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Diya Abraham
Name : Diya Abraham
Height : 5' 9"
Titles won : Miss India finalist 1997, Femina Look of the Year finalist 1995 and Miss International runner up, 1997

Diya Abraham is one of the Bangalorean models.

It began happening five years ago when she used to accompany her elder sister Nisha, who was a model, to the numerous photo sessions. Admiring glances and gushing compliments eventually led to her debut strut on the ramp for a Vimal campaign.She had the natural charm of her native Kerala, a charm nurtured by fashion guru Prasad Biddappa and photographer Ritu Nanda. "They were largely responsible for smoothing the rough edges," said Diya. "Prasad, especially, gave me a definite direction and channelled my energies."

Her versatility showed in the campaigns of Ju Ju clothes of New York, Krishna Chetty Jewellers, HMT watches, Vijalaxmi Silks and Co Co Sip. In between she scored more than 76 per cent in her school and undergraduate exams so that mom Shema, a teacher, had nothing to complain. Meanwhile Diya got a degree in Psychology, Journalism and English Literature.

Her doting father Mathew Abraham has always been guided by his instincts, be it chucking a decade-old job or entering her photos in the 1995 Femina Look of the Year contest in which she made a mark as a finalist. Two years later Diya, 5' 9", stood fourth in the Femina Miss India Contest, and in a sub-event she adorned the sash of Miss Beautiful Skin. The secret of her flawless skin? "Litres of H20 I guzzle down," Diya said in a conspiratorial whisper. "From the beginning I knew that she had it in her," said Abraham. "I remember how confident she was in Shimla in the presence of top models.

" She intends to take up, eventually, a profession that involves a lot of travelling. Another passion, besides travelling, is music. "She has a good ear," said her mother, "and she reads quite a bit." The high-brow stuff includes John Donne and T.S. Eliot, and Mills and Boons falls in the "ultra-trash category".

Streaked mane, copper-brown skin and a smile that spreads slowly from the full mouth to the sparkling eyes. Lean, leggy and drop-dead gorgeous, Diya Abraham walked tall at the Miss International Pageant at Kyoto in 1997, wowing the jurors, winning the second prize, and making many a Japanese heart flutter. Back in Bangalore to blood red bouquets and welcome banners, pager beeps and front-page pictures, Diya should have been on cloud nine, but she wasn't. "My victory came as a pleasant surprise to me,"

"All my opponents were so beautiful and I did not have a clue that I would win," said Diya, who put the $10,000 prize money in a fixed deposit. Healthy middle-class values don't encourage splurging hard earned money.

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