Beauty with a Purpose Resonates at 2016 Bollywood Pageant USA


Photos: Jasleen Kaur

By Pramod Kulkarni

HOUSTON: A Bollywood star has good looks, talent in speaking, dancing and singing, and capable of being a fashion diva. All of these qualities were on display as Bollywood Shake hosted its 4th Annual Bollywood Pageant USA 2016 on Sept 4, 2016 at Hotel Sorella in City Center.

Beauty with a Purpose was the theme of the event with Daya Houston as the charity partner. Ruchika Dias, Founder & CEO of Bollywood Shake and Pageant Director along with her team put together an entertaining and meaningful evening, highlighting women of substance.

“I grew up watching Bollywood movies,” explained Ruchika Dias. “Through the Bollywood pageant, I wanted to give Indo-American teens, young women and wives a unique platform to present their talents and gain confidence and poise.”


Daya Houston’s Past President Jyoti Kulkarni praised the glamour and entertainment at the pageant, but also urged the contestants and the audience to “be thankful for their good fortune, but keep in mind the victims of domestic violence and pay it forward by contributing their time, talent and money.”

This year’s show included the Teen, Miss and Mrs. Bollywood categories with thirty contestants from all over the United States competing for the coveted titles. The judging panel included Rehan Siddiqui, Founder & CEO of Hum FM, chef Roshni Gurnani, Amir Dodhiya of New York Life, actor Mahesh Sriram, Miss Texas Regency International Courtney Rae Moor, Miss Teen Houston International 2016 Natasha Muppala, Founder and CEO of TV Houston and Apsara Sangeeta Dua, realtor Shaneel Mitha, Mrs. Norway 2016 Eva Worren Chambers, international designer Noureen Dhanani, community leader Sunny Taj, Mrs. Bollywood 2014 Nina Desai, voted Top 30 Influential Women of Houston Farida Abjani and Jasmeeta Singh, Founder and CEO of Jaz Creationz.


Aalponaa Event Designers did the event management, Jaz Creationz was the modeling partner and Deco Art put up the amazing décor. Pageant Coach Niharika Nag transformed the contestants to be presented on stage and choreographed some of the sequences.

This year’s event was an elegant affair full of glamour and entertainment. The highlights of the evening included a special appearance by legendary Bollywood actress Meenakshi Seshadri, live performance by 22-year old Salman Mithani and Houston’s rapper Rocko Stedy Narvios, who also composed and performed an original theme song for the pageant.


The show started with an opening dance by the contestants choreographed by Bollywood Shake, which included all thirty contestants wearing sunglasses and dancing on “Kala Chashma”.

This was followed by the Round 1 Introduction Round where all the contestants dressed in elegant formalwear gowns were introduced. Then came the talent round for the Teen and Miss contestants, who displayed their individual talents beautifully from dancing, singing to extempore speaking. This was following by a fashion show choregraphed by Ruchika Dias and Niharika Nag to the live performance by Salman Mithani who sang melodious songs such as “Muskurane Ki Wajah” and “Chand Chupa Badal Mein”.

The clothing sponsor for the Round 2 Ethnic Wear was Zar by Shehnaz Madhani. The beautiful display of colors, fabric and style was a spectacle to behold! Shehnaz has been in the business for over 18 years and recently opened her boutique in Telfair, Sugar Land. All the contestants looked fabulous in Zar’s clothing and lit up the runway!

The “Beauty with a Purpose” award was given to Maliha Mian, a breast cancer survivor, who is starting her own organization called Got Boobs with resources for cancer patients. Other awards given during the evening were the HumFM award, Jaz Creationz Beauty Award, Miss Personality, Best Smile, Most Transformed and Congeniality.

Bollywood Pageant sponsors included B4U, 106.1 HumFM, Official Designer Shehnaz Madhani, Amir Dodhiya of New York Life, Realtor Shaneel Mitha, Official Caterer Universal Bakery and Sweets. Official Photographer was Jasleen Kaur Photography and  Official Videographer – Sangeeta Dua’s TV Houston.

2016 Bollywood Pageant Winners

Teen Bollywood USA 2016 – Vaishnavi Gandhi , 1st Runner Up Jeevandeep Kaur, 2nd Runner Up – Aditi Panchal
Miss Bollywood USA 2016 – Natasha Gambhir 1st Runner Up – Mona Deo, 2nd Runner Up – Anisha Roy
Mrs. Bollywood USA 2016 – Jyoti Verma, 1st Runner Up – Pragya Sen, 2nd Runner Up – Gayathri Rao