By Aparmita Das | SHILLONG:

Amidst the chaos of heavy traffic and pouring rain, Shillong City came to a near standstill, but there was one place that shone brightly on Saturday evening- the U Soso Tham Auditorium. It was the grand 40th Anniversary Celebration of the esteemed Miss Shillong beauty pageant, where the city’s beautiful women competed for the coveted title of Miss Shillong 2023.

This year, the Fashion Society Shillong set a new precedent by introducing the Ms Supermom beauty pageant, a special dedication to single mothers, as part of the beauty pageant extravaganza.

After a gruelling series of auditions that took place two months prior, the selected aspirants underwent rigorous training in speech, catwalk, and personality development to prepare for the dazzling event. The grand finale saw thirteen exceptional finalists in the Miss Shillong category and ten in the Miss Supermom category.

In the Miss Shillong round, the participants donned traditional attire and introduced themselves with grace, while the Miss Supermom category contestants showcased designs by the talented Duncan Kharmon, making captivating introductions of their own.

The evening was not just about beauty; it was a celebration of tradition and art. A mesmerising dance sequence choreographed by Ribha War Lyngkhoi and a grand finale choreographed by Chris Kurbah and Naphisa Pala added a touch of elegance to the event.

Adding a harmonious note to the festivities, Liza Lyngdoh, a guitar virtuoso hailing from Mawkyrwat and teaching music in Bangalore, showcased her incredible talent. As she strummed her first chord, the auditorium fell into a hushed reverence. In a previous interview with The Meghalayan, she had encouraged everyone to “freely express yourself without harming others,” and that’s exactly what she delivered last night.

The excitement in the air reached its peak as the Miss Supermom category unfolded. Mary Saleen Lyngdoh Mawphlang secured the 2nd runner-up position and was rewarded with a well-deserved cash prize of Rs 20,000. The anticipation grew as the 1st runner-up, Jessica Nongkynrih, dazzled the audience, walking away with a cash prize of Rs 30,000. The crowd erupted in applause as Genevieve Pala emerged as the ultimate winner, shining with grace and determination, and claiming the prestigious title of Miss Supermom along with a rewarding cash prize of Rs 50,000.

In the Miss Shillong category, the sub-title winners added an extra layer of glamour to the event. Rachel Jyrwa was crowned Miss Beautiful Skin, while Rimeka Dkhar wowed the judges to win the title of Miss Beautiful Hair. Rebecca Nongkhlaw was awarded the title of Miss Beautiful Eyes, and Kelly Nongbri’s radiant smile earned her the Miss Beautiful Smile title. Finally, Cafilia Namika strutted her way to the title of Catwalk Queen, making this beauty pageant an evening of diverse talents and personalities.

The tension reached its climax as the moment everyone had been waiting for arrived following the question round where the top five contestants were asked a common question: Inside every woman, there is a queen. The dazzling Chaivalry Lartang was crowned Miss Shillong, radiating with grace and confidence, as she claimed the prestigious title. The audience erupted into cheers as Rachel Jyrwa emerged as the 1st runner-up, demonstrating her exceptional beauty and poise. The excitement didn’t stop there, as Rebecca Nongkhlaw secured the second runner-up position, solidifying her place among the stars of the evening. It was a night of glitz and glamour, and these remarkable women left an indelible mark, making this Miss Shillong pageant an unforgettable and exhilarating event.

The winners of Miss Shillong 2023 were adorned with designer crowns and received substantial cash prizes, with the winner taking home Rs 1 Lakh, the first runner-up receiving Rs 75,000, and the second runner-up awarded Rs 50,000. The Ms Supermom winner received a designer crown and a generous cash prize of Rs 50,000. Sub-title winners in categories like Miss Beautiful Eyes, Miss Beautiful Skin, Miss Beautiful Hair, Miss Beautiful Smile, and Miss Catwalk were also recognised with cash prizes of Rs. 5,000 each. It was truly a night of glamour and glory in the heart of Shillong.

The panel of judges included Frederick Roy Kharkongor, IAS, Commissioner and Secretary, govt of Meghalaya, Batista C Lyngdoh, certified personal trainer, Evarihun Warjri, certified counsellor, and Wanisha Lyngdoh, first Miss Shillong ’83. The cash prizes were sponsored by KHADC CEM Pyniaid Sing Syiem.