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Fri, Dec 12, 2008
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Beauty with brains

EIGHT years have gone by since an Indian last won the Miss World contest. On Dec 13, Parvathy Omanakuttan hopes to break that drought.

The 21-year-old beauty queen is currently in Johannesburg, South Africa, for the contest and is one of the hot favourites for the title. Ahead of the final pageant, the Mumbai- based Malayalee finished runner-up in the Miss World Fashion Show and Top Model competition in Soweto on Dec 3.

Like most of her Miss India predecessors - Yukta Mookhey (1999) and Priyanka Chopra (2000) are the most recent - Parvathy is also eyeing Bollywood. She told the Indian Express that if she gets the right kind of roles, she would love to be paired opposite Salman Khan and Hrithik Roshan.

The 1.75m-tall Parvathy, however, has her feet on the ground. "I look forward to completing my MBA though. It's very important to have a back-up plan as a career in modelling or films doesn't last forever," she said.

As for the issue of displaying her well-toned body in a swimsuit, she has no qualms about it. When she arrived in Durban for the swimsuit segment of the competition last week, she told South Africa's The Times: "I don't think it's wrong (to parade in a swimsuit), because if you have a good body, why can't you do it?"

She attributes her well-toned body to playing basketball and badminton.

Parvathy graduated in arts, and studied sociology, psychology & English literature.

She would love to further her studies in psychology to learn more about human behaviour in depth.

This curiosity extends to her eating habits and, although she loves her mother's cooking best, she likes to try different cuisines from all over the world.

She's also didn't let the negative stories about Johannesburg - the city has a reputation of crime - put her off South Africa.

"People told me that Johannesburg was an amazing city, and then they told us it was a dangerous place and that we would have to be careful. But the experience that we've had is completely different.

We were treated like complete princesses," she told The Times.

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