It's a truth universally acknowledged that a winner of any Indian beauty pageant must be nurturing a dream of debuting in Kollywood. In past two decades Kollywood has seen quite a number of Miss. Indias and Miss Worlds making Kollywood a launch pad or a consolidation pad.
The latest in the scene is Parvathy Omanakuttan, Miss India 2008. She is being launched as heroine in the Tamil film 'Uma Maheswaram', directed by the young Nithin Ramakrishnan. The 'Pooja' launch of the film took place at AVM Studios in Chennai on May 17. The tall lanky Parvathy plays the role of a dancer and waiting for her fortunes to shine bright.
When beauties like Zeenat Aman, Meenakshi Seshadri, Juhi Chawla won the pageants Tamil cinema was looking up to Hindi cinema for inspirations. So Kollywood was not a tempting attraction to the beauty queens. Even then some Miss India winners did try their hands in Tamil.
Meenakshi Seshadri who won the Miss India contest in 1981 at age of 18 did her first Tamil film 'En Rathathin Rathame' opposite K. Bhagyaraj 1989. It was a remake of Mr. India and Meenakshi got the commanding role Sridevi played in Hindi. But film was a disaster and she lost the race. She was brought back in 1994 by K. Balachander for 'Duet'. But only A R Rahman was remembered in the film.
Juhi Chawla was Miss India 1984 and made her debut in Kollywood with the dubbed from Kannada movie 'Paruvaragam' opposite Ravichandran in 1987. The film was hit and the songs were a rage. Later she was seen in the quad-lingual 'Naattukoru Nallavan' opposite Rajinikanth. But her eyes were elsewhere and she became one of the finest model-turned-actresses in Bollywood.
Sonu Walia who embarked on a career in film after winning Miss India 1985 came to Tamil in 1989. She paired opposite Sathyaraj in the fil 'Dravidan' only to go back to Bombay. How ever she became one of the unforgettable faces after she danced for 'Rakamma Kaiya Thattu' with Rajinikanth in 'Thalapathy'.
Miss India World 1993 Pooja Batra first appearance in a film was for the item number "Shock Adikuthu Sona" in 'Aasai'. Then after doing a few films including the 'Virasat' Pooja Batra returned to Tamil with 'Oruvan' opposite Sarath Kumar in 1999. But the beauty is best known for her cameo in 'Kandukonden Kandukonden' dancing with Ajith singing 'Smaiyai Smaiyai' on the deck.
And the fanfare came in 1994 when Sushmitha Sen and Aishawarya Rai won the Miss Universe and Miss World crowns respectively. Sushmitha Sen plunged into Bollywood in 1996 almost immediately after winning the crown. But the very next year she did her first film in Tamil, 'Ratchagan' opposite Nagarjuna. The big banner much hyped film with the music of A R Rahman was a non-starter. But one remembers her as the 'Shakalaka Baby' of 'Mudhalvan'.
But the story of Aishwarya Rai is very different.
Click here to read - Kollywood: Ms. Indias and Ms. Worlds - II
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