“I’m now one of them and I’ll inspire the people,” Sandhu said after joining the company of #MissUniverse queens.
When Harnaaz Sandhu came out victorious and took home the Miss Universe crown to India, it seems as though the stars have aligned after 21 years.
It was in 2000 when India’s Lara Dutta previously won the title at the 49th Miss Universe pageant in Nicosia, Cyprus, in the same year when Sandhu was born. Six years earlier, Sushmita Sen made history by winning its first Miss Universe crown right here at the PICC Plenary Hall in Pasay City.
Sandhu is now rightfully among the company of some of the most magnificent Miss Universe winners from India, and the love among them could not be any more apparent.
On Instagram, the 43-year-old Dutta gushed over the younger Miss Universe winner with a heartfelt congratulations for Sandhu.
“My dearest @harnaazsandhu_03, when I spoke to you yesterday, you promised me that it will be worth it!! YOU are worth all your triumphant glory and much, much more!!” Dutta wrote in her caption under a photo of Sandhu. “You had an unshakeable belief in yourself and JUST KNEW, you were born for this!!”
She also exclaimed that waiting for Sandhu to come along after 21 years was worth it and was “destined”: “You were born in the year I won Miss Universe!!! That’s how long we’ve waited for you to come along and lift that crown once more for India!!”
“I know what lies in store for you, and I wish you a glorious reign!! May this only be the start of the heights you will scale! God bless you, my heartiest congratulations to your parents and family! The universe now, is your oyster — OUR STAR!” she ended.
Dutta’s landmark win at the turn of the millennium was made even more special when she received the highest individual score in the history of the Miss Universe, with the majority of the judges giving her the maximum of 9.99 marks.
Meanwhile, Sen, who is now 46, also sent some sweet words to Sandhu on social media. Posting the same photo of the 2021 Miss Universe winner, Sen praised Sandhu for “representing India so beautifully” and for “bringing back the crown to India after 21 years.”
“May you enjoy every moment of learning & sharing this incredible global platform @missuniverse will provide you….MAY YOU REIGN SUPREME!!!” Sen said on Instagram.
Sen returned to the Philippines in 2016 to serve as a judge in the 65th Miss Universe pageant, which was ultimately won by France’s Iris Mittanaere.Â
Art Daniella Sison