Ekta Choudhry during the swimsuit segment of the Miss Universe 2009 More Pics
Talking about her glorious journey towards winning the glittering crown, Ekta says, "Every day is so different here, so eventful, there is so much to be done and so many people to meet. For the past four days, we have been busy with our rehearsals."
"I have just come back after a personality interview. Recently we attended a charity auction here. The proceedings will go to a HIV/AIDS organization. The number of HIV positive people in Bahamas is quite high and I felt nice after doing my bit to help them. Yesterday was an exciting day for us as it was the preliminary competition.”
Ekta feels proud of the fact that she is representing an entire nation at the pageant. “It’s a huge responsibility as I am representing India on an international stage. And if I am crowned Miss Universe, I will be representing the whole world. It feels great, very exciting.”
'Miss France takes my calls!'
Known for being friendly and confident, Ekta is getting along with the other beauty queens very well. “There are 84 girls and it’s not possible to meet all of them in one day, so I get to know new people everyday. All the girls are so different from each other, some are very outgoing, some are a little shy and some are highly confident, ambitious."
She's bonding with roommate Miss France too, "I am on good terms with almost all of them; everyone is so sweet and nice. My roommate is from France, she is a 19-year-old hyperactive girl and I am good friends with her. I get many calls from India on the hotel landline number. As the phone is on her side of the bed she ends up answering most of them. The other day my mother called up, it might be morning in India at that time but it was 2.30 in night here. My roommate took the call, and didn’t look hassled at all."
"Apart from that, I am also fond of Miss Ireland, her name is Diana. I am meeting girls from so many countries, I have never even heard about some of the countries ever. It’s a great experience. When you meet so many people, you influence them to some extent and get to learn something from them."
Time management is the key!
So what else is Ekta learning at the pageant? “The work culture here is very different from ours. For the past four days, we've been starting as early as 6 am and going on until midnight. However, everything is very organized and well-managed here. You don’t feel that you have been working for so many hours. They make it so easy for us that everything gets done before we even realise it. I am also learning to work like them, simplifying things and managing my time efficiently. This is one thing that I'm surely bringing back home with me."
She's also low on sleep, "We get barely five hours of sleep these days. Though our schedule is very hectic, yet I would say none of us is stressed out. We are having a ball. I think it’s the best time of my life. I know before I step on the stage, everything will be sorted out, so I need not to worry.”
Asked about her high point during the pageant, she instantly replies, “It’s yet to come, it will surely be August 23. Yet I think yesterday was exhilarating. During the preliminary round, we got a feel of what to expect on the final day. I think here every day is better than the previous one.”
'I'm comfortable in a bikini!'
We recently saw Ekta’s stunning pictures in a swimsuit at Bahamas... however, she doesn’t like the fact that slipping into a bikini becomes such a huge issue in India. “It’s a very narrow mentality to create such frenzy around wearing swimsuits. One can even look cheap in a salwar-kameez. It’s not an easy task to attain a fit body. In India, a large number of people fail to maintain a good physique, until they start starving themselves. I think that’s the main reason why it’s a big deal to wear bikinis back home."
"I wore a swimsuit in front of 10,000 people here, but I didn’t feel conscious about it. It’s not about how many clothes you wear, it’s about how you carry yourself. It’s not about your attire but about your attitude. Girls here carry bikinis with same elegance as they are wearing a gown. In Bahamas, you can’t expect us to be covered from head to toe, its quite hot here.”
It's tough to stay connected!
The Miss Universe pageant is keeping Ekta very occupied these days, still she tries hard to be connected with her roots back home.
“There are only two computers here for 84 girls so I really can’t come online for more than 2-3 minutes. At times, there is a queue behind you when you are using the computer."
"It’s really tough to take out time these days, especially because of the time gap between both the countries. I spoke to my best-friend once after I landed here. I manage to speak to my parents once in two days, otherwise it starts taking a toll on you. I guess I am having the longest conversation with you since I have come to Bahamas. (Smiles) My friends and family are trying their best to be here on D-day. ”
The Indian beauty is getting loads of compliments from the fellow contestants too. She reveals, “Just a few days back somebody told me that I represent my country very well. Another compliment that touched my heart was — ‘though you look very Indian, yet your personality is very global’."
So, let’s keep our fingers crossed and pray that Ekta brings home the Miss Universe 2009 title. Cheers!