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‘This title is part of my identity’

India’s former beauty queens on life after the crown

entertainment Updated: Aug 22, 2010 14:35 IST
Rochelle Pinto
Rochelle Pinto
Hindustan Times

They stood together on the Miss India platform and went on to snag all the top international beauty pageants.

Today, Lara Dutta, Priyanka Chopra and Dia Mirza may be better known as Bollywood actors, but they haven’t forgotten the moment that first catapaulted them into the limelight.

Looking back on that moment, Former Miss Universe Dutta recalls, “Winning the crown was a defining moment. The opportunities that the title offered me gave me a better life than I could have wished for.”

Former Miss Asia Pacific Mirza agrees, adding, “I wanted to be independent. So I started working at the age of 16 and took part in the pageant. Miss India brought about a paradigm shift in my life. At that time, I knew that this title would become a part of my identity for life.”

With all three having pursued careers on the big screen, it isn’t difficult to spot the difference in their career graphs. Chopra’s hit ratio far surpasses that of her two colleagues, with a long list of awards and endorsements cementing her position as the leader of the pack. So are comparisons natural then?

LaraDutta retorts, "I don’t think there are any. All three of us have created a distinct space for ourselves. I’m very happy with how life has worked out for me."

Mirza insists that the trio is far too engrossed with their own careers to worry about being compared to each other. “And if you were to compare, why restrict it to just the three of us?” she asks. “There are other young girls who make for solid competition based on their talent too.”

First Published: Aug 22, 2010 13:34 IST