KOCHI: The success story of Vibitha Vijayan, who finished first runner-up in Impresario Miss Kerala 2018, makes for compelling reading since she made it not ‘because of, but in spite of’. The Palakkad native, daughter of an autorickshaw driver, had to battle the odds before making it good in the high-stakes world of glitz and glamour.
On D-Day, after the master of ceremonies(MC) announced Vibitha’s name as the winner of the first runner-up title, her parents - Vijayan and Krishnaveni - were called onstage. It was a moment to savour for Vibitha and her parents, with the audience and the panel of judges sharing the family’s happiness and joy.
“We’re economically backward and struggled a lot in our early years. There was even a period when our father was unable to pay our the school fees. As a result, my brother and I had to skip school for almost a year,” says Vibitha. According to her, the months which followed were the most painful of her life. “Both of us sat at home, unaware about the goings-on in the outside world. Nor did the world know we were holed up inside our house. From those days, we’ve indeed come a long, long way,” she said.
On her father’s confidence to propel his children forward, she said, “He would ask us to respond to newspaper adverts. Strangely, we never thought about the expenses which will entail if indeed we were selected. Such was his encouragement.”
Beauty pageants were never on Vibitha’s sights.
A state-level tennis player and winner of ‘Best Actress’ Award at the University level, she chose to work in a bank. “My friend sent my pictures to the pageant organisers without giving me even a hint. I was quite apprehensive when the organisers got in touch with me. Again it was my father who gave me the encouragement, “ she says.