international pageant! However, in today’s era pageants are fading in terms of popularity and relevance in the Indian society. What do you think are the possible reasons behind this and how will Miss Tourism Universe India strive to eradicate this scenario?

There are several small players who have surfaced into organizing pageants. The problem originates when a pageant is being organized only for churning revenue, it is then, that it loses its sheen. At Star Steps we focus on grooming all the finalists to perfection, weather it is ramp walk training, posing practice sessions, introduction or question and answer, the contestants must look like stars shining on the ramp. Our Pageants are the expression of our outclass training and creativity.

What are your prime objectives for the pageant? What kind of representatives are you looking forward to?

Our prime objective is to get candidates who are willing to give in their 100% in terms of dedication. Rest is our responsibility in terms of grooming & training. We look forward for the candidate who can represent the culture of India Internationally. Someone with excellent communication skills, confidence, looks and the perfect attitude which is a must have for a winner.

Tell us more about your team. Who will grace the panel of official trainer for the pageant?

Our trainers are our strength. Our Chief Trainer is Mrs Universe Famous Meenakshi Mathur. She has vast experience in the field of pageantry for more than 24 years. I myself am a certified image consultant and all the dresses, hairstyle, looks etc are personally recommended by me to each and every contestant, which certainly help them stand out and win. We also have on board Mr. Sanjay Sharma as a specialist educator, who holds many foreign degrees. He is an expert speaker & presenter.

What training criteria are you providing to your contestants and delegates under the pageant?

There is a famous quote “the more you sweat in practice the less you bleed in war”. The training is rigorous which lasts for over one month. It includes, posture training, fitness and diet consultation , ramp walk , diction and voice modulation, public speaking, fine dining, wardrobe consultation, introduction, question and answer practice etc.

What message would you like to give to the pageant enthusiasts, who are reading this interview?

Sky is the limit. You need to learn the techniques and master the art to perfection according to international standards.

What kind of winner were you looking forward to?

Since it is a tourism pageant, we were looking for a candidate who can represent Indian culture, tradition and its values. Miss Tanya Mittal (Miss Tourism Universe India’2018) has a perfect blend of elegance and confidence which reflects in her positive body language and communication skills.

What message would you like to give to The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry?

There are numerous Miss, Mr. & Mrs. Beauty contest taking place across the nation. Most of them are organized for financial gains. Only the participants are the ones who suffer as they don’t have data to track the authenticity. So if the Kaleidoscope of Pageantry can do something about this, it would be of great help to the aspirants. But otherwise You are doing a great job. Thank you.

That was an overwhelming conversation, Rohit. We wish Miss Tourism Universe India Organization and Tanya Mittal all the luck in all the future endevours.

An Interview With Fbb Colors Femina Miss India Maharashtra 2018 Finalists

An Exclusive Interview With Mehaak Punjabi, Radhika Joshi and Apurva Chhavan

Fbb Colors Femina Miss India Maharashtra 2018 auditions was a star studded affair. Graced by many former and reigning Miss India and Mister India titleholders, the auditions was no less than a full fledged pageant itself. During the auditions, Bhavika Manghwani from The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry made sure that our audience does not miss any updates, thereby bringing many interviews and media bites from the event.

So although it has been a while since the auditions has happened, let us take you back to the glorious moment and unfold what the Top 3 shortlisted finalists, Mehaak Punjabi, Radhika Joshi and Apurva Chhavan had to say about their performance and experience.

An Interview With Natasha Grover- The Lady Who Brought India Back On Pageantry Map!

In A Conversation With Natasha Grover

The lady who brought laurels to India with her magical guidance, resulting in the victory at Miss World 2017, Miss Supranational 2014, Miss Supranational 2016 and Mister World 2016, shared few words of wisdom with the correspondent of The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry, Bhavika Manghwani during Fbb Colors Femina Miss India Maharashtra 2018 auditions.

While talking to The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry, Natasha Grover thanked her team, who put their best foot forward while preparing for the international pageants. Natasha, opined that she is not the sole reason why India has won Miss World, Miss Supranational and Mister World lately, but her team has always strived to give the best performance with every passing year.

