The world has got a brand-new Miss Universe.
USA's R'Bonney Nola was crowned Miss Universe 2022.
India's Divita Rai, who was at the Hyatt in New Orleans, Louisiana, competing against bonny lasses from over 84 countries, made it to the Top 16 but didn't make it to the Top 5.
There was another Indian at the Hyatt too. Harnaaz Sandhu, who won the title in 2021, was there to crown the next beauty and take final walk as Miss Universe.
Harnaaz and Divita met up. Harnaaz joined the welcome dinner, that coincided with Divita birthday celebrations.
An architect from Mumbai, Divita, who adores badminton, painting, music, basketball, became Miss Diva Universe 2022 at 24, and since then has doggedly immersed herself into the cause of making education accessible to children, especially for the girl child. She partnered with NGOs like CRY, Nanhi Kali and Teach for India.
Divita courted judges with her one-of-a-kind sone ki chidiya getup during the National Costume round.
It was her generous nod to the super capable artisans of our land when she wowed an international stage with a hand-woven golden lehenga of tissue from the Chanderi district of Madhya Pradesh. It was created by Delhi-based designer Abhishek Sharma.
The message? An 'ethereal portrayal of India as the golden bird'. Lajawab.
For the swimsuit round, Divita pulled another message out of her all-inclusive potli (handbag). Her many-hued cape, that she strutted out fiercely, looking like a butterfly poised to float away, had been designed by artist Param Sahib (external link).
Said Param: 'The hand-painted and embroidered cape is a celebration in all its vibrance and freedom to love for the queer community in India and across the globe. (It's a reflection of) how the youth is changing the definition of love! The back has namastey painted as a salutation to the world'.