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‘Mrs Talent’ Gayathri Dias.

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We know her as an actress, a presenter and an entrepreneur. Now she is a beauty queen as well. Gayathri Irosha Dias recently represented Sri Lanka at the Mrs Top of the World 2016 beauty pageant in India. Around 20 contestants from countries around the world took part in the event which was held in New Delhi, India. She won the mini pageant titled ‘Mrs Talent’ for a modern Kandyan dance item she had presented before the jury. Elvira Lesnichaya from Russia won the crown at the event which was held from November 6 to 11.

Q: You are an actress, presenter and a entrepreneur. Now you are a beauty queen as well.

A: (Laughs) I did not plan on taking part in this pageant. The offer came to me out of the blue. I did not intend to take part in it till the last minute. Therefore I did not have enough time to prepare myself for the competition. I was not aiming for the crown but I was pleasantly surprised to win a mini title. I was also ranked fifth place at the pageant.

I believe that if you are well groomed, you are eligible to take part in a beauty pageant. Your profession or status does not count here.

Q: What has winning the crown given you so far?

A: This might be my last opportunity to take part in an international beauty pageant. When we reach a certain age limit we can no longer compete for such events. I decided to make full use of this opportunity and gain some experience.

There were many beauties around the world taking part in the competition. We interacted with each other and exchanged ideas. I was in their company for about one and a half weeks. I learnt a lot about their culture and practices. All the other ladies were great company. We had a blast together.

Q: What was the most challenging moment in the Mrs Top of the World pageant?

A: I was active in all the events at the pageant. I got the most number of votes too, mainly because I was a well known celebrity in Sri Lanka. However I did not take part in the bikini and swimsuit parade. I made that decision prior to the event because I believe that those kind of attire do not go with our morale values. I think that was the reason why I could not make it to the top four.

Winning the Mrs Talent title was a real surprise. I am mostly into western dancing but my choreographer, Hiran Wijesekara, trained me well in such short notice. I presented a Modern Kandyan dance item. I was dumbstruck when they announced me as the winner. Mrs India is a dance teacher who has trained in classical dance but I was able to bring that title home.

Q: Who was your favourite contestant at Mrs Top of the World 2016?

A: Mrs Belgium because she was such an outgoing and friendly person. She believes in Buddhist religious practices like karma too. I enjoyed spending time with all of the contestants. They were very caring and fun to be with. We really bonded during those few days and they still keep in touch with me. Mrs India was my roommate. She was also one of my favourites.

Q: Is there an area that you focused specifically on before taking part in Mrs Top of the World?

A: I was concerned about my weight. I wanted to lose a few kilos before taking part in the pageant but I did not have much time to concentrate on that factor. If I had about two or three months more, I would have lost some weight but I decided to take part in the event about a week before the Sri Lankan contestant was due to leave the country. I worked out a bit but I had a tight schedule.

Most of the contestants were above 5’10”. I am only 5’5”. I had to wear high heels that added about 5” more to my height all day. That was very painful! (Grimaces)

Q: There are too many beauty pageants for women in the world today.

A: These pageants have existed around the world for many years. We only get to know about them now because we have started to send contestants to take part in them. We limited ourself to pageants like Miss Universe, Miss World and Miss Tourism. We opened up for international beauty pageants only recently.

There are some countries which hold beauty pageants regularly, depending on them to bring income. A beauty pageant could be taking place somewhere right now as we speak! India sends contestants to all these global beauty pageants. We too have beautiful and intelligent girls. We need to preserve our traditions but send contestants for such events.

Q: What is the best and worst thing about your life right now?

A: Working as an actress and being able to manage a salon successfully is quite a task but I managed to pull it off well. I even opened my latest branch in Thalawathugoda recently. That takes most of my time these days. That is probably the best thing in my life. (Laughs) Worst? There are too many to mention! (Giggles)

Q: If you could give life to any historic character in a film, who would you like to portray?

A: (Thinking hard) I would like to portray a character in a movie based on King Ravana. He interests me a lot. I have great faith in him. I am not fussy about what the character is. I would do even a minor role like his sister if I get such an opportunity. (Smiles)

Q: If they made a movie based on your life, what would the title be?

A: Wow! That’s a hard one... (Thinks for ages) I believe that I am a very bold character. I have been through a lot and have overcome many hurdles. I want the title to include that characteristic.

Q: How do you handle criticism?

A: Gossip and criticism have been a part of our life for quite some time. I am not affected by such talk. (Smugly) I am not someone who can be moved or discouraged by harsh words.

Q: What is the best beauty tip you would share with another woman?

A: Smile. Do not be burdened by problems because everyone has them. Drink tons of water.

Q: What is your favourite comfort food?

A: There is no particular favourite. I love my rice and curry and I try to include it in all my three main meals. (Laughs) Probably Thriposha. That’s the only one which can compete with rice and curry in my list.

Q: Three things you absolutely hate.

A: 1) People who cannot manage a certain chore but expect others to do it instead.

2) People who get close to you as friends but turn out to be fake.

3) People who get in the way of another’s success.

Q: What three words would you use to describe the past three months of your life?

A: Busy. Traveling. Relish.

Q: If you had the opportunity to choose a career for you daughters would you like them to become models, actresses or entrepreneurs?

A: I would choose to make them entrepreneurs because you cannot be stable financially if you choose acting or modeling as your profession in a country like Sri Lanka.