KOCHI: What you see is what you get. The Miss Kerala 2018 winners expound an astounding exterior that is all substance, thereby justifying the revamped version of the pageant. Express speaks to the three contestants who have shouldered the responsibility of the ambassadors of the state.
Miss Kerala 2018, Prathibha Sai, a second year BTech student does not exist on social media. Further, she refuses to have a social media presence. When questioned if she suffers from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), she immediately quips, “But I need to get on the platform first to start missing out. I won’t.” One is astounded as to how this girl manages to stay aloof from the bots that rule our life.
That is Prathibha Sai for you. Simple and powerful. As their trainer Ramesh Menon says, “She is probably the last person the other girls viewed as competition.” Clearly a dark horse and all of 20, Prathibha exudes confidence that she claims was acquired through the grooming process. “I used to have stage fear but I’ve come a long way out of it through this platform,” she says. This North Paravur resident is determined to do justice to the title and eyes the Navy as her destination.
Oldest of the three, first runner-up Vibitha Vijayan doubled up as the audience favourite as she recounted her rags-to-ramp story. Born of iron-will and blessed with a supportive dad who’s an auto-driver, the Palakkad-raised Vibitha broke through social and economic strictures and asserted that confidence and humility can go a long way.
“My friend applied for me. I got to know when I received the call,” she says. And how glad is she. Did she think she would win? “It never struck me that I could actually win. The entire platform was a learning platform and the memories would last forever,” she shares. Currently working at the Syndicate bank, Vibitha believes that equality isn’t something that must be enforced upon, rather understood and followed when one is born.
She’s got the airs of a pageant queen. Polished and eloquent, the second runner-up of Miss Kerala 2018 is no stranger to the pageant gloss. Starting small, she was Miss Hinduja, Miss Vasai and the first runner-up of Miss Chennai International before she stepped into bigger stilettoes. Unlike the other two winners, Haritha Nair had her eyes on the crown. “My primary motive was to win. After getting here though, it became secondary. We weren’t trained for Miss Kerala but for a lifetime,” she states.
Was she disappointed that the state pageant was devoid of the gown and glamour? “Of course, yes. But the grooming sessions and the designers convinced us that there was more to it,” she adds. Brought up in Mumbai, this 22-year-old is currently training for the civil services.