Contrary to reports that Miss India 2009, Pooja Chopra, will star opposite Jackie Bhagnani in his father Vashu Bhagnani’s film Faltu, the truth is that Pooja is not doing the film.
Talking to Mumbai Mirror yesterday, Pooja Chopra said that she was grossly upset with Vashu for leaking it to the press that she was doing the film before she had signed it.
Pooja Chopra said that Vashu offered her Faltu before she embarked for the Miss India contest. “The next thing I know is that there were reports saying that I am doing his film. My agency got into action and did some damage control. You see, I am not supposed to sign any film till I crown my successor, which will happen in April 2010. But I am definitely not going to sign Faltu even now because this whole incident has left me with a very sour taste.”
Pooja Chopra said that Vashu’s premature announcement was careless and unprofessional, and it created a mess for her. She said, “I have also been in talks with other producers who want to launch me. When they heard that I am doing Vashu’s film, they were extremely puzzled and I had a lot of explaining to do.”
When asked if she would prefer her career to flag off opposite a bigger star than Jackie, Pooja Chopra was diplomatic. She said, “I am nobody to judge who is big or small. For all you know, Faltu might be a big hit.” But when we asked her to imagine her debut in Bollywood opposite Jackie Bhagnani, Pooja Chopra shot back, “I cannot imagine it,” and repeated that twice in quick succession.
Vashu Bhagnani remained unavailable for comment. However, Jackie Bhagnani called to say, “We had not offered any film to Pooja Chopra. I haven’t even met her. The only girl who was under consideration was Puja Gupta, Miss India Universe 2007.”
Beauty queen Pooja Chopra, who was crowned Femina Miss India World 2009, says she is “not in a hurry for Bollywood”.
“There are a few scripts that have come my way. I won’t say none of them is exciting but the fact is I am not in a hurry to get into Bollywood. I am not very keen in trying my hand in the industry as of now. If I get something very interesting, I would definitely think about it,” Pooja Chopra, who was here for the inauguration of Richfeel Trichology Centre, told IANS.
She feels the script and the director are important elements for success of a movie.
“The director and script have more importance for me than who would be my co-star. I don’t have a specific list of actors to work with but definitely would like to go for a big banner like Karan Johar and Red Chillies Entertainment production house,” she added.
Richfeel Trichology Centre offers solution to all hair and scalp problems.
“Richfeel’s collaboration with Miss India has been from a very long time, and after experiencing it myself I can say it is good. It is good to endorse a brand in which you really believe.”
The 24-year-old is keeping herself busy with a lot of fashion events, public appearances, shoots and endorsements.
She is attractive, confident, has an infectious smile and a charming personality. In spite of all this, Pooja Chopra could not make it as a ‘Miss World’. However, this has not dampened the spirits of this ‘Miss India’ as she knew there would only be one winner for the ‘Miss World’ title.“I may have innumerable reasons as to why I couldn’t make it, but the fact is I didn’t make it. Life is not in one’s control,” says Pooja Chopra, who was in the City recently for the ‘Fashion Week’. But she did bring home the title of ‘Beauty with a purpose’ award and received $10,000 for the ‘Nanhi Kali’ project. One also saw her cry on television then. “That week was really bad for me as I had injured myself. People were against my taking part as it was a serious fracture. I broke down on stage because there was so much inside me, which unfortunately came out on stage. I feel silly now! Gosh...billions saw me sob,” she adds.
Walking the ramp and winning beauty pageants were never a part of Pooja’s dream. In fact as a child, she always wanted to grow up to be an IAS officer.
A tomboy to the core and an active participant in sports, Pooja Chopra gradually started being in tune with her feminine side. “People would come and compliment me. Slowly, I started getting offers for modelling. I applied for Miss India and got through, the rest is history,” explains Pooja Chopra.
The entire experience of ‘Miss World’, she explains, was nothing less than a long holiday. She cherished meeting new people and learning about different cultures. “The other girls were also curious about India. They constantly asked me about Taj Mahal and Aishwarya Rai,” she laughs.
With all her predecessors having made a foray into Bollywood, Pooja Chopra, too hopes to get there someday. Her favourite heroes are Salman Khan and Hrithik Roshan. However, before that she has other plans on her mind. “I don’t want to be just another ‘Miss India’. I want to leave my mark by doing a lot of social work in orphanages and with the NGOs. Till then movies can wait,” she signs off.
Beauty with Purpose Award - In Pooja Chopra's own words...
"I may have innumerable number of reasons so as to why I couldn’t make it, but that wouldn’t take away from the fact that I didn’t make it.
Sorry India I know how anxious and hopeful all of you would have been watching the competition live. I’m sorry to have let u down but I tried my best to represent India and qualities of an Indian of being strong willed, determined and dedicated in the best possible way, I have another reason to be happy actually very happy. My "Nanhi Kali" project will receive 10,000 US $ as my beauty with a purpose award :)
And of course what brings me immense satisfaction and happiness is the fact that I walked on stage, I lived my dream. How blessed I felt just to be there on that stage is a feeling I would cherish for a lifetime.
I am sorry that I broke down on the stage but there was so much inside me which unfortunately come out on the stage. Feel silly now! Gosh...billions saw me sob :( sad!)
Old saying but I still do believe in it. Whatever happens, happen for good! I am god’s favourite child and I know he has a plan for me... Love u god! Thank you for giving me the strength and courage to walk and for the beauty with a purpose award. Really, made me feel quite like a Miss World winner. :)
Anyhow, everyone including the newly crowned miss world wish me speedy recovery, I can’t wait to get back home be with mom, nani, didi and few close friends!
