Ever wondered when the first-ever Miss Universe pageant was held? In 1952, the pageant was held in California in which,a Finnish beauty queen Armi Helena Kuusela won the title, but the Indian contestant gave a tough competition and impressed everyone. She was Indrani, an accomplished Odissi, Kucchipudi and Bharatnatyam dancer.
Hailing from Chennai. Indrani’s mother, Esther Luella Sherman, was an American, and her father’s name was Ramalal Balram Bajpai, who was an Indian.
Indrani was a fantastic classical dancer who was trained in four dance forms, Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali, and Odissi. She traveled all over the world and in 1947, she was noticed by India’s leading art and dance critic Dr. Charles Fabri. He suggested her to learn Odissi. Indrani learned Odissi for almost three years and became a professional Odissi dancer which led to her popularity all over the world.
In 1952, Indrani walked the ramp for Miss Universe Pageant, at Long Beach, California. She was 22 years old and the mother of a child. She was crowned Miss India in the same year. As Indrani walked the ramp at the global pageant, her bindi and Gajra look in bold costumes, made her stand out of the crowd.
Indranu was awarded the Indian Government’s National award, Padma Shri. She was also honoured with Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the Taraknath Das Award.