MYROLE RTM1- Featured GrASS on 25 Jan 2011, 330pm

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Dear Friends,

We here at GrASS need your help to help us gather the below mentioned items to help us raise funds for our shelter and other independent pet rescuers.

The items are:

Scrap Paper
Old Newspapers
Old Magazines
Unwanted uncooked/raw Acidic Fruits ( Oranges, pineapples, lime,lemons)
Unwanted uncooked/raw fruits
Unwanted uncooked/raw Vegetables
Brown Sugar
Rice Bran
Red Earth
Glass Jars/Plastic containers with lids
Cardboard boxes (any other cardboard materials)
Aluminium Cans
Expired Food Products

For more ways on how or what items you can donate to help please visit HERE

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Article: Persistence pays

Thursday October 8, 2009


Thanuja Ananthan's second shot at the Miss World/Malaysia title pays off.

THANUJA Ananthan has become an instant sensation. Walking by the poolside (and later through the lobby) at the Sunway Lagoon Resort Hotel in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, the 24-year-old was stopped many times by hotel guests – both local and foreign – who wanted to be photographed with her.

Those without their cameras had to be content with giving Thanuja their appreciative sidelong glances. The very conspicuous crown she had on and the black velvet sash with the words "Winner" emblazoned across probably had something to do with all the attention.

Dream come true: After finishing as a finalist in last year's pageant, Thanuja Ananthan was determined to win the Miss World/Malaysia title this year. – YAP CHEE HONG / The Star

But then, the newly crowned Miss World/Malaysia would have drawn admiring glances even without her beauty queen trappings.

At 178cm, Thanuja is at least a couple of heads above most people. Her curly black mane falls easily over her shoulders, framing her angular face and slender neck. Her wide toothy smile (she's almost always smiling) is an indication of her friendly personality.

Winning the Miss World/ Malaysia title is a dream come true for the Kuala Lumpur lass who, as a child, used to dress up in fancy clothes and pretend to be a Miss World finalist.

"My mum used to dress me and my twin sister up in pretty dresses, and we'd walk down the stairs pretending we were one of the beauty pageant finalists. I was Miss Venezuela," recalls Thanuja. Victory is doubly sweet for the law student as this year marks her second attempt at the title.

"I was a finalist last year but didn't win. I wanted to try again this year as I truly felt I had more to give. I really gave it my best this year. I wanted to come back and 'advance, command and conquer' ... I read about Julius Caesar and how he led the Roman armies against enemies abroad, especially in Gaul, to fight for political control at home. I wanted to conquer the competition in the immortal spirit of Julius Caesar.

"I told myself that if I didn't win this time, that would be it. There would be no point trying again because I really gave it my all this time.

"And I won! I can't believe it. It still hasn't really sunk in," she shares.

Thanuja beat 18 other hopefuls to become the 42nd Miss World/ Malaysia. She will compete in the international pageant in Johannesburg, South Africa, this December.

Being a finalist for the second time around had its advantages, she acknowledges. But there are also disadvantages.

"I was definitely a lot calmer this time around, and more aware of my surroundings and of everything that was going on.

"When you are participating for the first time, you are overwhelmed by everything. This time, I was more composed and receptive ... I think that helped a lot.

"However, being back for a second time also meant the pressure (to do well) is really high. People think you have an edge and so they expect more. I really had to stay focused on being true to myself."

Winning the pageant, she says, will allow her to further her personal agenda – being an advocate for animal and human rights.

"I am animal lover and have always had dogs when I was growing up. I have two dogs now – a 14-year-old Alsatian-Spitz mix and a four-year-old Rottweiler-Mongrel. I also have many cats and some fish. I hope someday to work for PETA and I hope that winning this title will help me achieve my aim.

Thanuja, after winning the Miss World/Malaysia 2009 title, is flanked by first runner-up Stefanie Chua (right) and second runner-up Christy Yeoh.

"Mahatma Gandhi said that the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated and I believe this is so true. I want to start with working with the SPCA and Paws, saving mongrels from the streets and then go on from there," she says vehemently.

Though she has volunteered her services at the SPCA, Thanuja admits that she had to give that up to concentrate on her studies.

For the moment though, Thanuja is focused on representing the country as best as she can at the international pageant.

"I will do my best and hopefully do Malaysia proud. I think if I am genuine and give it my best, I will be okay," she says.

What will she tell the world about Malaysia in view of recent political and social events, many of which have made world news?

"Some people are starting to believe that Malaysians are suffering from an identity crisis. I think the '1Malaysia' concept is a positive step towards achieving racial harmony and also the freedom of race, religion and speech. There are some racial tensions but I think overall we are dealing with it well and Malaysia is by and large a peaceful nation," she says.

Describing herself as a "private person", Thanuja shares that she is very close to her family, particularly Anuja, her identical twin (born five minutes after her) who, except for her different hairstyle, looks just like her.

"We are and have always been very close. When I was in the pageant last year, she was in Britain. I missed her terribly and actually broke down on one occasion. So this year, some of them (pageant organisers) remembered and asked me about her. I assured them she was around and that I was okay," she laughs.

"Anuja is my biggest cheerleader and also my biggest critic. She's harder on me than I am on myself." The twins have an older brother and sister.

Her family – her father is a pro­perty consultant and her mother, a retired administrator – was very supportive about her decision to enter the Miss World/Malaysia pageant.

"My dad is my biggest supporter. They (parents) are behind me all the way, and want me to achieve my dreams as long as I don't com­­promise my beliefs and principles. There is nothing worth chasing if it means going down the wrong path," Thanuja says, full of conviction.

The negative perception many have of beauty pageants and those who take part in pageants is something Thanuja hopes to change.

"It really bugs me that people think beauty queens are ignorant and shallow. This is not at all true. We are all strong, empowered women who know what we want. We are all educated ... among the girls in this year's pageant were a financial analyst, chartered accountant, medical undergraduate, law students ... We're not make-up dolls or dumb brunettes!" she adds indignantly.

Debunking the stereotype fur­ther, she assures: "I am not into make-up at all. In fact I usually don't wear make-up except for some eyeliner.

"And I eat everything. I have a sweet tooth and I have to have my chocolate. And, I am a true Asian – I must eat rice at least once a day! " she says glancing at her sister Anuja (who spent the night with her after the finals) for confirmation. Anuja backed up the story: "She really does eat everything."

Being in a pageant, adds Thanuja, is tough as the contestants had to work really hard in the weeks leading up to the finals.

"We had to perfect our walks, choreography and so on. It's not easy," she says, debunking another pageant myth.

Not much of an athlete, Thanuja stays in shape by practising yoga, which she has been doing since she was a child.

The rest of her time is spent with her dogs – being away from them, she claims, was the hardest part about being in the pageant – as well as with family and friends, whom she says are the pillars in her life.

With a good head on her shoulders – and a pretty one at that – Thanuja is determined to make her mark at the international pageant.

"I know that I will be representing not just myself but my country. I will be carrying my nation on my shoulders and it's a huge responsibility. And I am ready for it," she concludes.

Miss World/Malaysia 2009

Name: Thanuja Ananthan

Age: 24

Height: 178cm

Education: Currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in law from Northumbria University in Newcastle, Britain via distance learning.

Music: Loves Raggae, R & B, Jazz, and Soca.

Interests: An animal lover, Thanuja also loves yoga and swimming.

Preferred drinks: This ultra healthy girl like water and green tea and she doesn't drink alcohol.

Favourite Food: Indian food ... anything that's spicy and sweet.

This article was taken from: The Star Online: Lifestyle: Focus 8 October 2009

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