When asked how has the feeling sunk in after India won the Miss World crown after 17 years in the courtesy of Manushi Chhillar, Natasha was all smiles. Natasha added that victories of Asha Bhatt, Srinidhi Shetty and Rohit Khandelwal have always pushed her to come up with better game plans. Natasha also expressed that all the Femina Miss India titleholders we have had till date have been fabulous and it is the matter of time when we actually get to taste the victory. Adding more to the conversation, Natasha expressed that individuality is one factor on which a Miss India aspirant is judged. She said, project yourself in the best way possible and be true to yourself.

Talking about Miss Diva, Natasha said that the reality series will be completely scrapped in this edition. There are going to be many changes in the coming edition of Miss Diva, which shall be unfolded soon in the launch of Miss Diva 2018, as the organization is now eyeing for the third Miss Universe crown for India.

Complimenting The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry for the encouragement and all the constructive criticisms, Natasha ended this conversation with a beautiful smile. Have a look at the entire interview right here!

An Exclusive Interview With Darasing Khurana- Mister International India 2018

In A Conversation With Darasing Khurana

The grand finale of the 12th edition of Mister International pageant is slated to take place on Monday, April 30, 2018 at the National Theater of Yangon in Yangon, Myanmar. This year, the suave and handsome, Darasing Khurana will be representing India at Mister International 2018 pageant.

This 25 years old gentleman is an ambassador of India’s largest blood stem donor’s registry and is serving for the betterment of blood cancer victims. Hailing from Parbhani, Darasing at present is working as a freelance celebrity fashion consultant. His leisure pursuits include acting, traveling, exploring new places and cultures and volunteering for the philanthropic cause.

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Lately, The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry got a beautiful occasion to interact with the inspiring young lad, wherein he unfolded some of the interesting facets of his personality and shared some of the amazing episodes of his life. So without any further delay, let’s delve in!

Hello, Darasing. How does it feel to be called as ‘India’ at Mister International 2017?

I feel extremely privileged to be called India at such a prestigious platform. That I can represent my country, is such a great honour, and I consider India as one country which has so much to offer, in spite of its deep rooted culture, it is evolving and adapting itself to contemporary times so beautifully. 

Tell us something about your early life. What lead you to the pathway of Mister International?

My early life was in a small town called Parbhani, in Maharashtara, we belong to a conventional joint family having our own textile business. I had nurtured a dream to pursue higher studies since childhood, and a desire to become an actor, perhaps that has led me up this pathway of Mister International

How did you achieve your goal?

In my personal opinion, once we set a goal, it’s our unfailing commitment towards achieving it that encourages us to walk on that pathway, however difficult it may be, we need to move out of our comfort zones and push the envelope further and further, because if our dream is precious it’s our own effort that will lead us to victory.

Who was the inspiring ray of light behind your journey to popularity and fame?

I would say the inspiring light are my parents and the elders of our family, who have cared for me and inculcated precious values that has grounded me all the time. I would attribute the light to all my gurus and well wishers who are always there to guide me, and of course the Almighty, whose presence I can feel many a times.

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What is your fitness regime? How are you planning to keep your fitness on game as your international pageant is approaching?

I have been doing cardio empty stomach and weight training in the evenings. What is more import is to monitor diet. I have a massive sweet tooth and avoiding desserts is a very big challenge for me. But I am glad my dedication has defeated my cravings.

If you were to define yourself on the basis of Motto of Mister International “Distinctively Handsome”, how would you introduce yourself?

A phrase like ‘distinctively handsome’ becomes poignant only when it describes a person beyond just physical features, it’s his style, his confidence and his humility that shapes him as a being, and perhaps if the glow on his face reflects this core, this is what I would introduce myself as.

What sets you apart from other contestants in the competition?

As contestants each of us have something unique within us, and all my co contestants are great human beings at core. I can only say what sets me apart is my hard work, my values, my deep desire to contribute to a social cause and my dedication towards this responsibility, I wish to make India proud of her son on a global platform.

Who do you think is going to be your toughest competitor for Mister International 2017?

I think the toughest competitor we have is our own selves, because we have to excel beyond and seek our individual strengths. For me all my competitors are great personas, and each one has his glory.

How confident are you about winning this title for India?

My confidence is in my values and my commitment towards giving a grace and dignity to this coveted title, it should inspire many to be distinct, to follow their hearts desire and to work hard, very hard to achieve anything in life.

