Bihar lass vies for Miss Universe title

Bihar lass vies for Miss Universe title

Shilpa Singh was barely five years when beauty queen Sushmita Sen stunned everyone and made her country proud by clinching the Miss Universe title in 1994. Two decades down the line, the same Sushmita Sen has been giving invaluable tips to Bihar-born Shilpa who will be representing India at the Miss Universe contest in Las Vegas on December 19.

Born in nondescript Diha village at Singhia in Samastipur district, Shilpa is a software engineer by profession and a model by passion. Three days from now, India in general and Bihar in particular will be closely watching her every move with bated breath when she would sashay down the aisle amid a glittering audience thousands of miles away.

For, it was 12 years ago, or to be more precise the year 2000, when another beauty queen Lara Dutta won the Miss Universe crown last, thereby becoming only the second Indian after Sushmita to wear the tiara. Since then, lady luck has refused to smile on Indians although some of the contestants almost made it or lost by a whisker.

Manpreet Brar, the first runner-up in 1995 Miss Universe contest was a near miss, while Madhu Sapre was adjudged second runner-up in 1992, the year she made news more for the wrong reasons (remember the nude ad with Milind Soman?).

 Celina Jaitley too missed the Miss Universe crown when she was declared fourth in 2001. Prior to them, Yasmin Daji was third runner-up way back in 1966.

But 72 hours from now, all eyes will be riveted on Shilpa, who studied in Muzaffarpur, Ranchi and Jamshedpur and is currently working with Infosys. So, will she? Wont she? 
“Right now, the first challenge is to ensure a place in the last 16. We have the blessings of more than 100 crore people. Who knows Shilpa could do wonders… after all she, basically a software engineer and not a professional model, has been groomed by former Miss Universe Sushmita. Let’s keep our fingers crossed,” said her elder brother Salabh Singh, working in a Pune-based private firm.

Accompanied by her father Suresh Singh and mother Rita Singh, Shilpa has luck too on her side. After all, she was originally crowned first runner-up at the ‘I am she - Miss Universe 2012’. When the winner Urvashi Rautela was dethroned due to controversy over her age, Shilpa got the tiara.

A bit of hard work and equal amount of destiny can still do wonders for the 23-year-old next Wednesday.

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