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  •  Coronation of May Queens at DI

Coronation of May Queens at DI Author:Roshan Choudhury   Posted On:2018-05-20


DI opened its doors on Saturday May 19th to host the May Queen ball 2018 - a tradition which started in the mid 1960's. Managed by Wonderz Event Management and assisted by a host of sponsors including t2, the contest aims to encourage and promote potential stars by giving them an opportunity to showcase their beauty, talent and intelligence through the various rounds.

Eighteen contestants were selected through auditions and underwent training under the expert guidance of the beautiful Nicola Gomes, a winner of this pageant herself. Nicola spent over a week guiding our contestants and preparing them for the final day. And now the final day was here.

The chic Indoors@DI now housed a smooth ramp walk, the elevated judges’ area and seating for the eager audience. I went up to the Family@DI lounge to sneak a peek at our contestants as they prepared to live their dreams and build memories for a lifetime.


Contestants, helped by volunteers from DI, were draping gorgeous sarees. In the organised chaos, the demand for safety pins was paramount. i had the opportunity to ask some girls what made them participate.

"From the age of 5 years I dreamt of participating in Miss India and now I have got this golden opportunity to participate in the DI May Queen Ball," said the 20 year old, B Pharm student Kritika Singh.

"This is the kind of platform where we young girls get a chance to make a start for our career," said Priyanka Basu, who wants to become an actor. She has already done 3 or 4 movies and believes this platform will help her further.

Sasha Cardozo, pursuing Masters in Bio Technology is here because "This platform has given us great exposure where we are experiencing different traditions and cultures. We are now dressed in sarees, but later we will be wearing funky clothes and then Elizabethan type gowns. This has given us great perspective in terms of cultures and traditions". She gave us a sneak preview into what the evening held in store for us.  "This is a great platform to define myself," said Sasha who wants to work in the challenging field of Oncology.

As I settled in amongst the audience downstairs, the elegant emcee, Parijat, who is also an actor, took stage. She introduced and felicitated our renowned judges, who took time out of their busy schedule to be there for this evening.

The Judges

Priscilla Corner: National brand ambassador for Schwarzkopf, T2 columnist, Creative Director hair for June Tomkyns chain of salons and now the lead actor in "Calcutta".

Nushrat Jahan: beautiful and elegant film actress.

Aatreyee Seth: talented fashion designer, who has completed her degree in Fashion Designing from Nottingham University and is the daughter of the well-known beautician Keya Seth.

Pandit Tanmoy Bose: ace, globe-trotting, new age percussionist.

Abhishek Dutta: the very talented fashion designer and International fashion award winner.

Jayajit Biswas: President of the Dalhousie Institute.

The evening was a beautiful blend of the beauty pageant, cleverly interwoven with spectacular entertainment. The pace of the evening was set with the energetic and mesmerising dance performance by Addiction – a professional dance troupe.

The May Queen Contestants

Venetia D’Cruz, Genevieve Ruth Savyell, Rebecca Vincent, Priyanka Basu, Harshika Subnani, Shalini Torcato, Falguni Ondhia, Shailja Sharma, Mohini Das, Kritika Singh, Shilpi Burman, Shreya Magdelene Gomes, Debjani Kar, Lubna Shariff, Sasha Cardozo, Rakhee Sen, Nikita Sinha, Akshita Singh.

Round 1:  The Sari round, sponsored by Keya Seth

One by one our 18 contestants, looking resplendent in beautiful saris, came on stage and introduced themselves. The confidence and poise with which they walked down the ramp and spoke to the audience was inspiring. It takes a lot to go up on stage and present oneself and I was both inspired and awed by these young talented girls.

Round 2:  Affordable fashion, sponsored by FBB

Our lovely contestants donned funky western-wear and sashayed down the ramp in groups of 3. 'Fashion is fun' is the message that came across to the audience as they watched our beautiful girls model an enviable range of FBB wear.

There were treats in store for the appreciative audience, lucky draws, throughout the show:

Lucky draw 1: Winners: Harish for ticket number 22 and Arthur Cardozo for ticket number 21. Arthur was incidentally the father of contestant number 15, Sasha Cardozo.

Lucky draw 2: Winner: Anita with ticket number 23.

Lucky draw 3: Winner: Aditya with ticket number 191.

There was an even more special treat for all audience: The phenomenal Sonia Saigal. The allure of Sonia's powerful singing ensured that the mesmerized audience remained glued to their seats, even when the wait for the contestants to get ready was longer than planned. Sonia belted out one beautiful song after another and we were treated to a spectacular performance as she sang 'Umbrella' by Rihanna, 'So in love' by Jill Scott, 'All that she wants is another baby' by Ace of Base, 'Cecilia' by Simon & Garfunkel and adapted by The Vamps. 'I am your lady' the famous song from Bodyguard, sung by stalwarts like Whitney Houston, Jennifer Rush, Celine Deon.