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What message would you like to give to your fans reading this interview on The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry?

To my fans ,the first thing I would say is a big THANK YOU for being with me, your good wishes and blessings are the bright stars that guide me on this journey. Each one of you is close to my heart and you are my strength to face the toughest hurdles with a confidence that so many of you are holding my hand.

Well that was indeed an overwhelming conversation, Darasing. The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry wishes you all the best as you trail on the road to Mister International 2018. We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Pageant and Glamour for coordinating this interview and introducing us to a wonderful interaction with Mister International India, Darasing Khurana.

In A Conversation With Siddhi Idnani- Miss TGPC Season 3 Winner

Tête-à-Tête With Siddhi Idnani

Siddhi Idnani who was representing the West Zone at Miss TGPC Season 3 won the title fair and square after giving a brilliant performance. Siddhi is now vying to be the sash bearer of India at Miss World 2018, hoping to make the first cut at Femina Miss India 2018, the auditions for which begins next month.

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Meanwhile, The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry got an occasion to interact with Siddhi, wherein the very proficient lady unfolded her future plans thereby talking about her aspirations and how her preparations are on full swing regarding the same. Have a look!

Hello, Siddhi. How does it feel to be crowned as Miss TGPC Season 3 Winner?

To be addressed as Miss TGPC Season 3, is quiet an overwhelming feeling. I was really fascinated when I first heard about the Pageant and how unique and different it was, and it was then that I had decided to put my 100% into it . Season 4 is going on now and I would wish all the girls, all the very best.

 How has your life changed since the day you were crowned as Miss TGPC?

From being Siddhi Idnani, to Siddhi Idnani Miss TGPC Season 3, It just adds to your over all personality. There is a sense of identity that comes along with the title which is a great feeling.

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Tell us something about yourself and how you perceive the adversities and blessings of life?

I am born into a family where I’ve been taught to go ahead and chase my dreams.That life is too short and one must make the most of every single day. I’ve been blessed in multiple ways and been taught that failure and success are like two sides of the same coin and how to deal with both with a smile on my face.

What are your plans to foray in pageantry and how do you wish to accomplish the same?

I was in the 6th grade when my mother had gone to watch the finale of Femina Miss India, when she came back home she spoke so highly of the pageant that since then there has been no looking back. It’s all that I’ve ever wanted. I strongly believe in the law of attraction and that if you put your heart and soul into achieving something then the universe conspires to give it to you. So my immediate plan is to participate in Femina Miss India 2018 and hopefully win it. 🙂 I have my to – do list ready for the pageant and am going to give my 100% into it.

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Which incident in your life has motivated you to believe that beauty pageants are totally your cup of tea?

Like I said, I’ve always wanted to achieve something in pageantry. It was that will that made me join The Tiara Pageant Training Studio where I got to train under Ritika Ramtri who is the leading Pageant coach in India. It was there during the one month course and under Ritika Ma’am’s guidance I realized that, pageantry not only is something that I want to excel in, but also that I am good at it and with time and more hard work and effort I can my best version.

Who introduced you to the world of pageantry?

I’ve trained at the Tiara Pageant Training Studio where I was taught about the world of Pageantry.

What quality do you believe you possess which makes you different from other similar talented ladies trying to venture in pageantry?

I have always believed that I have to be the kindest and the most hardworking person in the room, because if I’m not there will be someone better to replace me. Once I make a commitment about something its essential that I put my heart and soul into accomplishing it and I feel that it is that quality that sets me apart from the others.

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In which pageant do you see yourself competing a year after and why?

I see myself competing in Fbb Femina Miss India 2018, because that is something that I’ve always wanted. And I feel that the time has come.

Who is your role model and how has he/she helped you to evolve as a person?

My parents are my ultimate role model, amongst the beauty queens Priyanka Chopra is someone whom I really look up to. She is so confident about herself. She owns who she is and has created an empire for herself based purely on hard work and determination. She won Miss World right after Yukta Mookhey making it a back to back and that in itself is remarkable.

India has recently won the Miss World crown, as a vying contestant to bear the sash of India at an international pageant; do you feel any pressure under how people will be expecting you to achieve the same feat? How do you plan to overcome such stress?

Priyanka Chopra won in the year 2000, after Yukta Mookhey in 1999. Anything is possible. 🙂

What is your fitness regime and how do you manage to be fit in the hustle and bustle of your daily schedule?

