Myshqah Parthiekhal is a college student, Sarah Kate Seaward a part-time model and Somayya Khan a schoolteacher. What's common to them apart from the fact that they live in Durban? They were all participants in the Ms Bollywood contest which has been a hugely popular sideshow in IPL II.
Organisers have been choosing one pretty face captured by the TV camera in each match and, from the 56 selected after the group league matches, 16 will make the final. On May 23 one lucky winner will be chosen a day before the tournament final.
Of those chosen from the last three matches in Durban, Somayya is the only one with roots in India, but all are familiar with the happening faces of the Bollywood. Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai — these names are as big a hit with them as they are with anybody of their age in India.
Myshqah wants to take up acting as a career in India or the US. “Never thought I would be a part of this contest… It gives me a chance to get noticed in India. I haven't watched a Hindi movie in a long time but Shah Rukh is a huge inspiration… He's so humble,” said the girl who got picked on only her second day at the ground.
Sarah was luckier. It was her first day at the ground and she got a call from a friend that she was on TV before the crew broke the news to her. Being a model and having appeared in a few TV commercials, being in front of the camera is not new to her.
“A school friend was of Indian origin and I watched many Hindi movies at her place. I love Indian music, food and clothes,” said the girl in a pink kameez, which her brother brought her from India.
“The saree is a wonderful thing to drape yourself in. It's sexy and elegant at the same time.”
Somayya has roots in Surat and was in Mumbai last December. She was taking a walk down the alleys when the TV crew asked her whether she was interested. “It's an amazing feeling and came as a complete surprise,” said the teacher of English who likes Karan Johar apart from the other stars.
Coming from different walks of life and pursuing different goals, this contest has put them on a common platform.
None of the three may win a trip to India, 50,000 rand and the chance to watch a movie being made, but being shortlisted has set their pulses racing.