It’s like a festival at home
Sobhita Dhulipala’s proud parents say their daughter was determined to bring the crown home
At Sobhita Dhulipala’s hometown, the mood is of jubilance and celebration. Ever since the Vizag girl was crowned the First Runner-up at the Pond’s Femina Miss India 2013, her parents — Venugopal Rao, a chief engineer (Marine) with the Merchant Navy, and Santha Kamakshi, a school teacher in the primary wing at GVMC (Greater Visakha Municipal Corporation) — are ecstatic. “We are feeling very happy as our daughter was crowned the winner amongst 23 beautiful women from across the country. It feels like we are celebrating a festival at home. We are very proud of our daughter right now,” said Santha Kamakshi.
Although the parents didn’t get the time to meet her after the event, they say that they are waiting impatiently to spend time with Sobhita “We were with her at the event, which ended after 10.30 pm. But after that she had to stay back for some formalities. She might come home any time now. Everybody is only waiting for her,” said Venugopal Rao, when we contacted him on Monday afternoon. Ask him what will be the first thing that he will tell her and the proud papa says, “I will tell her, ‘We are very happy for you. You won this battle wonderfully, all on your own. We really appreciate all the efforts you have put into this and you
have a long way to go’.” She was determined to bring the crown home
These celebrations come as a welcome change from the tense mood that the family was in during the entire course of the pageant. “All the girls who were participating were very pretty and we were just a bit concerned about where she would stand amidst such fierce competition from all these beautiful girls from across the country. But the way she carried herself and the way she confidently answered the questions posed by the judges was very impressive. And I’m not saying this because I’m her father. If I were judging the contest, even I would make her the winner. She did a great job out there.”
Ask him if Sobhita underwent any special training before the pageant and Venugopal says, “She would watch videos of all the previous contests and various other pageants from around the world. She would read a lot and watch a lot of videos to keep herself updated. She started hitting the gym only last year and also had to take extra care of her diet.”
Sobhita was a one-woman show, he adds. “She took care of everything by herself. We were there only if she needed any financial support or moral support,” her father says. So, did all the intensive preparations get her too worked up? Venugopal says, “She called home everytime she was feeling down. Once, she called and told us, ‘This is going to be a very long journey. I don’t know what will happen, but I will leave no stone unturned to give it my best’. I think at some point, the pressure would get to her, but she would always look up to us for support. She was however, also very confident. She would always ask us to stay calm and say, ‘let’s cross our fingers and see what happens’ She was very positive throughout.”
Sobhita’s dad also reveals that she very focussed on bringing home the crown. “When she participated in the Navy Queen Ball in 2010, she had a single-minded focus and participated in the pageant with full interest. Ever since, she has never looked back. Even though she started receiving several offers for modelling and even a movie offer back then, she decided not to take up anything else until she won the Miss India title. That’s how determined she was,” he says.
So, does she have filmi plans next? “We will support her no matter what she wants to do.”
Sobhita with her parents Santha Kamakshi and Venugopal Rao