I am doing a film right now so I barely get the time to workout at the moment so I have to be careful about my food intake so I try to avoid carbs at night and take in as much protein as possible and keep myself hydrated at all times.

What is your message to the people reading this interview?

— Thank you so much for taking some time out from your daily schedule and reading a little something about my life. I hope you enjoyed it, it comes straight from the heart. Please do support me in my journey to accomplish my dreams. 🙂

What is your message to The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry?

TKOP is a great platform and gives out so much information about the world of Pageantry. Its incredible. Keep it up and thank you for giving me this opportunity.

Picture Credits: Mukesh Rathore

An Exclusive Interview with Ranjani Shankar- National Director of Mr & Miss Best Icon India

In a Conversation with Ranjani Shankar

Best Icon India is a National Beauty Pageant headed by Rio Production, which is a renowned modeling and film institute. The mission of the organization is to help modeling aspirants to bring out their best. The winner of Best icon India will represent India at Best Icon Model International, which is also governed by Rio Production.

The winners will not only get an opportunity to enter the national pageant but will also have the chance of becoming the brand ambassador for the international brand and international calendar shoot, which is collaborated with Di Vero Moldova.

Although the pageant is new and is innovative in its very idea, the conviction of the National Director to soar high is praiseworthy. Lately, The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry, which is also the official social media partner of the pageant, got a chance to share the thoughts over the pageant with the National Director, Ranjani Shankar. So without much delay let’s have an insight to the mind of the newly appointed National Director.

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Congratulations, Mrs Ranjani for acquiring the franchise of Best Icon India. How are you gearing yourself up for the voyage?

Thank you Vagisha,  My Journey being a mother of 7 year old daughter it’s always tough job to handle both personal and professional life but being the National director of Best icon India 2017 I am as excited as the contestants who are part of it. Apart from that preparing the schedule and connecting with different people is given me a chance to learn a lot new things.

Please tell us more about Best Icon India. How did it come into existence? What is the principle of the event?

Best icon India is National Beauty pageant which is divided into 5 different regionals pageants, Mr and Miss Best Icon South, Mr and Miss Best Icon North, Mr and Miss Best icon East, Mr and Miss Best Icon North-East, Mr and Miss Best Icon West, every regional top 3 winners will compete with each other’s in National pageant.  Well there was a time where I was looking out for opportunities back then but wasn’t good enough and now that I am able to create better platform for the talents of this generations that’s when Best Icon India pageant came into existence.  As mentioned above a proper platform and a better opportunities for the upcoming talents.

Best Icon India is one of the rarest pageants in India which gives a platform to both the genders. Kudos to your team for such a wonderful concept! How did the idea of giving an equal podium to both men and women came to your mind?

I believe Talents doesn’t been measured by gender, when I wanted to create such a platform I never though it I should start with male or female talents but then unisex pageant would be more colorful where you all kinds of talenst under one roof.

In today’s era pageants are fading in terms of popularity and relevance in the Indian society. What do you think are the possible reasons behind this and how will Best Icon India strive to eradicate this scenario?

Any good thing and or a bad thing both has an example, there is huge misunderstanding due fake agency or False promotion to the public about the fashion world or pageant industry which creates uninterested in the public to be part of it or to send their kids for pageants.  Contestants who are part of best icon India won’t be their final step, No matter you win or lose Rio Productions will make sure every contestants are reaching their success life either in fashion world Movie field.

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What are your prime objectives for the pageant? What kind of representatives are you looking forward to?

Well as our country’s tag line says Unity in diversity, the main focus of our pageant is to bring the different cultures and talents from across the country.  We are looking for someone who is just not modern but as also who carries all Indian values by heart and proud to be Indian.

Tell us more about your team. Who will grace the panel of official trainer and grooming for the pageant?

Sujeesh shanmughan who runs famous pageant school in Bangalore “Queens and Crowns” will be training all the contestants during all the regional and national pageant of Best Icon India. Sujeesh has also trained various beauties who went on to place and win many other national and international pageants for India respectively.

How is Best Icon India different from other pageants in India in terms of agenda and objectives?

As to bring lots of talents across countries and give opportunities to all we have dived our pageant to 5 different regional pageants, so that every contestant around our country would be more proud to represent her/his state or culture.

