By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: Rudi Marak, a student of Mass Communication, St Anthony’s College was crowned Miss Shillong 2011. The Shillong Club Ground was abuzz on Saturday evening as fifteen impressive contestants vied for the coveted Miss Shillong title.
Monica Bhattacharya was adjudged 1st runners-up and Tatyana Momin was the 2nd runners-up. The contestants mesmerized the audience with their killing moves, catwalks and impromptu answers to questions thrown at them.
Organized by the Fashion Society Shillong, the Miss Shillong 2011 which runs a tagline “more than a woman” was proven true yet again when Amanda received the crown for ‘Miss Perfect 10’ defeating other more promising contestants.
Avenues, a city based English language and soft skills training institute was the grooming partner for the even. The six judges for the event included VK Nautiyal (Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Meghalaya, Susan Swer (a boutique and spa owner), Ampareen Lyngdoh (Minister, Urban Affairs), Shakuntala Bora (Professor Philosophy, Guwahati University), Mark Laitphlang Stone (Managing Director, Avenues) and Sabina Warjri (Miss Shillong 1995).
Amit Paul of Indian Idol fame enthralled the audience with his lilting music.
Speaking to The Shillong Times, Nautiyal said that the judges were looking for elegance, confidence, personality, grooming, how well they carry themselves in traditional and modern wear besides their IQ and poise while answering questions. “What do you think it takes to become more than a woman,” was the final question that was thrown at the contestants from which three winners were picked up.
The event had three interesting rounds – the traditional round which showcased contestants in various regional and Indian traditional wear at the Ward’s Lake and Royal Heritage Hotel Tripura Castle.
Contestants spoke about their passion, their ambition and the social issues that resonate with them during this round.
Each of the participants saw the Miss Shillong contest as a platform to articulate their concerns ranging from issues of child labour to crime against women, lack of civic sense, unemployment, corruption among many other relevant themes. “Absolute power corrupts absolutely,” said one contestant.
Quite a few contestants were distressed by female foeticide, sexual harassment and domestic violence while others felt that yoga and meditation was important to keep depression at bay. Sarah Lee, a singer presented Amy Winehouse’s number Back to black.
A Fusion Wear Show by Sikkim Manipal University on the theme “Desi meets west”, a hip-hop, rock mixed dance by local band “Dance Wiz” earned huge applause from the crowd.
Grace Maureen, who was recently crowned Karaoke Queen crooned the famous Carole King number You make me feel like a natural woman in her inimitable style.
Although many of the questions were common to beauty contests some were humorous. Ibanrishisha was asked, “If you were to save your father and boyfriend from a burning house, whom would you choose to save?” To this she said, “Sorry baby. I would save my father who has supported me since my childhood.”
The judges were unanimous that it was a difficult event to judge since the efforts put in by Avenues towards grooming the contestants was tremendous.
“We are privileged to be a part of this event, empowering and grooming these contestants right from the way they walk and talk, developing their skills and attitude for the last one month. This proves that our system works and makes a difference,” said Mark Stone, the Avenues Director.
Meanwhile, a VVIP security arrangement was seen at the venue similar to the recent Vice President’s visit to the city. Security personnel frisked every visitor and checked their antecedents. Numbered media passes were also issued to press persons.