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 Events Column      Vol. 3  Issue No. 4         June 1-15,  2006

Sananda Tilottama ‘2006 Beauty Contest
North East News Agency

The women of the North-East have now their own identity and distinction. This got reiterated on the night of May 27, 2006, when young women from this region dazzled at the Sananda Tilottama ‘2006 Beauty Contest held at a five-star hotel in Kolkata.

Sananda is a womens magazine from the Ananda Bazar Patrika group, the biggest media house in eastern India. 2006 marks the 10th year of Sananda Tilottama as the biggest beauty pageant in the East. Over the the years Sananda Tilottama has launched many a beauty from the East —— Bipasha Basu, Celina Jaitley, Koena Mitra, to name a prominent few.

This year to mark its 10th anniversary the contest was thrown open to the North-East. A preliminary round was held in ghy on April 21. Of the 19 girls, five were chosen for the final pageant. The five are:—Bharti Hazarika (Assam), Rochelle Zochhuari Darkhim & Zodiki Darkhim ( Mizoram), Delphine Marbaniang (Meghalaya) and Priyanka Laurembam (Manipur). Apart from big names such as Dipankar Kashyap (ace fashion designer from Assam) and Arunima Dutta (Mrs India world 2004 runners up), etc as judges, Sharmila Basu Thakur, senior sub editor of Sananda was also present in this preliminary round.

From June 1, the selected five started their grooming sessions along with the chosen girls from the Kolkata preliminary. The likes of famous model, Noyonika Chatterji, runners up in gladrasgs 2000 and grooming expert, Ria Mitra along with other choreographers, fitness gurus, experts in personality development, etc trained the girls to give their best in the finals. And they were clearly very impressed by the girls frm the North-East. Ria Mitra said —”apart from being blessed with great hair texture, clear skin and lean body, they are also extremely confident about themselves.” Noyonika chatterjee had this to say——“yes, they are naturally a bit short, but it easily gets sidelined by their poise. Grace and style comes naturally to these girls from the North-East “.

That they are cool and happening was also very apparent on the big day of the finals. Their dazzling performance overshadowed many hyped contestants drawn from big places like Kolkata. Priyanka grabbed the 1st runners up title while North-East girls ran away with nine of the sub contests. Crowd favourite, Delphine didn’t make it to the last five but still had a memorable night winning the Miss Beautiful Skin and Beautiful Smile titles along with the special ‘Akashottama’ title awarded by     TV channel Akash Bangla. Zodiki won the titles of Miss Perfect 10, Miss Personality, Miss talented besides being declared the best in the swimsuit round. Rochelle bagged the Miss beautifil hair title.

The judges—supermodel Nethra Raghuraman, actor Rituparna Sengupta, VLCC founder Vandana Luthra, poet Joy Goswami and popular TV actor Rajeev Khandelwal —were almost pleasantly surprised seeing the performance of the North-East girls. The finals had a clear North-East flair—there was a brilliant choreography—a combination of moves from Manipuri dance and from Manipuri traditional martial art form, Thang ta. The choreographer, Sukalyan Bhattacharya also praised the North-Eastern girls for their grace in their   movements. If the pageant was glittering the North-Eastern participation undoubtedly provided the glitz.

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