What training criteria are you providing to your contestants and delegates under the pageant?

Training such as ramp walk, Personality devolvement, Physical Grooming, Diction, Fitness training etc and more over to be yourself.

What message would you like to give to the pageant enthusiasts, who are reading this interview?

Success isn’t something you get it easy, no matter how long it takes keep looking out for your destiny and believe in yourself.

What message would you like to give to The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry?

First of all thank you so much Vagisha Mishra for giving us a little space to talk about our pageant to the world and the kaleidoscope of Pageantry being one of the best Pageant blogging site in India, we are so happy and pleasured to be associated with you and Thank you Once again.

An Exclusive Interview with Manushi Chhillar- Miss World India 2017

In a Conversation with Femina Miss India World 2017- Manushi Chhillar

The twenty years old beauty who won the first Miss World India crown for her state, Haryana is not just a pretty face! A medical student by profession, Manushi is a trained Kuchipudi classical dancer, who also carves her ideas through poetry. Apart from modelling at various advertising agencies, Manushi has keen interest in being a successful doctor in future, the seeds of which were sown in her young mind when she topped the 12th standard boards.

Manushi Chhillar was a hot favourite for the title of Femina Miss India 2017 even before she won her state finals and this was not merely because of her beauty but also because of her sincere and genuine demeanour and amicable aura. The very congenial Miss World India is focussed and is never seen beating the bush. Above all she is spontaneous and a natural beauty queen, the fact that makes her unique.

Having won Miss Photogenic during the grand finale of Femina Miss India 2017 and Miss Rampwalk during the zonal pageant, Manushi Chhillar is a force to reckon with and the world knows it well. People have already acknowledged her as one of the front runners for Miss World 2017 pageant. Lately, The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry got a wonderful opportunity to know her ideas, thoughts and plans regarding Miss World 2017, so without any further ado let’s get the glimpse of the newly crowned Miss World India’s beautiful heart!

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Miss World India 2017, Manushi Chillar in the center with first runner up, Sana Dua and second runner up, Priyanka Kumari

Heartiest congratulations on winning Femina Miss India 2017, Manushi. How are you enjoying your victory?

Thank you so much, Vagisha! To me it isn’t only my victory, but the victory of so many people who’ve helped me reach here. It took time for the feeling to sink in, but I am enjoying every bit of it.

What was the first thought that came to your mind after wearing the crown of Miss World India?

The moment the crown touched my head, I had a ball of emotions trapped which was finally released. I had worked so hard and watching your dream come true is the best feeling in life! I told myself that it is only the beginning of a beautiful journey.

How did your family and friends react to your victory?

I could see my family in the crowd. I saw joy and pride in their eyes, they are my fuel and I couldn’t have done it without them. Everyone was so excited!

What memories from your homecoming ceremony will you always cherish?

My homecoming was filled with surprises! I got the opportunity to thank each and every one who has helped me reach here. And the best part was that people I have never met or known were happy for me. I’ll cherish all the love and blessings I’ve received.

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Amidst all the celebrations happening around, how do you keep your focus intact for winning the sixth Miss World crown for India?

Miss World is not just my dream, it’s my passion! The moment I was crowned, I told myself that I am only a step away. It is there in me always.

What do you think will be your biggest strength when you will represent India at Miss World 2017 among a group of similarly talented ladies? What do you think gives you an edge over others?

My focus and dedication have brought me so far. But the edge that I have is my simplicity. I always believe in being myself. Also, I have a purpose and after winning the title, it has become stronger.

Your “Beauty with a Purpose” project at Femina Miss India 2017 dealt with menstrual hygiene and apart from that you have also worked for the betterment of cancer victims. Hearty congratulations on this initiative! How are you planning to take forward your BWAP for Miss World pageant?

I started project shakti because I wished to empower women through menstrual hygiene. I plan on not only educating women but also assisting them in menstrual management. I wish not only to make them more aware, but also offer a system for them to imbibe those practices.

Your classical Kuchipudi dance won several hearts during Femina Miss India 2017. Do you wish to showcase a similar masterpiece in the Talent Round of Miss World pageant?

I have always loved to dance and yes, I will be dancing for the talent round at Miss World. But the rest is a surprise!

