De­ter­mi­na­tion saw Shosha

Stabroek News - - THE SCENE - By Joanna Dhan­raj

“You should al­ways take a chance be­cause you never know how ab­so­lutely per­fect some­thing can turn out to be,” said an elated and sat­is­fied Shoshanna Ramdeen. Af­ter not win­ning the Miss In­dia Guyana crown the first time around in 2017, she came back full swing this year, de­ter­mined to win the judges’ ap­proval and she did.

In a sit down with The Scene, the 22-year-old stun­ner shared her pageantry ex­pe­ri­ence, what led to her taking up the chal­lenge and what it has been like since be­com­ing Miss In­dia Guyana 2018.

A shy coun­try girl, Shoshanna grew up in Tuschen on the West Coast De­mer­ara, a life she shared with an older brother and their par­ents. She at­tended Green­wich Pri­mary School, then Zee­burg Sec­ondary. Ac­cord­ing to the young woman she was never one to be taken up with school com­pe­ti­tions, con­certs or pub­lic speak­ing. She feared stand­ing be­fore a crowd, but she had al­ways dreamed of more for her­self and to be needed and able to help those who need her.

The de­sire to help oth­ers be­gan at an early age when she felt help­less see­ing rel­a­tives dy­ing from can­cer, cry­ing out in pain and feel­ing sorry that she could do noth­ing but watch. She re­al­ized soon enough that she wanted to be the per­son wear­ing the white coat and had vowed some­day she would be a doc­tor. On grad­u­at­ing high school, she went on to do ad­vanced lev­els of Bi­ol­ogy, Chem­istry and Physics at School of the Na­tions be­fore en­rolling at the Green­heart Med­i­cal Univer­sity where she is cur­rently a third-year stu­dent.

It was some­time last year that she felt she wanted to try some­thing new and was up for a chal­lenge. Around that time, she learned of the Miss In­dia Guyana com­pe­ti­tion. Shoshanna said she was never one for pageantry and only saw it as high­light­ing the beauty of its con­tes­tants at first. But a closer look en­light­ened her on the plat­form it al­lows for rais­ing aware­ness of ill­nesses and other ben­e­fits. “What I ad­mired es­pe­cially about the Miss In­dia Guyana pageant was that it pro­moted cul­ture and morals and I de­cided this was some­thing I wanted to do. Pageantry I would learn is more than ap­pear­ance; it’s about a beau­ti­ful heart and be­ing strong,” Shoshanna said.

She shared that pageantry has im­proved her as an in­di­vid­ual. She re­called that at last year’s re­hearsals, which were spear­headed by trainer Derek Moore, she was of­ten rep­ri­manded by him to smile. Grow­ing up not only had she been timid but very se­ri­ous. She men­tioned that she had never seen a gig­gling or smil­ing doc­tor and could not re­call see­ing any of her lec­tur­ers wear­ing a smile and she had pat­terned her­self that way too. Derek, she said, had taught her some­thing im­por­tant, which was if she could not smile dur­ing re­hearsals, there was no way she would smile when it came to the coro­na­tion night and he was right.

That year Canada-based Guyanese Sangeeta Ba­hadur stole the hearts of the judges and not only did Shoshanna miss her chance at the crown but she also didn’t place. She was how­ever awarded the Miss Beau­ti­ful Hair award.

This was more than she could take. It was not like her to not ac­quire the goal she set out and she was de­ter­mined to have an­other try. Shoshanna con­fessed that even some of her sup­port­ers from last year tried to dis­suade her from par­tic­i­pat­ing again telling her to not waste her time but to in­stead fo­cus on get­ting her de­gree. This was eas­ier said than done. What they did not re­al­ize was that they added fuel to the fire and Shoshanna was more than ever un­wa­ver­ing about fol­low­ing through with her plan; putting univer­sity on hold she be­gan self-train­ing. Armed with the in­ter­net she started watch­ing pageant tu­to­ri­als on YouTube, de­ter­mined to get it right every way she could.

This year un­der new man­age­ment of Hashim and Melissa Ali, the con­tes­tants were trained by Ali­cia Bess. Train­ing, the queen said, was rig­or­ous as she re­called many days when they would be­gin train­ing at around six in the even­ings and go un­til close to mid­night. Be­cause of the

The queen flaunts her evening gown dur

Shoshanna dur­ing the In­dian Wear Seg­ment

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