JAYA DRONA , TNN 1 November 2009, 12:00am IST
Shriya Kishore, Pantaloons Femina Miss India Earth 2009, knows that at five feet 11 inches, her height is the first thing people notice about
“Men get intimidated. I never had any qualms about commuting in overcrowded buses, as men would stay away on their own. Very few men, that includes my father and brother, can handle my height,” says Shriya, who is leaving for the Miss Earth pageant in the Philippines.
The preparations are all done. And it’s time to put them to test now. “I’m expecting to be able to bring home the crown. I’ve put in a lot of effort and so have the people with me. I’m sure I’ll be able to make a mark. But like they say, positive thinking is half the work done. I’m not wasting any energy in thinking about not winning, I’m just dreaming about winning the crown,” she says.
Behind this confidence, does she have a game plan? “You can never have a plan. When you have a plan, God throws you off balance completely. I’m not doing any of that. I’m going with the flow and I know what my strengths are and where to use them. That’s what I’ve been trained to do. Let’s see what situations come up. I can adapt to a situation but I can’t create a situation always,” says Shriya.
Though the crown’s on her mind, Shriya is aware that she’s going to be the ambassador of India at Miss Earth, and has to provide India a special position there. “I’m going to do just that because once I’m there, I no longer remain Shriya Kishore, I’m then a Miss India. I’m there to represent my country and my people. I don’t want it to be that I’m an Indian and so I’ve made it. I want to have the talent to be able to make it,” she adds.
What does Shriya Kishore think about her national costume for the Miss Earth beauty pageant in the Philippines? “I know for a fact that my mom used to wear Ritu Kumar outfits in college and that she’s a big fan. I think I’ve got that liking for Ritu’s clothes in my gene pool. The national costume is beautiful, it’s got the right blend of colour, glitz and glamour and it’ll look great on stage. Thanks to my fitness trainers for getting me into shape to wear this beautiful outfit,” laughs Shriya. Says Ritu, “Shriya is very versatile and looks great in both Indian and western outfits. But I’ve suggested her to wear more of Indian outfits as they stand out. Also, she’s got an amazing height and that’s why she can carry off almost everything so well.”
The making of Miss India Earth 2009
Shriya is thankful to her panel of expert trainers including Marc Robinson — Contestant Director and Fashion Director, Jitu Savlani — Fashion Photographer, Prashant Talwalkar — Fitness and Diet Expert from Talwalkars, Sabira Merchant — Diction Expert, Vinita Alvares Fernandes — Etiquette Consultant, Dr Abhijit Desai — Makeover Expert from Evolve, Dr Rekha Sheth — Nivea Visage Skin Care Expert, Dr Dilip Deshpande — Smile and Dental Care Expert, Dr Apoorva Shah and Dr Sonal Shah — Hair Care Experts from Richfeel Trichology Centre, Ashley Rebello — Designer and Wardrobe Styling Expert, Pakhi Mohanani — Makeup Expert, Najeeb Ur Rehman — Chief Colour and Styling Consultant from Schwarzkopf Professional.
Designer Ritu Kumar designed her pretty national costume, Indian wear and fusion wear, Anamika Khanna designed fusion wear, Shantanu & Nikhil the finale evening gown, Archana Kochchar the formal evening wear gown, Ashley Rebello the Western wear (casual and formal). Other designers involved in creating her wardrobe include Mandira Wirk, Lecoanet Hemant, Malini Ramani, Narendra Kumar Ahmed, Ranna Gill and CTC Mall.
A special note of thanks goes out to Executive Chef Hemant Oberoi of The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai, in whose Chef’s Studio a Special Ettiquete Session was held; to Shiamak Davar, guru of modern contemporary dance in India, for dancing lessons; the Novotel in Juhu and Flamboyante at World Trade Centre, also the CTC Mall in Mumbai.