"There has been no electricity in my village since the 1970s." When Shilpa Singh, the first-ever Miss Universe contestant from Bihar said this, a kind of hush fell down on the audience.
"The power lines were washed away in the floods and were never repaired. I wish that electricity returned to my village. It will help the children in their education. I will tell about this to chief minister Nitish Kumar if I get the opportunity to meet him," said Singh.
From the nondescript Vishnupur Diha village of Singhia block in Samastipur district to the dazzling city of Las Vegas in the US to participate in the Miss Universe 2012 pageant -- the tall, beautiful girl, who smiles at the drop of a hat, has done the state proud.
A computer science engineer, currently working with Infosys Technologies, she came home to a rousing reception. She has now offers for acting in the movies and modelling, though she has plans for higher studies as well.
"I have a few scripts from companies like Eros. I am going through them, though nothing is final right now. I don't even know whether I will accept them. Studies have always been of prime importance for me. I am preparing to take GMAT and CAT exams to take admission in the MBA programme," said Singh.
Remembering the contest atwhich she achieved a place in the top 16, she talked about the experiences she gathered during it.
"During the question-answer round, a judge told me that they have heard a lot about India, Indian films and food, and asked me to tell something unheard. I told them that it is a country of several languages and multiple religions. They were awestruck," said Singh.
Mentioning that Miss Universe was never among her plans, the Bihar girl said that she was happy working with Infosys. "My mother was a little inclined that I should enter a beauty contest. Since I loved dancing and being on stage, I gave it a shot and went this further. It has been a good journey, so far," added Singh.
What does she think about not winning the Miss Universe crown? "There were contestants from 90 countries. I was very nervous. Still, I did not make any mistake, and gave my best at the event. The result was in the hands of the judges," she says with lots of smiles hiding the tinge of sadness.