Dia Mirza on participating in Miss India 20 years ago: ‘We all knew that Lara Dutta would win, she was everyone’s favourite’
Actor Dia Mirza has reflected on winning the Miss Asia Pacific title as a teenager, on the 20-year anniversary of the occasion. Dia spoke about being discovered as a 16-year-old, and winning the pageant just two years later.
Dia also posted a short video, in which she shared that her father had written Robert Frost’s Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening for her on a card during the Miss Asia Pacific pageant. “I would read these words every night before i slept. These words have continued to motivate me till this day,” she wrote in her message.
In an interview to The Times of India, Dia said that she ‘was spotted by a model coordinator’ when she was about 16, after which she began taking on modelling assignments and travelling from Hyderabad to Bengaluru on an overnight bus. After being approached to participate for the Miss India pageant, she was hesitant. “I have watched such contests happening but had never participated before. There were girls who wanted to be Miss India but I wasn’t one of them,” she said.
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Dia continued, “I went home and told my mum that I want to participate and she was like, ‘Are you crazy’? My father convinced her to let me participate. According to him, it was an opportunity for me to learn something new.”
Dia said that she never expected to win. In fact, she said, “We all knew that Lara Dutta would win. She was everybody’s favourite. She was more experienced than any of us.” Lara ended up winning the Miss Universe title, while Priyanka Chopra won Miss World.
In the comments section of her post, several of her industry friends and colleagues left congratulatory messages. “Stunner stunner stunner,” wrote Sayani Gupta. “Most beautiful Queen, inside out,” wrote Pragya Kapoor.
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