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Rajneesh Duggal

He was adjudged 1st runner-up at Grasim Male pageant in London.

india Updated: Aug 26, 2003 21:12 IST
Ruhi Khan
Ruhi Khan

The sixth Grasim Mr International Male Personality pageant in London saw William Kelly from Sharjah walk away with the Grasim Mr International title while Indian Rajneesh Duggal was declared the first runner-up. Shaum Cuthbert Paul of Singapore followed suit at the Millennium Dome on Sunday August 24.

The dashing William Kelly who even bagged the Grasim Mr Physique title blended presence of mind with sensitivity when he told the audience: 'From my burning house, the one possession I would take out with me would be my brother's little baby tightly embraced in my arms."

Rajneesh Duggal was definitely a popular contestant as Efrain Vera - Mr Margarita Islands declared him the "winner" for his charm. Indeed, Duggal was the first runner-up for Grasim Best Smile.

Dressed as an Indian maharaja, Duggal's smile charmed many Indian girls, but they would have been disappointed to hear him declare that he would take his girlfriend to the Greece in response to the question put to him in the semi-final round. The loud cheering from the audience made him the most popular of the contestants.

The youngest contestant, Jesus Daniel, of Mexico in an exotic head gear of peacock feathers and a beautiful flowing robe with accessories that gave him an ancient yet glamorous look won him the title of Grasim National Costume.

Jorge Rodriguez of Spain walked away with the Grasim Mr Talent title followed by Dilip Singh of Malaysia and Timo Tonisma of Estonia. Cengiz Coskun of Turkey walked away with Grasim Best Smile.

The man dressed as the Greek god, Bastilis Andreas, from Greece claimed the title of Grasim Mr Photogenic. The other two with their million dollar camera personality and the ability to launch a milllion products are Rodrigo Diaz of Panama and Mohammed Samir of Dubai.

Thirty four tall, handsome debonair men from all around the globe walked the ramp in the grand finale that comprised of four rounds. The first round saw all the contestants in colourful finery , representing their respective national costumes followed by the second round where the boys gave their introductions.

Nine semi-finalists were posed questions by the jury including celebrities from Bollywood and Hollywood like Rani Mukerjee, Leon Herbert, Diana Ukawa, Roger Moore.

For the final round the contestants were narrowed down to six finalists where they were posed one common question to decide the three winners. The winner of the Grasim Mr International title walked away with a hefty sum of US $ 7,500, the first runner-up won US$ 2,500 and the second runner up won US$1,500.

There were performances that showcased the rich blend of traditions of both countries: India and the UK which included: a dance performance by Yana Gupta; Pankaj Udhas who sang the remixed version of his popular ghazals. However, his 'chithi aayee hai', as always, brought tears into the eyes of many expatriates.
Rani Mukherjee, in her beautiful red and gold saree, was definitely the highlight of the event as the audience went berserk when she went on stage to crown Mr International.

This mega event that dominated the three day 'Festival of Asia' at the Millennium Dome was a popular presentation of one of the biggest business conglomerates in India - the Aditya Birla Group and sponsored by Grasim Suitings.

First Published: Aug 26, 2003 00:00 IST