Rajyasree Sen used to run the restaurant Brown Sahib in New Delhi and is a foodie. Much of her time is devoted to writing on pop culture and TV. She also maintains a blog foodforthoughtindia. blogspot.com, where you can order some delicious food from her catering outfit. And we can’t believe we’re plugging her catering business on a news site. Who approved this copy?
The Ponderous Pageant
The Pond’s Femina Miss India 2013 took place day before. And if you weren’t worried about the fate of our nation before, you would have been by the end of the pageant. Not because the contestants weren’t bright, but because of the sparkling brilliance and high intellect which was displayed by the judges.
Now while I rue the fact that I missed the qualifying rounds of the pageant, I did manage to catch the best part – the Q and A round. Before which I also witnessed the crowning of the Digital Diva. I assume the contestant who displayed the most expertise in MS-Dos and Quark won that round.
Then came the much-awaited Q & A round. With illustrious judges which included John Abraham, Chitrangada Singh whose lips seemed a tad bee-stung, Karan Johar, designer Ritu Kumar, Asin, Yuvraj Singh and Shiamak Davar. Who was kind enough to sing a song into the mike, reminding me of the repressed trauma of hearing him perform “Every Breath You Take” in Hindi with Sting. But first there was the surprise knock-out round the contestants had to make it through – which was Sonu Nigam singing a Hindi-cum-English version of “Always A Woman To Me”. The ones who survived that, made it to the question and answer round.
Which was the final test of endurance for the contestants. Who, let’s keep in mind, are between 18 to 25 years of age, if that. Most are straight out of school and obviously not half as well-travelled or worldly wise as the judges. So we would think. Going by the questions the judges asked though, you’d think they had undergone a mass lobotomy before reaching the venue.
So here are the stellar questions the judges asked, which were often matched by answers which befitted the questions.
Question 1: Karan Johar asked if the girl could exchange her beauty for anything else what would it be? She said she would exchange her beauty for a chance to not suffer through these inane questions. Okay no, she said she’d exchange her beauty for intelligence. It was nice to find out that the two are exclusive of each other.
Question 2: Yuvraj Singh thinking that he’s at a parenting pageant asked whether kids should be allowed to watch TV and use the net? Thankfully for Colors, the girl said that TV “shows important knowledge”. Much like this pageant, which showed that just because you’re older and more famous, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re wiser.
Question 3: The award for the most bizarre question goes to Ritu Kumar, designer and dresser of beauties. Kumar, thinking she’s writing Sophie’s Choice, asked the girl whether she was looking forward to the sunrise or the sunset? I wish the girl had said “the twilight years, ma’am, much like you”.
Question 4: John Abraham asked what the contestant would do if there were no rules in her life. She said she’d ride a horse on a busy street. John Abraham looked as confused as I did.
Question 5: The Digital Diva was asked one of the few intelligent questions of the evening, (keep in mind that it’s all relative by now) by Asin who asked if the state government or colleges had the right to impose a dress code? Digital Diva said that women should be thankful that they’re even allowed out in public, and should therefore be careful of what they wear while stepping out. Okay no, she didn’t say that. But how I wish she had.
Question 6: Chitrangada asked what the girl would like to be known for, beside her looks? She said for being able to suffer what seemed to be the twelve tasks of Hercules.
Question 7: One of the bright judges asked another bright contestant whom she would call if she had one phone call to make? The contestant named the Delhi gangrape victim and said she would call her and ask her how her health is in heaven. And we saw the birth of the new spokesperson for the National Commission for Women.
If you’d recovered from that answer, here’s Question 8. If you’d like to be water or fire, which would you be? The girl said she’d like to be vapour. Okay, no. But by this time I was feeling delirious at having to suffer this tripe.
Question 9: KJo asked what message the winner would have for the universe at large. While she thought that she would send out the message that no young woman should be put through this torture just for a crown at the end of the rainbow, her actual answer was that everyone is a winner and that she will use her beauty, thankfully not her breasts, for a noble cause.
This definitely seemed to be less Miss India and more Kamzor Kadi Kaun. And my only excuse for subjecting any reader to these questions, is that misery loves company. But if you survived reading the questions, we are taking votes on which judge deserves the Dunceville Crown – so send in your votes.
Image By: Swarnabha Bannerjee
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