Natasha Arora, who won the Miss India USA Pageant besides the Miss Beautiful Skin and Best Talent awards recently, is a third-year student at the University of Texas-Austin.
"I didn't expect to win," she said, adding, "India is full of beautiful, talented young women and in New Jersey the best from each state was represented. I am Kashmiri and Punjabi and have been raised in Dallas my whole life."
She thanked her father Probodh Arora, who owns the Saffron House restaurant in Addison, Texas, and mother Anita, who is an insurance agent: "Their support, whether it be for sports, violin, or modelling, has always been integral in my success and confidence."
"My passion has always been to pursue law but this opportunity with Miss India Texas and USA has presented new outlets (through) which I can showcase my talents in acting, modelling, and dance," she added.
Other finalists included Chandan Kaur of New York and Sophia Andrade of California.
Other winners: Poonam Desai (Miss Popularity-Michigan); Chandan Kaur (Miss Beautiful Eyes-New York); Sabrina Bachai (Miss beautiful Smile-New York); Nirali Kapoor Miss Beautiful Hair-New Jersey); Rafeiya Hussain (Miss Photogenic-Virginia); Shreya Sood (Miss Congeniality-Connecticut)
Image: Natasha Arora, Miss India USA, is congratulated by runners up Rafeiya Hussain and Shreya Sood