Way to go
With the Mrs. Gladrags crown resting firmly on her head, Tania Soni is raring to go for the Mrs. World contest at Las Vegas in 2003.
BACK HOME: Mrs Gladrags at the ITC Kakatiya Sheraton Hotel & Towers. Photo: K. Ramesh Babu
OODLES OF confidence, a positive attitude and constant support and encouragement of her husband was instrumental in her winning the crown. Tania Soni, the woman from Hyderabad, is sporting another crown - Mrs Gladrags - she won in Mumbai a few days ago. With the Miss Country Club title a few years ago, runner-up at Gladrags Super model of the year and a finalist in Miss India in 1998, Tania stepped into the glamour world of modelling before becoming an airhostess. And she's back into this world once again now and raring to go for the Mrs World contest in Las Vegas in June 2003 hoping that she would wear the tiara once again. In Hyderabad just for two days to spend time with her parents, Tania managed to squeeze in some time to speak about her latest achievement.
"The contest was good fun as I got to meet a lot of married women, both housewives and career women," says Tania Soni (nee Vijaykumar). With singer-composer husband Piyush Soni behind her in full strength and enthusiasm (whom she met at Calicut where she was posted and he had come for a concert and married later) it had to be the winning run all the way to the crown. Though she went with I-have-to win attitude, yet Tania felt that irrespective of the result she should go back happy and confident.
It was hubby dear who wanted Tania to give the contest a shot and ensured that she would chart the winning path "He helped me with my workouts (she shed quite a few kilos), garment fittings, shopping and even monitoring her diet by making salads and juices," and even in Mumbai was the pillar of strength by constantly cheering and shouting to the point of landing up with a hoarse throat.
Mrs. Gladrags was like any beauty pageant (except of course it was for married women). "We had to walk down wearing our wedding attire (one woman was in a sari whilst the rest were in ghagras with the husbands providing the introductions of their wives) and various ensembles - Indo Westerns (designed by Payal Singhal), black gowns and lastly exquisite saris designed by Archana Kochchar," says Tania who wore a breathtakingly beautiful sky-blue georgette-crepe sari embellished with sequins.
CROWNING GLORY: Tania Soni is all smiles.
The judges comprising Field Marshal Sam Maneckshaw, Poonam Sinha, Ayesha Shroff, Raveena Tandon, Maureen Wadia (the woman behind the contest) and the sponsors tested the intelligence of the `beauty queens'. What perhaps clinched the title for her besides the good faring in other rounds was her written answer for what would be the first three things she would do if she were Prime Minister. "I wrote eradicate unemployment, improve child and women's welfare and improve the conditions of those below poverty line and through this also spread peace and harmony irrespective of caste, creed or religion."
Winning the first title of the evening `Most beautiful lady' boosted her morale tremendously. "When the second and first runners up were announced she was keeping her fingers crossed hoping to win," she says and when she made it her first thought were "I did it, I've made my husband and family proud."
Now Tania is looking forward to go to Las Vegas where she will contest for Mrs. World. So the next six months is going to be a gruelling schedule for her, which would also necessitate shifting base to Mumbai. But she is game for it. "Mrs Maureen Wadia has made so many people like John Abraham, Reggie Verghese and I know I am in safe hands," she says.
With a penchant for travelling this airhostess is happy that the discipline and hard work imbibed in her by parents has paid off. Tania is at the moment savouring every moment of her success and is now following her husband's maxim `Smile and work hard and you will be successful'. A true and typical Hyderabadi with loads of optimism, she signs off saying there will be another queen in the land of nawabs. Here's wishing her the very best for the Mrs. World title.
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