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3 Cheers For Divita's Miss Universe Journey

Last updated on: January 16, 2023 10:41 IST
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IMAGE: Divita Rai with Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu.
Photographs: Kind courtesy Miss Diva/Instagram

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.


IMAGE: Divita's National Costume didn't just speak for her. It spoke for the army of Indian craftsmen whose work is some of the finest in the world.
Photographs: Kind courtesy Divita Rai/Instagram and Miss Universe/Instagram

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'.

IMAGE: The pride of 1.4 billion Indians, Divita kept the flag flying way, way high looking like a Himalayan queen in a silver and pearly white sheath by Chisel.
Photographs: Kind courtesy Divita Rai/Instagram


IMAGE: Her hemline went up three or four feet in a mini with accents of India's favourite bird.


IMAGE: Her goldie-gold Varun Nidhika kurta set had delicate lace patterns quite like the carved marble screens of the jharokas at the Taj Mahal.
During the interview round she showed off the traditional yet strong Indian woman in her.


IMAGE: She brought in her birthday on January 10 in New Orleans in a Falguni Shane Peacock lehenga as rich and sparkling as the inner sanctums of our many temples.


IMAGE: She teaches Angola's Swelia Da Silva Antonio the perfect Miss Universe pout in our national colour, ie pink India's navy blue.


IMAGE: In a costume out of Bollywood, that produces some India's greatest exports: 'I'm fueled with the courage passed on to me by the women who stood on this stage before me', she announced.
'I draw strength from their representation and strive to continue the legacy they've left behind.'
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