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Kovai's catwalking queens

BEAUTIFUL GIRLS gracefully sashayed down the ramp, and the crowd, especially the boys, turned delirious. Courtesy Miss Coimbatore 2003.

It was a day many people looked forward to, as events of this kind don't take place too often in the city and nearby towns.

"Beauty contests, barring a few like Miss Palakkad, are a rarity in our town, and so, we waited for this day for long," said an enthusiastic lot from Kerala, who had come to cheer two friends from the Dr GRD College of Arts and Science who were participating in the show. Much to their excitement, Anupama Rajagopal, a third year visual communication student of the college walked home with the coveted crown.

Kovai's catwalking queens

The one-day show, organised by event managers D#7 at the Corporation Kalaiarangam, was more extravagant than the previous editions and lived up to people's expectations. Though the crowd was made to wait for sometime before they could take a look at the beauties on stage, they were kept entertained by delightful dance numbers.

The hearing and speech-impaired students of the Kasturba Gandhi School, who took the stage first, touched the hearts of the audience by dancing to the patriotic "Vande Mataram'. They were followed by kids from Padmalaya International Play School (PIPS), Century Foundation, Tirupur and Sherif's Dance School.

Soon it was time for the lucky 11 to take to the stage and they did so in style, clad in designer costumes and swaying in tune to the foot-tapping music. It was D-day and time to test their intelligence. Their talent and looks had been judged the day before at Coffee Brown pub.

Kovai's catwalking queens

When asked to write within a minute about the "woman they admire most", five of the eleven chose to defy the convention at beauty pageants and expressed the love and admiration for their mothers. The rest found Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Princess Diana, Mother Teresa, Madhuri Dixit-Nene and Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga worthy of praise.

Anupama bagged both the `Miss Catwalk' and `Miss Coimbatore' titles, while Juhi was declared `Miss Talent', Sakthi `Miss Beautiful Smile' and Swetha `Miss Charming', while Divya was adjusted as having the `Most Beautiful Eyes'. Padma and Farah were declared the second and first runners-up for the Miss Coimbatore title.

Fashion photographer Karthik, who is also part of the organising committee, said all the contestants were making their maiden appearance on stage. "It is "Arangetram day" for them. We attended similar shows in Bangalore and Chennai, and, to avoid minor hiccups, we even wrote to colleges on behalf of the participants seeking their permission. Also, we made sure that the participants' parents were kept informed."

"Earlier, the organisers would struggle to conduct a show like this. They found it difficult to get sponsors and arrange for costumes. Luckily for us, even before we could approach anyone, everything came our way."

Coimbatore's changing

Merita D'Souza, Miss Coimbatore 2001, model and actress

SHOWS LIKE this should happen in Coimbatore, says Merita, who is into commercials and catwalking in Chennai.

She also featured with Surya in "Kaakha, Kaakha".

Kovai's catwalking queens

The lanky Merita, who was in the city as a judge for the `Miss Talent' title, said it was time the city shed its conservative approach.

"People would not have recognised me if I had not cat-walked a couple of years ago.

"Thanks to it, I have earned more fame."

A BIRTHDAY gift

THIS IS the best birthday gift I have ever received - said Miss Coimbatore 2003 Anupama, who turned 21 a day after the show.

"I am excited about the award."

The Bharatnatyam dancer from Kerala, who also does a Western jig or two, said that at one point of time, bowing to pressure, she had decided against participating in the show.

"Even during the show, I was nervous.

Kovai's catwalking queens

"I tried hard to build my confidence and with the support of my parents, principal and friends, I managed the day."

In the talent round, held the previous day, Anupama impressed the judges and the jam-packed Coffee Brown Pub with a classical dance. Anupama, who aims to become an event manager, says she will model only as a hobby.

"I have recently enrolled at the Event Management Development Institute (EMDI) because I feel there is not much scope in advertising.

"I also plan to study further in London." "When I become an Event Manager, I'll come back to conduct another mega Miss Coimbatore contest," says the wannabe star.

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