Our youth icons rock
We’re no longer a state for duds. We’ve got youngsters who’re rocking the nation ... nay the world! Check out these cool stars.
Shooting straight: Sushma Rana Singh
Born and brought up in a family of sportspersons like father Narain Singh Rana and brother Jaspal Singh Rana, young Sushma was never expected to be on the top in the sport of shooting after getting married in November, 2004.
But even after becoming Sushma Rana Singh (she married to BJP chief Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj), she continued her passion for the sport game and was, recently, the toast of India at the Commonwealth Games at Melbourne in Australia. The only daughter of the famous Rana family of Uttaranchal, Sushma opted for shooting after inspiration from her brother Jaspal Rana, who needs no introduction as far as the game of shooting is concerned even at the world level.
Pairing with Saroj Kumar Jhuthu, agile Sushma earned 1140 points to win the 50-metre air pistol pair event gold in Melbourne. Interestingly, this was the Commonwealth Games debut for both Rana and Jhuthu, who finished six points ahead of their Australians counterparts Pamela Mckenzie-Lalita Yauhleuskaya 1134 (564569), who won the silver, while Canada Avianna Chao-Kim Eagles 1130 (556574) won the bronze.
The joy of her golden success at the Commonwealth Games got doubled, as both her inspirations i.e. Jaspal Singh Rana and Narain Singh Rana were present on the occasion. Former Sports Minister of Uttaranchal Narain Singh Rana was there as an observer of the Commonwealth Games on behalf of the Indian Olympic Association.
Sushma could have won her second gold in the 10-day Games, but she finished fourth in the 25m-pistol event, which was won by Australian Lalita Yauhleuskaya with a new Games record total of 781.5. Nowadays Sushma is holidaying in Taiwan.
“I never stopped her from doing shooting,” said her husband Pankaj, adding, “It looked difficult in the beginning, but we managed the things accordingly so that she could continue her training even after getting married to me.”
Admiring the other qualities of his better-half Pankaj also sounded excited over the golden achievement of his wife Sushma. “Yes, I accept that I am a proud husband of Sushma, and it’s a great achievement for me and my family.”
However, Pankaj confessed that he never tried his luck with gun for serious shooting, but admitted that he enjoyed other games like cricket, football etc. more in his childhood. “Shooting wasn’t my cup of tea and I tried just few times only after getting married to Sushma!”
She’s very happy and satisfied with life and off now for a month-long break after the Miss India contest where she was a finalist and won the ‘Miss Dancing Queen’ title.
Romil Srivastava says, “I just went to Alibagh and now, going to Delhi to wind up and shift base to Mumbai the glamour place.” Romil is happy about the way her career is shaping up. She says, “Miss India contest was a lifetime experience.
We were groomed from head to toe. We are taught how to talk, how to walk, how to communicate, how to maintain our hair and skin, what to eat, what to wear and much more.” A Loreto Convent passout, Romil dreamt of the Miss India contest since she was a kid.
She says, “I knew I wanted to enter the Miss India contest. And that is why I started early. Right after my Class XII, I went to Delhi to do modeling. And then, a few years later, applied to the Miss India contest and luckily got through it.”
Adjudged Miss Dancing Queen in the Miss India Contest, Romil says, “I always loved dancing. I had learnt Salsa, Ball Room dancing and what not. And the dance lesson during the contest preparation were a stress buster for me.” Ask her about the plans for the future and she says, “I am not sure what I am going to do but yes I will be attached to this very industry.”
Koel kid: Twinkle Bajpai
Having been voted out when she was at the eighth place, however, there was no stopping Twinkle Bajpai. She is back with a bang as a hot contender for ‘SaReGaMaPa Ek Main Aur Ek Tu’.
“We are back in the same groove and in the new format. The real test will begin after the voting round begins. This time we have more opportunity as a jodi will be made,” says Twinkle who has gone for a makeover in the new series on the small screen.
An alumni of Emma Thompson, St Teresa Day College and now, an AGDC student, she has been a playback singer in a few Bollywood films. “Right now I am concentrating on playback and the new contest. I will try my best to win the title,” says the Gemini.
But before signing off, she is all praise for Lucknowites. She says: “They have supported us a lot and I need there support again. It’s a delight to be in my city and perform there. I was overwhelmed by the response I got at my performance at Anandi Water Park and I look forward to doing more such show in Lucknow.”