|Malina performing at Miss World 2011|
With all excitement and hope, I was all set and prepared for Miss World 2011. Although far from home, being alone for the first time brought a scary feeling over me but the experience I had was totally worthwhile in the end. When I was flying up above the Heathrow, London, the clouds and the sky felt different. It was not even five minutes that I reached Hotel Sofitel, London (my first destination); I was called for the audition for the traditional dance. Tired and exhausted after twenty hours of flight and six hours of transit, there was no time for a break because this was much more important. Getting ready in five minutes time with all those ornaments and costumes was a different experience in itself. Fortunately, after my performance the judges smiled at me and said, “I like your smile, very genuine”.
The very next day I found that I was among the top 10 finalists to perform in traditional dance. This brought a kind of hope, enthusiasm, excitement and more confidence in me. Every other moment I could only see a vision of my countrymen waving my country’s flag with lot of hope. During the pre-event, we visited a lot of places including Edinburgh (Scotland), London Eye and a sightseeing tour of London. Scotland was a world in itself, a fairyland and London was very beautiful but there was not a single day that I didn’t miss my country. Every day I used to realize and think why we see problems in our country… why don’t we see it as an opportunity. Just a united hand of Nepalese and a tolerance to bring and accept change can do wonders with the development of the country.
And then, the preliminary rounds started. There were five preliminary criteria; Talent round, Sports, Beach Beauty, Top Model and Beauty with the purpose. I was a bit put off when I was told that I couldn’t do the talent round as I found out traditional dance could not performed in the round. Beside me, the other participants were also disappointed because they were also looking forward to performing a traditional dance in the round. It was sad because it was never mentioned in any of the requirements or any specific criteria sent by the event organizers. Onto sports, it was amazing as well as depressing at the same time to see others running like wind and swimming like fish. In beach beauty, all girls were looking smashing, hot and pretty at the same time. I do understand and respect my cultural values and society. I wore a swimsuit because it was an important part of the pageant. It was no compulsion to wear a two piece bikini but instead they were very flexible that a one piece swimsuit along with a sarong and a wrap was perfectly fine.
And then it was top model contest where all the contestants were wearing their beautiful gowns designed by their designers. All the girls were looking absolutely gorgeous and stunning. After these events, I had a feeling that the blue crown was very far from me. But that small hope was always there. A lot of girls had tears rolling down their cheeks when they knew they couldn’t make it to any of the four criteria. To be honest there were times when I wanted to cry out loud in my heart but there was always pressure to give a pleasing smile for the world, I guess this implies to everyone too.
They announced the judging criteria after these four preliminary rounds were over. The judging criteria were different this year. The 20 semifinalists for each criterion got an extra 5 points for the finale. I almost lost hope and was tired of giving my best face. Each and every challenge that came along gave me a small ray of hope, recharging my confidence and giving me belief all over again. Then, Mrs. Julia Morley, the chairman of Miss World Organization announced 15 finalists for the last criteria i.e. Beauty with the purpose in the charity dinner where Nepal was also one of them. Beauty with the purpose was an important criterion as this criterion carried 10 points compared to 5 points for other criteria. Eventually, 15 more finalists were added and top 30 were declared. This was one of my highlights of the Miss World Journey.
Miss world was a dream and still is a dream. There were bitter as well as better experience I had in the 20 days during Miss World 2011. I can’t bring back those precious moments but the memories and quality friends will be there forever. The moment when I was performing on the stage on “Makhmali Cholo” still makes me proud; to have been able to perform on one of the world biggest platforms. You won’t believe but I can still picture all the 112 contestants standing still in their ‘Namaste’ posture. It felt as if the whole world was saluting and greeting my country and I am sure all the Nepalese watching felt the same. These will no doubt be one of the best experiences in my whole life. With my experience in the Miss World 2011, I don’t think bringing Miss World to Nepal is impossible.
I would like to wish all the best to upcoming Miss Nepal’s in the future to prepare themselves mentally and physically for international pageants. What I did was just a small step to reach the blue crown. There are a lot of potential and lots of capabilities in Nepalese beauties and Miss World is only one platform to explore everything that you have in you. Just be yourself, believe in yourself. Having faith, confidence and self motivation will definitely take you to your destiny.
Malina Joshi, as a person is still the same, an ordinary and a simple human being but yes more confident, patient and a stronger person. I am glad and feel fortunate to make 112 friends from different parts of the world and learned so much from them. Yes I am disappointed but not depressed because I believe whatever happens, happens for the good. May be Miss World 2011 wasn’t my destiny, may be something better is in store for me.
Written by Malina Joshi Miss Nepal 2011