18 years ago, winning Miss India and then Miss World competitions, changed Priyanka Chopra’s life. However, a jury member wasn’t entirely sure about Priyanka’s selection and had allegedly said that she was “too dark” to be crowned Miss India, reports news agency PTI. In an unofficial biography on Priyanka Chopra, Pradeep Guha, one of the mentors of 2000 Miss India competition, was quoted as saying: “Not everybody in the jury was initially in favor of her. One person mentioned she’s too dark. I said, ‘Yaar come on – look at South American girls.
They keep winning and some of them are pretty dark as are all the girls from Africa. So I said what are you talking about?’ I was always very certain about her and as I said this woman never made a mistake twice.” The excerpt is from Aseem Chhabra’s book Priyanka Chopra: The Incredible Story of a Globle Bollywood Star, which will hit the shelves soon.
Speaking about Priyanka’s journey in the beauty pageant, Pradeep Guha told Aseem Chhabra that Priyanka Chopra worked very hard but she did not come up as the “obvious choice” initially. “I think she needed a little more confidence. I think she wasn’t quite sure initially whether this was the thing she wanted to do. She came in a bit tentatively. By the time the contest started she seemed a lot more collected and definitely more confident of herself… She kind of always improved on herself day on day, day on day. I knew that she would give in 200 per cent if she gets in,” he was quoted as saying, reported PTI.
In 2000, Lara Dutta was crowned Miss India Universe while Priyanka was the first runner-up and Dia Mirza won Miss India Asia Pacific title. In fact, there was a tie between Lara Dutta and Priyanka Chopra. In the same year, Lara, Priyanka and Dia went on to win the international titles in their respective categories – Miss Universe, Miss World and Miss Asia Pacific.
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