Manushi Chhillar: Indian medical student turned beauty queen

Indian beauty Manushi Chhilar wins the 67th Miss World contest final in Sanya, on the tropical Chinese island of Hainan, on Saturday. (AFP)
Updated 18 November 2017
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Manushi Chhillar: Indian medical student turned beauty queen

JEDDAH: India’s Manushi Chhillar was crowned Miss World on Saturday, 16 years after the country’s Priyanka Chopra won the title in 2000.
Chhillar, 21, became the sixth Indian woman to win the glamorous pageant. She competed against 108 contestants from various countries at a glittering event at the Sanya City Arena in China. She was crowned by Miss World 2016, Puerto Rico’s Stephanie Del Valle.
Chhillar, a medical student who hails from Haryana, won both the “Head to Head” challenge and the “Beauty with a Purpose” segment of the competition. Earlier this year, she won the Femina Miss India 2017.
Born to doctor parents, Chhillar studied in St. Thomas School in New Delhi and Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women in Sonepat. Her entire family was present at the pageant.
Chhillar was asked by the judges which profession deserved the highest salary and why. “My mother has been my biggest inspiration, so I have to say a mother’s job,” she replied. “It’s not always about cash, but love and respect as well. A mother deserves that the most.”
Chillar had earlier said she grew up admiring Reita Faria, the first Indian and Asian to win Miss World in 1966. Faria became the first Miss World winner to qualify as a doctor.
Former pageant winners from India — such as Sushmita Sen, Aishwarya Rai and Priyanka Chopra — have gone on to carve successful careers in Bollywood.
But Chhillar told Indian news agency PTI: “I disagree with the notion. I feel that Miss India is a stepping stone for anything you want to do, not just Bollywood.”


Pressures and pains that tear a couple apart

A still from the film.
Updated 19 July 2018
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Pressures and pains that tear a couple apart

DENVER: Like a gallery wall-sized enlargement of a microscopic image, “Scenes from a Marriage” is all about size, space and perspective.
Directed by Ingmar Bergman — whose birth centenary was marked this week — at 281 minutes long, its unwieldly length presents an intimidating canvas, yet the claustrophobic intimacy of its gaze is unprecedented: The two leads are alone in nearly every scene, many of which play out for more than a half-hour at a time.
Premiered in 1973, the work is technically a TV mini-series, but such is its legend that theaters continue to program its nearly five-hour arc in its entirety. A three-hour cinematic edit was prepared for US theater consumption a year later (it won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but was ruled ineligible for the corresponding Oscar).
Not a lot a happens but, then again, everything does. Shot over four months on a shoestring budget, its six chapters punctuate the period of a decade. The audience are voyeurs, dropped amid the precious and pivotal moments which may not make up a life, but come to define it.
We meet the affluent Swedish couple Marianne and Johan — played by regular screen collaborators Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson, both of whom clocked at least 10 Bergman credits — gloating about ten years’ happy marriage to a visiting reporter. This opening magazine photoshoot is the only time we see their two children on camera, and inevitably the image projected is as glossy, reflective and disposable as the paper it will be printed on.
The pressures, pains and communication breakdowns which tear this unsuited pair apart are sadly familiar. The series was blamed for a spike in European divorce rates. It may be difficult to survive the piece liking either lead, but impossible not to emerge sharing deep pathos with them both. Sadly, much of the script is said to be drawn from Bergman’s real-life off-screen relationship with Ullmann.
It’s a hideously humane, surgical close-up likely to leave even the happiest couple groping into the ether on their way out of the cinema.