What makes Bangalore such a beautiful city? Is it the weather, culture or, hang on... is it the girls? Be it film stars or beauty queens, Namma Bengaluru has given the world of fashion and showbiz some of the best models and actresses. While beauties like Sara Corner, Sandhya Chib, Nafisa Joseph and Lara Dutta ruled the hearts of millions by winning the Femina Miss India titles, others like Deepika Padukone and Anushka Sharma got direct tickets to Bollywood.
For decades, Bangalore gals walked away with those sparkling crowns. But, in the past few years, there have been none. Has Bangalore gone off the map? "That's not true," says fashion guru Prasad Bidapa. "I agree that our girls have not been able to bring back home the Miss World or Universe titles. But, they have successfully made it to the final round. Even this year, we have had Ragini Dwivedi and Faith Pandey, who won sub titles and also made it to the top 10. And, there will be a lot more in the upcoming contests," adds Prasad.
So, there is no looking back as the city continues to spin out its best beauties. "Yeah, definitely; Bangalore has girls coming from across the country and it is this cosmopolitan culture that enables us to come up with so many faces. Moreover, unlike other cities, girls here are encouraged to take up a career in this field. So, the girls are smart and confident," Prasad says.
Here's a line-up of Bangalore beauties who have dazzled the industry with their charm.
Winner of Femina Miss India 1992, who later represented India in Miss World 1992 contest, held in Sun City, South Africa.
Walked away with the Miss India Universe crown in 1996. Soon after she won the title, Sandhya married Anup Jacob and went off to the United States.
Former Miss India Nafisa Joseph
A Miss India Universe winner in 1997, she was a semi-finalist at the Miss Universe pageant. Nafisa was the youngest participant at the pageant. In 1999, she was a judge for the MTV India VJ Hunt. A week later, she was called for a screen test to host a show on MTV. She presented the MTV House Full show for nearly five years. She also acted in a television series C.A.T.S, the Indian version of Charlie's Angels. In 2004, she hosted a show Style on Star World. She also launched a television programming unit, 2's Company, with her then fiance Gautam Khanduja, and even edited a magazine called Gurlz. Apart from modelling and hosting, Nafisa campaigned for Welfare of Stray Dogs (WSD), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and People for Animal (PFA) and wrote a weekly column, Nafisa for Animals in the Bangalore edition of the Times of India.
Lara was crowned Femina Miss India Universe and Miss Universe in 2000. At Miss Universe 2000 in Cyprus, Lara was the clear favourite ahead of fierce competition from Venezuela, Spain, US and Canada. She made her Bollywood debut in 2003 with Andaaz, which got her the Filmfare Best Female Debut Award. She has appeared in a number of films like Masti, Kaal, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, No Entry, Bhagham Bhag and Partner.
She won the Miss International 2005 title and has worked in several commercials. Vaishali was brought up in Bangalore and did her schooling in Sophia High School. She graduated in Psychology from Mount Carmel College. After her Miss India contest, she shifted base permanently to Mumbai along with her family -- not only for modelling but also for her studies. Vaishali was doing ramp shows in Bangalore and a top model. Her first show was when she was only 16. But her major break and entry in the acting world was with her first commercial for Ponds Dreamflower Talc. Later, she was seen in ads like Tanishq, Compaq and Raymonds. She recently made her Bollywood debut in Kal Kissne Dekha.
Apart from these, we have also had Rekha Hande, who won the Miss India Universe title in 1983, Rani Jeyraj who walked away with Miss India World crown in 1996 and Sara Corner, who smiled with her Miss India World title in 2001. — TNN