Former Miss World India, Koyal Rana who was a worldwide sensation during Miss World 2014 belongs to your alma mater. She was supposedly quite elated on your win. Any piece of advice you have been taking from her as you traverse on the journey to Miss World crown?

Yes, her performance at Miss World 2014 was commendable. She’s my senior from school and we travelled in the same van but I never had a close interaction with her. She met me during my homecoming which was very sweet of her.

You have been a doctor, classical dancer, model and now the official representative of India at Miss World, who or what has helped you to evolve your dynamic personality? Did it come naturally to you or someone motivated you to channelize your diverse passion?

I have always been involved in many things. I am a quiet person but express through art. My parents have a big hand in my diverse personality because they’ve always encouraged me to participate.

Which fastrack event are you confident about acing at Miss World pageant?

I believe that would be Beauty with a Purpose and Top Model. I am working very hard on both of them and I hope I do well.

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In an interview you stated that India’s first Miss World, Reita Faria has been your inspiration. Interestingly, she was also a doctor. As a doctor do you feel your vision can help you to go far in this journey, considering many doctors like Rolene Strauss have brightly accomplished their dream visions to reality?

Of course! I am not the first doctor to venture into beauty pageants. I feel being a doctor and beauty queen actually go hand in hand! As a doctor, I am gaining knowledge and skill to help others, but as a beauty queen I am able to use it and reach out to people who need it. I have a purpose and I know it will take me far.

Why do you think India has not won the Miss World crown since 16 years and how do you plan to end that drought?

Well we have had really good representatives the past 16 years, but I feel that it’s about the moment. How you are able to show your personality there also matters and there are several aspects that play a role. I plan to train myself, so that I am able to express who I am, what India is all about, how can I be that one person giving a glimpse of the seventh largest country of the world.

Femina Miss India Organization has strived their best to make this edition a success. Any special memory from the pageant days you will never forget?

Every memory was special to me! The new format has brought the whole country together and everyone was so unique! One special memory would be our unveiling shoot in Jaipur. We wore Manish Malhotra and felt like queens walking down the steps of Albert Hall!

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What message would you like to give to The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry and the readers reading your wonderful words?

Firstly, thank you so much Kaleidoscope of pageantry! You have supported me through my journey. To all the readers, be confident, and once you find your purpose in life, charge! Always have a meaning to your existence, doesn’t matter when it comes to you.

Meet The Contestants of Miss World 2018 HERE!!!

An Exclusive Interview with Priyanka Kumari- Miss Intercontinental India 2017

In a Conversation with Priyanka Kumari

Every one of you must have heard the story of Cinderella, who turned her destiny when gifted with the right pair of shoes, the newly crowned Femina Miss India second runner up, Priyanka Kumari from Bihar is no different. The girl who began her pageant journey with relatively no modelling background is today an inspiration to million girls in India. The girl who was a tomboy once and never ever dreamt of being a beauty queen slays the ramp today when she struts on it.

Priyanka Kumari who hails from Bihar is an engineer by profession. Born in an army family, Priyanka got to travel a lot in India and this has given her wings to expand her horizons and experience the new breeze. The very proficient beauty is also a sports enthusiast and loves to play basketball and hockey.

Lately, The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry got a chance to interact with Priyanka Kumari wherein she revealed her success mantra along with unfolding some of the interesting facets of life.

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The girl who fuelled her dreams to make it a reality! An inspiration to all the common girls who dream of being a queen! Heartiest congratulations on winning the second runner up title at Femina Miss India 2017, Priyanka. How are you enjoying your victory?

The feeling is amazing and it’s very difficult to express it in words. My life has changed 360 degrees. I am living my dream. I have made my mentor, Ritika mam and my parents proud. I now have the recognition which I can use to make a difference and work on the issues which are close to my heart.

What was the first thought that came to your mind after wearing the crown?

First thought was ‘Is it really happening?’ haha. After that I was just thinking about how life can change in one moment. I could see my parents filled with proud and that made me even happier.

How did your family and friends react to your victory?

Each member of my family was proud and happy. They somehow knew that I would make it. They believed in me more than I did. My friends were cheering and they were unable to contain their excitement. Two of my friends were also present in the auditorium when I was crowned and they were screaming their lungs out. Thank you,  Shriya and Ekta for being such good friends.

