Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu Gets Candid about Winning the Crown, Future Plans
India’s Harnaaz Sandhu, who was crowned Miss Universe 2021. (photo via IANS)
By RANJEET SINGH
MUMBAI (ANI) – Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu, who made the entire nation proud by bringing the beauty pageant crown back after 21 years, on Dec. 13 spoke about her experience of winning the title, her future plans and much more.
Sandhu, the 21-year-old Indian actress who defeated contestants from 79 countries to bring home the title, in an exclusive interview with ANI revealed what she felt in the moment her name was announced on stage. “I cried because finally after 21 years India was getting the crown and I was just filled with so many emotions that I had to get it out and I couldn’t stop myself,” she said.
Sandhu further spoke about what helped her in achieving this remarkable milestone and said, “The need has always been to be calm, humble and grounded, this is what I have learned from my community and these are my values. I think it’s important to maintain this momentum and especially when you are representing your country, you have a lot of pressure of people around you and you have to be at your best behavior. I think it’s important to be calm and centered and that’s the key to success according to me”
The last Indian to win this title was Lara Dutta who brought home the crown in the year 2000. Shedding light on what might be the reason for this gap of 21 years, she said, “We need to trust the timing because every girl that has represented India before and after Lara Dutta has beautifully represented the country and they have made India proud. It’s just that we need to understand that it’s the time, sometimes the other girl has worked harder or maybe that other country deserves to be there.”
She continued and added, “All have made India proud and it is because of their support and their efforts I have won the crown and it’s dedicated to all the women who have represented India till now.”
Sandhu also talked about how it feels to be getting all the love for her achievement. “Before leaving the country for Miss Universe pageant, I promised everyone I know that I will win the title and make everyone proud (Naaz) as my name is also Harnaaz and I hope I made India proud. It feels out of the world because women like Sushmita Sen and Lara Dutta who have inspired me throughout my journey are supporting me and now I feel I am one of them and I will inspire other people like them. I think it’s an unbelievable moment for me.”
As both Sen and Dutta have had a successful film career, hence it’s natural to expect a similar path from Sandhu, too. Speaking about any such plans of hers, she said, “Everything takes time, it’s all about working hard and I would love to be part of Bollywood and Hollywood. I am looking forward to that along with talking about the issues and differences in society which, I think, we all need to focus on.”
The 70th Miss Universe 2021 pageant was held in Eilat, Israel.
Sandhu, who is from Chandigarh, Punjab, has previously won numerous pageant titles including LIVA Miss Diva Universe 2021 and Femina Miss India Punjab 2019.
She will also star in Punjabi films like ‘Yaara Diyan Poo Baran’ and ‘Bai Ji Kuttange’.
IANS adds: According to her mother, Harnaaz, who hails from a middle-class family, has proved her mettle.
“She’s very confident and focused on achieving her goals. We have supported her passion,” she said.
Excited over her win, Harnaaz’s brother, Harnoor, said: “Harnaaz remains calm and focused most of the time. She was confident from her school days that one day she will clinch this title and she got it.”
The new Miss Universe is currently pursuing her masters’ degree in Public Administration.
After she won the pageant, the family went to a nearby Sikh shrine to pray.