Will cherish the moments for a lifetime, the girls, functions, all the fun we had together, safari, parties, the organisation members who were very supportive and the experience would have been incomplete without doctor Kim (who by the way is still complaining that I need to rest).
So now first to Abu Dhabi then to London and then to India yeh! :)"
Miss World 2009 Contestants
Before leaving for the Miss World 2009 pageant, Pooja Chopra said, “Day and night I have been dreaming about that crown, how it would feel when I touch it, the colours, the sparkle of the diamond, the sapphire, everything. So the moment I get it, I’m not going to leave it.” We might see her dream coming true in near future.
She is attractive, confident, has an infectious smile and a charming personality. Currently in South Africa for the Miss World 2009 pageant, Pooja Chopra is enjoying the best time of her life.
Be it various competitions, meeting the South African president, getting tips from golf legend Gary Player, an encounter with Africa’s wildlife or a trip to Abu Dhabi, Pantaloons Femina Miss India ’09 Pooja Chopra is making the most of everything. The stunning lady shares some details of her exhilarating journey ...
Pooja Chopra’s Rollercoaster Ride
I think it’s one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. We are living a very fast-paced life here and are travelling a lot. We recently visited five cities in a week. I am experiencing a mixed bag of emotions at the moment.
I am excited that I am representing my country at such a huge platform, meeting people of such high stature; we are showered with gifts wherever we go and are the focus of the entire media. At the same time, there is a lot of pressure, there is hope but the future is quite uncertain.
There is a huge amount of stress, as you have to look perfect all the time. You can’t roam around in casual clothes, everything about you is being observed so closely. How you carry yourself, how you eat, talk, how much you talk ... everything matters here.
India’s quite a Hot Topic
The list of my friends here is very long, yet I will say I am close to the contestants from Bosnia, Serbia, Scotland, Russia and Indonesia, who’s my roommate as well. I also like Miss Japan, she’s really cute.
There are total 112 contestants, all extremely good-looking. We all speak different languages, follow different religions, have vast cultural diversities, yet are bonding pretty well.
Everyone here is so interested in knowing about India and our culture. All the contestants seem familiar with Bollywood. One of my very good friends here, Miss Scotland, has taken my contact details and wants to work in Bollywood. I was surprised to see a contestant wearing a saree during an event. I know so many girls here who are so fond of sarees and salwar kameez.
Recently, a lot of fellow contestants asked me about Aishwarya Rai. They said she is one of the most popular Miss World winners so far. They all are very impressed with her global popularity.
‘Feels nice to see so many Indians here’
I am so far from home and my country, yet I don’t feel like an outsider at all. I met so many Indians here at the airport, during the safari, shopping trips and elsewhere. All of them were so warm and clicked pictures with me. Everybody said they would pray for me.
‘There will be only one Winner’
All of us here are not just contestants, we are all beauty queens. There will be only one Miss World at the end but in a way we all are winners. What matters more is that we are relishing the best time of our lives. We are staying in the most luxurious hotels and are treated like cherished celebrities. It’s no less than a long holiday for all of us.
I think the judges will have a really tough time while choosing one of us, as everyone is so good. Everybody is a strong competitor and has their own strengths. We all are just trying to put in our best efforts and the rest is definitely up to destiny. The other day, I was talking to my mother and she asked me the same question, and I told her that everyone here is so different from each other that it’s difficult to pick the best.
Dealing with Expectations
Indian contenders for Miss Universe and Miss Earth, Ekta and Shriya couldn’t bring the crown home. I am asked if this increases the pressure on me. Don’t remind me about the pressure, I am shouldering a huge responsibility. Obviously, everyone’s eyes are set on me now and they have high hopes from me. I don’t want to think about it at the moment, otherwise the pressure will start showing on my face.
Journey from Pooja Chopra to Miss India
I have always been very respectful towards my country but after coming here, it has gone to another level. I feel more patriotic now. Rather than calling me Pooja, my fellow contestants call me ‘India’ and I also gladly respond to that. That feeling of pride, dignity and honour is simply matchless.
‘Want to Hug Mom’
I am in regular touch with my family; otherwise, I would have surely died. It’s been more than a month that I left India and I am longing to be with my mom.
Lately, all of us went for an art exhibition and all the Miss World contestants were asked to pick a painting from there. I saw a painting, which had me almost in tears. I headed to the washroom immediately as I didn’t want to cry in front of the camera. That painting beautifully showcased a mother hugging her child. I chose that painting for myself. When I was asked why I picked up that art work, I somehow managed to hold my tears and replied, “Desperately need a hug from my mother.”
My mother and grandmother are landing here soon. I just can’t wait to see them, my mom is my lucky charm. I am sure I am going to cry a lot after meeting her.
I will not say that it’s my life but it’s surely no less than that too. My family and friends who have seen me through everything have so many expectations from me. I just can’t let them down. If I, unfortunately, fail to bag the crown, I really don’t know how I will deal with it. However, I don’t want the pressure to bog me down. I just want to concentrate my energy on winning the Miss World ’09 title.
At the end, I will say that there is nothing beyond God and destiny. Everyone who knows me or doesn’t know me, please pray for me. Go to churches, gurudwaras or temples, fast or organise havans ... I just need everyone’s blessings! Pray for me.