Prior to the big event, the 21-year-old Miss Universe India 2017 Shraddha Shashidhar, is already a favourite. She is all set to compete against 71 title holders at the Miss Universe 2017 which will be held at The Axis, Las Vegas on November 26.
Manushi Chhillar's victory in Miss World, 17 years after Priyanka Chopra took home the much-coveted crown, came as a form of jinx breaker, setting hopes high for Shraddha in the big event today.
Will Shraddha take home the crown from Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittinaere of France? Will India get a double treat in the closing years of 2017?
With just a few more hours to go for the mega beauty pageant to commence, Shraddha Shashidhar speaks to IBTimes Singapore, in an exclusive interview on the crown, her inspiration, the pageant and Manushi Chhillar.
IBtimes SG: How are you handling the pressure, with few more hours left for the finale?
Shraddha: I'm actually feeling very excited. I'm not the kind of person who gets nervous before the event, I tend to get nervous after the event (laughs). Before the event, I'm super excited.
IBtimes SG: How are you preparing yourself for the event?
Shraddha: The preparation is going good. Everything is well organized here and it is helping me exactly how I wanted to prepare. Even back in India, when I was in Times Of India, every day I had my sessions and prepared for 12-14 hours.
In here, I try to inculcate all the sessions that I did, either when walking on the ramp or while communicating to media, photographers or people in general.
IBtimes SG: After Manushi's victory in Miss World, India has high hopes on you, what are your views on the same?
Shraddha: Manushi is a stunning and a spectacular candidate India could've ever had over the few years. It is not a cakewalk, competing with contestants around the world. Her determination and the very fact that she had her goals straight makes her Miss World in the truest sense of the term. The fact that I'm on the same platform as hers is a big thing for me.
IBtimes SG: What can give you the extra edge over the other contestants in the contest?
Shraddha: The fact that I've travelled so much in my entire life because of my family's defence background has made me adaptive and flexible. I can adjust to any comfortable or uncomfortable situation, depending on the situation, however. My adaptive instincts and flexibility help me communicate with a wide range of audience, irrespective of the fact that they know English or not. The fact that I can deal with situations as they come is in itself my strength.
IBtimes SG: Who is your inspiration?
Shraddha: My parents. My dad has taught me to be strong and powerful and bold while taking decisions. He has taught me to wear pride and valour on my shoulders. No matter whatever field I step into, I should stay focused.
My mom, on the other hand, has provided me with the emotional quotient. She has taught me to stay humble and grounded. She has taught me to stay rooted in my family and to maintain calm and composure throughout.
IBtimes SG: What does the Miss Universe crown signify?
Shraddha: The crown for me signifies an identity, an individuality and womanhood. The very fact that she is a woman and does her duty, someone who aims at the bull's eyes, takes the world on her shoulders- that's what the crown means to me.