India Today - - COVER STORY -

Way back in the year 1994, when Sushmita Sen and Aish­warya Rai were get­ting crowned Miss Uni­verse and Miss World re­spec­tively, lit­tle did they know that their achieve­ments had planted a seed in the heart of an army of­fi­cer. The of­fi­cer had re­solved that his then two-year-old daugh­ter would wear the Miss In­dia crown one day. Eigh­teen years later, Navneet Kaur Dhillon, with that won­der smile of hers, won hearts across the coun­try and was crowned Miss In­dia World 2013. To­day, Patiala-based Dhillon, who is a stu­dent of Mass Me­dia at Pun­jabi Univer­sity, thanks her army back­ground, which she says “pre­pared” her for the com­pe­ti­tion. “I have trav­elled across the coun­try with my fa­ther. As army kids, we are ex­posed to dif­fer­ent people and cul­tures. The same lends us a pe­cu­liar in­sight into people’s minds. That’s the rea­son I never felt the need to join any spe­cialised academy to pre­pare for the com­pe­ti­tion. More­over, I had acted in many short films dur­ing my course, so con­fi­dence was never an is­sue.” All of 20, Navneet looks up to Priyanka Cho­pra for in­spi­ra­tion. “I love the way she has fash­ioned her ca­reer and I aim to fol­low her foot­steps.” The model al­ready has of­fers pour­ing in from Bol­ly­wood. “Not that I think that Bol­ly­wood is the nat­u­ral next step af­ter win­ning the Miss In­dia pageant. I am study­ing me­dia, but the craft of act­ing has al­ways fas­ci­nated me.” Dhillon adds she has been wait­ing for the right break, “Very soon, you will hear some­thing. I re­ally can’t re­veal much at this stage though.” Navneet is also ac­tively in­volved with an NGO in Haryana, with which she has been as­so­ci­ated even be­fore her modelling days. With a care­free at­ti­tude, sunny dis­po­si­tion, never say die spirit and a warm heart, this Pun­jab girl is cer­tainly on a roll and def­i­nitely some­one to look out for, be­cause she has only just started.

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