Miss Bollywood Pageant Graces Houston

Miss Bollywood Pageant winners with Preity Zinta.

Miss Bollywood Pageant winners with Preity Zinta.

By Malay Vyas
HOUSTON: March 7, 2 AM IAH Arrivals, a group of tired and yet enthusiastic ladies were responsible for setting the Bollywood tweeting world abuzz. “Landed in Houston & was touched 2 see All Girls come 2get me at the airport considering it was SO late & most of them had early mornings :-)” was Preity Zinta’s tweet as she arrived in Houston. The Bollywood star was in town to attend the first evern Miss Bollywood Pageant in Houston. The receiving party was headed by Ruchika Dias, the Bollywood Shake founder and her ‘all-women’ organizing committee.

Photos: Murali Santhana

Photos: Murali Santhana

The idea of having a Miss Bollywood Pageant in Houston was conceptualized in November 2013. Ruchika and her Bollywood Shake group had already run this show successfully in Austin. “this show is aimed at empowering women, to encourage and enable them to showcase their talent” said Ruchika adding that the timing of the show was deliberately scheduled around the International Women’s Day that was on March 8, 2014.
The organizers had originally planned to invite actor Zeenat Aman to grace the show which was an automatic first choice selection since she won the Miss India second runner up title in 1970 and then went on to win the Miss Asia Pacific – a first for an Indian. However, the organizers were dismayed with Aman had to cancel her visit for health reasons. Ruchika informed Indo-American News that Zeenat was very excited about this event and was looking forward to it earnestly. “It was a set back and for two weeks in January we felt like the earth beneath our feet was taken away, however Preity Zinta confirmed her availability and we were back on our track”.
This Bollywood pageant was different from typical beauty pageants. Here was a chance for the participants to actually display their inner Bollywood Diva. With talents like dancing, singing and acting making up the judging criteria, this was truly a Bollywood style event. Held at the Signature Manor in West Houston, the much awaited Bollywood Pageant was a sellout and a grand success. “We would definitely like to thank Kohinoor Diamonds for supporting this event unwaveringly” says Ruchika. The pageant featured a Fashion Show featuring the diamonds from Kohinoor worth over $100,000. The finalists of the pageant were spectacularly dressed up in elegant outfits designed by Almas Tejani of Almas Tejani Desi Couture. The volunteers who ran the show behind the scenes including the ushers, ticket vendors and backstage helpers were all members of the volunteer driven non profit organization, Vibha. Food is essential in every “desi” event and Miss Bollywood Pageant was no exception. The attendees were treated with free food from Hot Breads, Shiv Sagar and Barbeque Tonight. With a Bollywood star in attendance, diamonds and couture on display and sumptuous desi food in the house, Miss Bollywood Pageant was truly all round entertainment for all.
“Because this was a Bollywood Pageant, we were always sure about having a Bollywood Star attend the show” said Ruchika in an interview after the show. “Just the knowledge that someone like Preity Zinta is coming to grace the occasion inspired me and my team to work harder in order to make this event a grand success” she added. “Although she is a star, Preity is a very humble, down to earth person and we were lucky to have her for our show – in fact she had more suggestions for me and my Bollywood Shake team on how to grow this event more and take it to different cities” exalted a relieved Ruchika after the show. Preity Zinta actually went back to the hotel and called up Ruchika and her team and congratulated them for a great event. To confirm that she had a good time in Houston, just look what Preity tweeted after the show “The Crowd is Houston was nice & polite ! I’m always amazed when people come real close & say – “Oh U look like U do in Movies in close up !” Haha”.
If there was a Miss Bollywood Pageant in Houston how can a Mr. Bollywood contest be far off ? Bollywood Shake plans to have two such shows in Houston every year. So all you desi dudes out there, get ready to show your ‘jalwa’ at the Mr. Bollywood contest coming soon.
After all, Preity Zinta did suggest that winners of this contest may have an opportunity coming up in a Bollywood movie, so all you winners, please be on your toes…

Winner
Rafiah Khan,

1st Runner Up
Sukrutha Sujai

2nd Runner Up
Shareen Memon

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