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What memories from your homecoming ceremony will you always cherish?

I will cherish the warm welcome I received at all three places I visited. I would never forget the kind of love that People of Bihar showered on me. I did not expect so many people to come at Patna airport, my uncle’s place and fbb store, just to make me feel good. In Pune, not only my family but people from the whole society came to meet me and in Nashik my college had arranged a wonderful welcome ceremony for me at such a short notice. I am overwhelmed.

Amid all the celebrations, how are you preparing yourself for Miss Intercontinental 2017 pageant?

I am leaving no stone unturned to prepare myself. I want to make my country proud intentionally and I know I can. I am working on expanding my knowledge, my speaking skills and many other factors which are basically the same for all international pageants.

What do you think will be your strengths as you will represent India among the group of similarly talented ladies at Miss Intercontinental 2017 pageant?

My strengths would be my observation skills and hunger to learn. I am a very good observer and my willingness to learn something new each day makes me a very quick and all rounder learner. I also feel that I speak from my heart and my runway skill is an added advantage.

 

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Being a girl with relatively no modelling background how did you manage to face the challenges that came your way in the journey of being Miss India?

I want to give all the credit to Ritika Mam who is not only my Pageant coach but also my guru for life. I believe it is very important to have someone you can trust in this industry and she is just the right person and I bless the day I found out about her. I knew nothing when I started my pageant journey but with her help I learnt a lot about pageantry and life.

What has been one thing that has motivated you to come so far in your journey as a beauty queen?

The pageant journey and the life of a beauty queen always inspired me. This is something I really enjoy and it’s only when we enjoy what we do, we give our best. Not only this, I want to open a network of NGO which will work towards uplifting the lives of beggars. Every time I see someone beg at traffic signal or roadsides, my will becomes stronger and this is what kept motivating me.

You have always been found saying that you have grew up as a tomboy, which incident in your life acted as a turning point in the transition from being a tom boy to a beauty queen?

Yes, it’s funny how I keep saying this everywhere I go. It all started when I was working in TCS and I was not going through a good phase in my life because I was not getting time to work for at least building the foundation of my NGO. I stopped smiling and when I came across Miss India application form, I randomly filled it without expecting any calls for audition. To cut a long story short, I went for the auditions and even though I couldn’t make it that time, I enjoyed so much that I couldn’t stop smiling for three days! That’s when I realised that this is what makes me happy. Soon I resigned and started preparing for Miss India.

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What pros and cons did you experience while coming from Bihar to the modelling and pageant world?

I come from a defence background and I have been to almost every state. This groomed me really well as a person. I am very adaptable and flexible. I believe these two qualities are very important if you want to enter this industry. The only con that People might face while coming from Bihar is the lack of family support because not many opportunities of modelling are there in Bihar. But I didn’t face any such difficulty as my parents have been very supportive.

I can definitely tell you the advantages I had while coming from Bihar. People of Bihar are so loving and supportive that throughout my journey, I never felt alone. When they came to know that I am representing Bihar at such a big level, everyday some or the other person used to message me about how proud they are and that they all love me.

Where do you see yourself five years down the lane?

I see myself working and expanding my NGO and side by side opening a day care for labourer’s kids because in their family both husband and wife are working.

What makes you different from others?

As I already said, I am a very good observer. This quality has made me into a person who is very good at understanding not only the situations but also the feelings of people. This makes me a very relatable and approachable person. I believe it’s a very important quality a person should have.

Femina Miss India Organization has strived their best to make this edition a success. Any special memory from the pageant days you will never forget?

Each day of this journey was unforgettable. I love meeting new people and I met so many wonderful people in these 30 days, including people from organization who have their best to make our journey memorable. If I have to choose one special memory then it would definitely be the moment we met the reigning Miss World Stephanie. She is a perfect example of how to be yourself all the time. We had a great time with her.

PriyanKA Kumari Miss Intercontinental 2017

What message would you like to give to The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry and the readers reading your wonderful words?

I would like to thank you all for giving me this opportunity to share my journey. It feels wonderful when you know there are people who want to get to know you more. Thank you for making me feel so special. To the readers, I want to say that if a girl like me can do this then everyone can achieve whatever they want. It’s all about what you actually want and put honest efforts for.

