Priyadarshini Chatterjee from Guwahati, Assam, was crowned Femina Miss India 2016 on 9 April 2016 at the 53rd edition of the magnificent and majestic coronation ceremony at the Yash Raj Studios in Mumbai. The beauty queen clinched the coveted title and the crown after a tough competition, defeating 20 other beautiful aspirants. She has now made her mark and carved a niche for herself in the history of Indian beauty contests.
Priyadarshini was presented the crown by the 2015 winner Aditi Arya. Sushruthi Krishna from Mumbai was crowned runner-up while Pankhuri Gidwani from Uttar Pradesh became the second runner-up. The grand evening was attended by the crème de la crème of Mumbai, including Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan, Varun Dhawan, Shahid Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor.
Priyadarshini will now represent India at the international event Miss World 2016 while the other two winners will participate in Miss International 2016 and Miss Grand International beauty pageant 2016. The Miss India or Femina Miss India is a national beauty pageant held every year which selects winners to compete in the international Miss World contest. In India, it is organized by the well-established women’s magazine, Femina, published by The Times Group.
“It is an amazing feeling to win the crown!” exclaims Priyadarshini reveling in her victory and showing me her sparkling crown. “Initially you cannot believe your ears. You feel very strange to hear your name being called out as the winner. It is only after some time that the truth really sinks in. After a few minutes of the announcement, I said to myself, yes, I am Miss India World 2016. Then it is all celebrations. I am extremely thrilled and excited to win this prestigious crown. It means a lot to me and to those who encouraged me to participate. I have proved their confidence in me.”
Behind her success lies the tremendous support she received from her parents. Priyadarshini’s mother works in Bangalore and her father spends his retired life in Assam. Binding this long distance relationship is 19-year-old Priyadarshini, a student of Hindu College of the Delhi University. “My mother and father kept egging me on asking me to join the pageant. Both used to call me in Delhi and they kept encouraging me to participate,” says Priyadarshini.
Monarose Sheila Pereira is an author, journalist and lecturer. She has published 12 books and has written for all the major newspapers and magazines. Some of her works have been translated into foreign languages. She also conducts self-improvement workshops.