Later, Sonia's singing was accompanied by dance performance by 'Addiction' for songs like 'Closer' by The Chainsmokers and "Hey Soul sisters" - the girl troupe of 'Addiction' in their white and green striking costumes looked fabulous on stage as they matched their steps to Sonia's powerful singing.

‘All about that Bass’ by Meghan Trainor and ‘I give you all of me’ - this time the boys’ troupe took the stage in their smoking hot red and black costumes.

Again, Sonia's gorgeous voice, accompanied our 18 contestants as they walked the ramp, looking elegant and breath-taking in beautiful gowns. The practice and effort put in by the contestants and Nicola was evident in the beautifully choreographed walk. Sonia's rendition of 'Can’t take my eyes off you' truly reflected what the audience felt looking at the confident and graceful contestants. 'Rockabye' and ‘Cheap Thrills’ beautifully accompanied the final walk of all the 18 contestants.

Another spectacular treat in store for us was the magnificent 'Bridal' show put up by professional models, who walked the ramp in exquisite bridal-wear sponsored by Keya Seth. A charming Bengali bride was brought in on stage on a 'peeray'. The backdrop of a sweeping staircase was a perfect setting for the awe-inspiring show that unfolded. Brides and grooms representing diverse ethnicity came on stage and showcased how beautifully fashion wove a mural of wedding-wear in multi-cultural India.

Soon, we were witness to another captivating show by professional models who now walked the ramp in Ballroom attire sponsored by Keya Seth. As the models glided down the ramp, we were witness to the versatility available in this area of fashion wear. Show-stopper Poulomi took stage, walking the ramp, with an injured hand, showing the professionalism and commitment the models demonstrate.

Parijat, as the perfect hostess and emcee, managed the introductions, co-ordinations between all the various programs planned for the evening. Both Parijat and Sonia kept pepping up the contestants throughout the evening.

The final round, beauty with brains

Now the time had come for the announcement of the selection of first six contestants by judges. The contestants had to answer questions from a judge they picked.

Contestant 3, Rebecca, described herself as 'patient' when asked by judge President Jayajit Biswas to describe herself in one word.

Contestant 12, Shreya, described Nicola Gomes as the person who inspired her the most, when answering judge Aatreyee's question.

Contestant 13, Debjani, chose beauty as her preferred option, when answering judge Priscilla Corner's question about which among beauty, money or brains would she pick.

Contestant 16, Rakhee, described the woman of 2018 as 'self-motivated, strong, and in no way less than men' when asked by judge Abhishek Dutta to describe the woman of 2018. She recounted that being the elder daughter of her family, she never let her parents feel the absence of a boy, a brother.

Contestant 17, Nikita, described the attributes of her favourite colour black while answering the question posed by judge President Jayajit Biswas.

Contestant 18: Akshita, described her brother as her greatest inspiration when answering question by judge Priscilla Corner.

Emcee Parijat called the judges on stage and asked them to give away the special prizes which had been judged earlier. The winners were:

Miss Beautiful Hair: Contestant 16: Rakhee Sen

Miss Beautiful Skin: Contestant 11: Shilpi Burman

Miss Beautiful Smile: Contestant 14:  Lubna Shariff

Miss Perfect Ten: Contestant 17: Nikita Sharma

Miss Congeniality: Contestant 12: Shreya Magdelene Gomes

All six finalists were called on stage by Parijat, who calmed the anxious finalists with the sound advice of "a smile is the best accessory a girl should wear". 

The final winners

2nd runner up: Contestant 18, Akshita Singh- looking beautiful in a red gown.

1st runner up: Contestant 17, Nikita Sharma - looking elegant in her favoutite colour black.

Winner: Contestant 12, Shreya Magdelene Gomes - looking gorgeous in a silver gown.

The winners, smiling ear to ear, were given wonderful prizes.

The judges, Priscilla, Aatreyee, Jayajit were joined by Lakshmi Nayar from Chandrani Pearls, who gifted the tiara to the winner, and together they gave away the prizes to the deserving winners.

I believe everyone who participated was a winner - they won over their inhibitions, their shyness, everything that held them back, and today as they walked the ramp with grace, dignity, confidence and poise, they not only won us all over but conquered their fears.

The ever-gracious Priscilla Corner beautifully described the contestants : "They epitomize the woman of 2018. They are confident, very at ease with themselves, comfortable in their being, radiated positivity and I think that is what the woman of 2018 is all about, letting their inner and outer self align in the most beautiful way."

President Jayajit Biswas thanked the judges and spoke about how DI has kept alive the tradition of the May Queen Ball.