An Exclusive Interview With Shefali Sood- Femina Miss India Uttar Pradesh 2017

In a Conversation with Shefali Sood

Shefali Sood, who is representing the state of Uttar Pradesh at Femina Miss India this year is known as an avid traveler. She has participated in many pageants formerly, having claimed the title of Miss India Elite 2013 and Miss Indian Diva 2016. Shefali Sood also holds a degree in Business Administration and believes that dancing and singing are her favorite leisure pursuits.

Lately, The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry got to interview Shefali Sood, wherein she talked about her preparations for Femina Miss India 2017 pageant along with her aspirations to foray at the same. Lets have a look.

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Hello Shefali! Many many congratulations for making it to the finals of Femina Miss India 2017. How are you feeling right now?

Thank you so much! It’s a bit of a whirlwind because it’s all happening so fast, but it feels like dreams are coming true and that feeling is unmatched, right?

How are gearing yourself up for the national pageant? Any insights to your preparations or future goals?

I think everyone’s preparation is subjective. But my mantra is to compete with myself and myself only. I remain focussed and determined every day.

Who is your biggest inspiration and how has he/she helped you to strive the challenges that have come your way?

I think it’s not just one person, but a lot of people have played a huge role in making my who I am by giving me so much love and support. No amount of words can sum up my gratitude for them. My family has been my greatest support in the most testing of times. They’ve believed in me in good weather and bad and have picked me up every time I fell. They continue to go out of their way to make things alright if I’m ever having a bad day. I consider myself very blessed and fortunate.

What quality do you think makes you different from other contestants?

I think it is my ability to empathise with people. Everything I say and do come from a place of love and compassion and I think the world needs more of that. That is what sets me apart.

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If you go on to win Miss World India, how will you use your title and platform in your future endeavours?

First and foremost, I will put all my energy and time and resources into bringing home the international title. I strongly believe that a lack of education is the root of all ills and I want to help ensure that every child in India is educated. Also, stray animals cannot speak for or help themselves. I want to make sure that these animals get the care and shelter they need. Finally I believe that my win will set an example for millions of young people that no matter how big your dreams are, with hard work and integrity, they can all be fulfilled.

How confident are you about winning this title?

I’m quite confident. I’ve put in years of hard work to be here and I believe that whatever happens, will be for the best.

Tell us something about your leisure pursuits and your veiled personality.

As I mentioned before, I don’t compete with anybody but myself. I try and be better than I was yesterday, every single day. I’m very different from most people my age. I enjoy reading, I paint because it’s very calming, I love nature so I go out for walks every day. I’m still learning how to sing, and I love dancing. Writing is very important to me, I write poetry and prose. It comes from a very emotional place so I don’t publish it often.

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As you know, Miss World rests its prominent focus on the “Beauty with a Purpose” project. What will be your BWAP Project for Femina Miss India 2017?

I have been blessed to have a very solid educational background. Even before Miss India and  Beauty with a Purpose became a part of my life and what I do, I have been teaching underprivileged children for the past 4 years, associating with various NGO’s, orphanages among other things. I really want every child to have a shot at a good education and consequently a bright future so not only do I teach them, I educate them about the important of education.

What do you think is the most important quality every beauty queen should possess and why?

It may seem repetitive but for my the most important quality that a beauty queen, or any human being should have is compassion, empathy. We live in a shallow world where most people don’t think beyond themselves but the magic empathy has, the realisation that comes with understanding other people’s pain and joy as if it were your own, that can change the world.

What incident in your life made you realize about your passion in pageantry? Who assured you that beauty pageants are totally your cup of tea?

Whenever I talk about Miss India and my journey, I realise that my entire life has been about this. Who I am, what I am, my upbringing, everything in its totality has been about Miss India and all that it stands for, like making a positive difference in the world, setting an example. Miss India for me is beyond a career choice or a stepping stone. It is my dream and my shot at bringing into effect the things I want to change for the better in our world. My family, my best friends have given me unconditional love and guidance at every step of the way.

What message would you like to give to The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry and your fans reading this interview?

I’m a passionate person, and I’ve realised that hard work, integrity, humility and gratitude will take you a very long way in life. Never forget your roots, and always be true to who you really are.

Vote For Your Favourite Femina Miss India 2017 Contestant Right Here!

Meet The Contestants of Femina Miss India 2017 HERE!

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