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Just Peachy, Once Again!

August 2004
Just Peachy, Once Again!

IACA does it again! After drawing out many Georgia beauties over the years who have gone on to claim the national titles in Indian beauty contests, the local pageant continues with full steam and increased participation.

"Everyone is scared of the Georgia girls, they fear their beauty," pronounced Lakshmi Rao one of the Coordinating Committee members. She was referring to the fact that Georgians have consistently excellent at national Indian beauty pageants. Last year, it was Meghna Nagarajan who bagged Miss India USA 2003. She was also the 2nd Runner-up Miss India Worldwide 2003. Meghna was the third Georgian to bag this national title ? after Ichha Singh (1992) and Rathna Kanchrela (1993) had already put Georgian-Indian girls on the radar of the pageant.

Not to be left behind, Meghna's younger sister, Movina is this year's Miss Teen India USA. Miss Teen India Georgia 2003, Vandana Aggarwal, also came back this year to become Miss Teen India USA Best Talent 2004. These girls join

"Beauty pageants have emerged as a progressive feature of women empowerment in developed countries. This spectacle provides a platform to young persons to display their talents and test their self-confidence. For some it is considered as a legitimate way of upward career mobility," says Kiran Agnihotri, one of the key organizers of the IACA Miss India Georgia pageant.

On July 10, 2004, thirty-five stunning contestants participated in the annual IACA Beauty Pageant. The audience began to swarm into the Gwinnett Civic Center lobby by 3:45.

The tone for the evening was set by the gorgeous Suchita Vadlamani (of Fox5's Good Day Atlanta) as well as the splendid Shezi Sardar (winner of the Boogie-Woogie Atlanta auditions) the hosts for the first half of the show. The pretty Parijat Chandra joined Shezi to host the 2nd half.

It all started off with a dance performance by all the participants to the popular song "Chale Jaise Hawayein" from the current hit Main Hoon Na. The thirty-five dazzling ladies astonished an eager audience with their explosive dance moves and piercing facial expressions. Prem Rehman demonstrated his incredible prowess as a choreographer with the aforementioned opening dance. With fluid movements and stunning dance steps, it is no surprise that Rehman knew how to spice up an audience to prepare them for the pageant to come. "All of the girls are outgoing. We all share a great relationship of a friendship, and I enjoy spending practices with the girls," said Rehman at the beauty pageant's pre-party.

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Followed by the dance performance was the evening gown segment by all of the contestants. Handsome gentlemen escorted the beautiful young ladies on stage to show off their gorgeous evening gowns. The talent portion of the program followed the visually gratifying evening gown segment. In the talent segment only the Miss India Georgia contestants would be allowed to compete. The audience got a taste of oldies from the Raj Kapoor era, as well as the new and hip Britney Spears. Singing performances were very broad in range, taking the viewers from Indian traditional days to today's American music. The talent part of the show wasn't just all singing, there were also many other talents displayed such as tap-dancing and baton stunts with dancing. Sonia Seernani (Miss India Georgia 2004 ) won best talent, she wooed the viewers with a traditional bharatnatayam performance to the song " Man Mohini " from the movie Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.

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Subsequent to the talent segment, Indian wear was next. Miss-Teen India Georgia contestants were first up to show off their dashing Indian outfits, followed by the Miss-India Georgia contestants. Q and A round was next for the five finalists. Nikhat Nazarali, Rima Patel (Miss-Teen India Georgia 2004 ), Nisha Chandran, Nirvi Shah, and Zaib Jamani made top five in the Teen category. Alpa Patel, Sonia Seernani, Sumehra Premji, Nazish Zahrah, and Priya Parekh made top five in the Miss India category.

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Besides the massive extravaganza, there were two wonderful performances to keep the audience on their feet, while they were itching to know the final results. The first performance was Lakshmi Rao traumatizing the audience with her marvelous voice. This was a song and dance sequence performed by Rao (Coordinating Committee) and Kamal J group. The other high energy performance was by The Silent Killers Dance Mania, who exceeded expectations with their exotic dance moves and stunts.

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As the winners of the pageant were announced, the crowd came to a standing ovation to give cheers and respect to the ladies who came out on top of a very high-level competition. IACA proudly crowned Sonia Seernani as Miss India Georgia 2004 and Rima Patel as Miss Teen India Georgia 2004! Sumehra Premji placed 1st Runner-up and Nazish Zahrah came in as 2nd Runner-up Miss India Georgia 2004. Nisha Chandran won 1st Runner-up and Nikhat Nazarali was 2nd Runner-up Miss Teen India Georgia 2004. Nazish Zahrah won the title of Miss Best Smile and Simran Judge won Miss Photogenic.

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Sonia Seernani and Rima Patel both left the pageant with great confidence, companionship with other participants, and a big title to their name. Asked what she wished to accomplish from this title, Sonia responded, "I hope to encourage other young girls to participate in such events without hang-ups. It is good to get involved, meet people and have fun time making new friends."

The Miss Teen India and Miss India Georgia 2004 Pageant would not have been possible without hard work and determination of Kiran Agnihotri, Indu Sharma, Shelly Ventkatesh, Parijat Chandra, and Lakshmi Rao. These talented women took out their precious time to give the pageant all the glitz and glamour the show needed to be a crowd-pleasing hit. Getting all the girls prepared, showing them how things work around the pageant environment, communication with everyone, keeping in contact through e-mails, practices and meet-ups, and a great deal more was all because of these meticulous women.

- Urjita Naik


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