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Third time lucky?

19-year-old Delhiite Nikita Anand is fond of travelling and meeting peole. A student of fashion designing, Nikita is currently enjoying her status as the most beautiful girl in the country. But make no mistake - there's a very serious head upon her pretty shoulders. Staying firm to one's roots is the real challenge in life, she feels. According to her: "Strong family ties are one of our biggest strengths."

india Updated: Jun 02, 2003 09:56 IST

19-year-old Delhiite Nikita Anand is fond of travelling and meeting people. A second year student of fashion designing, Nikita is currently enjoying her status as the most beautiful girl in the country.

But make no mistake - there's a very serious head upon her pretty shoulders. Staying firm to one's roots is the real challenge in life, she feels. According to her: "Strong family ties and rich cultural heritage are among the biggest strengths of our country." Not everything about India is sacrosanct she says. For example, if given the chance, the one thing Nikita would love to change is the country's labyrinthine legal system.

She even explains why: "I strongly believe that justice delayed is justice denied." Her ideas are not all Platonic - she in fact finds the thought of someday running the country quite appealing. True to her name that means a natural born leader in Russian, India's representative to the Miss Universe 2003 pageant insists she usually excels at whatever she does.

Nikita sees the Miss India title as a stepping-stone to greater things. "The event is a great learning experience, and needless to add, winning it has been a dream coming true for me."

Besides fashion designing, Nikita has other interests as well - singing, reading and outdoor sports like badminton and swimming, to name a few. Being keenly interested in modelling, she is also looking forward to parading some of her own creations on the ramp. She has already done shows for NIFT, Shaw Wallace and Burlingtons

Unlike her illustrious predecessors, Nikita has no immediate plans to make a beeline for Bollywood. "Even as I have no inclination for the present to act in films, I don't feel that girls who have joined films were wrong," is all she's willing to say on the matter.

Beauty for Anand is not skin-deep. It is "one's true self and character... for it is only which eventually reflects on the outside," she was quoted as saying.

In the run-up to the Miss India contest, Anand was asked as to what were her main character traits that she thought would help her win the title. Her answer was: "My determination, perseverance and faith." It is these same qualities that she's now hoping to being to the Miss Universe Contest and in her media interviews has appeared quietly confident of her chances.

"My mantra is simple: work hard and give it my best shot," is what she was reported as saying.

Over a billion Indians will be hoping that Nikita's best shot is enough to win her the crown.

First Published: Jun 02, 2003 09:56 IST