BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Atlanta, GA, October 10, 2019: The premises of Duluth High school glimmered in glitz and glamor as twenty-nine contestants of IACA Teen, Miss and Mrs. India Georgia Pageant sashayed through the night on September 01, 2019. Stars smiled upon Suhani Bhandari in the Teen category, Suporna Chaudhuri in the Miss category, and Naddia Strickland in the Mrs Category as they took home the coveted crowns.
Themed “Be Bright, Be Bold, Be Beautiful,” the team led by Kiran Agnihotri, Sonjukta Halder, Lakshmi Rao, and Shally Venkatesh groomed and mentored the contestants, nurturing them to be their best, on the inside and out. Choreography for the shimmering ladies was provided by Prem Rahman, Mr. India Global 2015, of Prem’s Dance Studio.
Dr. Suvrat Bhargave, author of A Moment of Insight: Universal Lessons Learned from a Psychiatrist’s Couch anchored the event with flair and confidence.
“Everlasting beauty is a crown of grace, a smile to someone who needs it most, and a word of kindness. I was blessed to gain sisters from this experience. That’s worth more than all the jewels in all the worldʼs crowns. Although, I have to say, it is amazing to wear a crown,” said Naddia Stricklan, winner of Mrs. India Georgia. “This beauty pageant sets itself apart by working hard to recognize the ladies for their individual qualities and innermost accomplishments,” she added.
Energetic and vivacious dance performance by students of Prem’s Dance Studio, and another piece by contestants of 2018 contest along with a special performance by Rahul Nana added more color to an already vibrant night.
Months of training came together as contestants presented their personalities in style in various arenas including an Evening gown round, Special performance, Naach talent round, Indian formal wear round, and the Q&A rounds.
The judging panel included NRI Pulse Editor in Chief, Veena Rao along with Parvathi Chikyala, Venkatesh Rao, Archith Seshadri, Indrani Chakrabarty, Keerti Gupta, Pallavi Shirke, Sapna Tangri, Sudipto Neil Banerjee, Atin Majumdar, Vishal Singh, Bini Desai, Vindali Vartak, Anand Mehta, Vandana Aggarwal, Manisha Sharma, and Shermyn Malani.
“With this pageant, I met myself where I left me, the silly me. I learned success and failure are both a part of life and both are not permanent. Success is not a good teacher but failure makes me humble,” said Oindrila Dutta, quoting Shahrukh Khan.
All praise for their mentors, some of the best advices contestants said they received included, “The goal is to continue the conversations even after the pageant,”, “Always keep the positive experiences and thoughts forever and ever,” , “I truly believe that inner beauty always wins in the end. I meant it every time when I said you are all winners.”
“To me, this pageant was a chance to see the beauty that emerges when women empower one another rather than tear each other down. Although I have gained a title and awards from this experience, I far more cherish the bonds of sisterly love and ongoing support that has overflown from all your hearts! You all make me happy to be me, and I hope I make you happy to be you!” said Suporna Chaudhuri” when asked to respond with one to two sentences about how their experience in the beauty pageant affected them in a positive manner.
Lasya Sarraff (1st) Krisi Patel (2nd) – Teen
Nilam Kaushik(1st), Sri Harini (2nd) – Miss
Dr. Ashlee Quosigk(1st), Shalu Malhotra (2nd) – Mrs.
Some of the other award winners:
Congeniality Award – Tanya Khurana (Teen) , Sri Harini (Miss) , Dr Ashlee Quosigk (Mrs).
Popular choice award – Lasya Sarraff