Never ending Watch-list: The head-turner Indians in 2018

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NEW DELHI : A country that boasts of being the most populous democracy of the world, with 2nd largest standing Army and the 3rd largest economy, in terms of purchasing power parity, in the world, list of head-turning Indians every year is never small. They arise, they win and conquer the world by their spirit.

Here is the list of few of desis who made headlines this year


Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra had her share of fame too. She became the first Indian to be featured on Vogue US cover.

Zara Rahim, the former director of communications at the magazine congratulated Priyanka for her achievement.

‘Believe it or not, from what I know, @priyankachopra is the first Indian woman to grace the cover of American Vogue. This is long overdue, and so well deserved,’ Rahim wrote on Twitter.


Priyanka who worked in famous USA series Quantico and made it to other Hollywood movies too, has married Famous singer Nick Jonas in December this year, at famous Ummaid Bhawan Palace Jaipur, Rajasthan.


PV Sindhu

On December 16, P V Sindhu let out tears of joy and relief when she finally laid her hands on a gold medal and claimed the World Tour Finals title with a win over 2017 world champion Nozomi Okuhara in Guangzhou.Sindhu became the first Indian to achieve the feat.

In the past, Saina Nehwal had reached the finals of 2011 World Super Series Finals, while Jwala Gutta and V Diju finished runners up at the 2009 edition.She was also named on the Forbes list of highest paid athletes in the world. At $18.1 mn Serena Williams topped the list, while PV Sindhu ($8.5 mn) came in at the seventh place.


Mary Kom

In November, Mary Kom created history by becoming the first Indian boxer to record 6 gold medals in the Women’s World Championships.

The 35-yr-old matched Cuban men’s legend Felix Savon as the joint most successful pugilist (men and women) in the World Championships’ history.The 35-year-old who dreams of clinching gold in the 2020 Olympics serves as an inspiration not just for India but boxers around the world.


Deepika Padukone

It’s been a good year for Deepika Padukone. Her film Padmaavat entered the 500 crore club this year.

With earnings touching Rs 112.80 crore (nearly double from 59.45 crore in 2017), Deepika Padukone became the first female celebrity to enter the top five in the Forbes list of richest Indians list.

The list dominated by Salman Khan (Rs 253.25 crore) placed the 32-year-old actor at number five. Only 18 female actors made it to the top 100 this year.


Balkrishna Doshi

In March, architect and reputed urban planner Balkrishna Doshi won the Pritzker Prize, architecture’s highest honour.

Doshi is the first Indian to win the prize.

His designs include the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore; Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology, Ahmedabad; cultural spaces in Ahmedabad such as Tagore Memorial Hall, the Institute of Indology, and Premabhai Hall; and private residence Kamala House (Ahmedabad), among many others.

Garima Arora

On November 14 Garima Arora became the first Indian woman to win a Michelin star. A Michelin star is one of the highest honors a chef can earn for a restaurant. The term “Michelin Star” is a hallmark of fine dining quality with restaurants around the world proudly promoting their Michelin Star status. Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay reportedly cried when the Michelin Guide stripped the stars from his New York restaurant, calling the food “erratic.”

Mumbai-born Garima won the award for her innovative menu at her restaurant GAA in Bangkok.

What’s interesting is Garima’s restaurant GAA was started only a year and half ago.

Nadia Nighat: A fresh breeze from valley

Nadia Nighat is India’s first female football coach from Jammu and Kashmir. It wasn’t a bed of roses for this national level footballer from Srinagar to pursue her dreams, especially amidst the tension in the Valley, she says.


The 20-year-old from Srinagar fought criticism to pursue her dreams. She is now coaching students at a school in Thane, Maharashtra. She faced a lot of opposition for pursuing an unconventional career path, but she defied all stereotypes and orthodox mindsets.  Nadia trained herself while studying at Amar Singh College Academy. Subsequently, the Jammu and Kashmir Football Association (JKFA) also helped Nadia pursue her goals.


Nishta Dudheja

In October, Haryana’s Nishtha Dudeja was crowned Miss Deaf Asia 2018.

She became the first Indian to win a title at the Miss and Mister Deaf World -Europe – Asia Beauty Pageant. A commerce graduate from Venkateshwara College, Delhi University, she is currently pursuing a MA in economics from Mumbai’s Mithibai College.

The former judo player has represented India in international tennis competitions including the World Deaf Tennis Championship 2015 and Deaflympics 2013 and 2017. Earlier this year, she won the title of Miss Deaf India which enabled her to participate in the global pageant.

Ishwar Sharma

British Indian Ishwar Sharma, 8 was named the British Indian of the Year in a young achiever category for his accomplishments in the field.

Ishwar, who studies at St Michael’s Preparatory School in Kent has won a string of titles in both individual and artistic yoga.

He was named British Indian of the Year at the sixth annual awards ceremony held in Birmingham in July 2018. Ishwar whose family belongs to Mysore, Karnataka has performed in more over 100 events across the UK and worldwide and among his many skills is the ability to chant up to 50 shlokas from the Vedas and Bhagavad Gita.

Karthik Nemmani

Indian-American Karthik Nemmani won the Scripps National Spelling Bee in June 2018. Karthik Nemmani, 14 correctly spelled ‘koinonia’ to win the title this year.

Karthik, an eighth-grader from McKinney, Texas, continued a longtime trend by becoming the 14th champion or co-champion of South Asian descent the bee has had in 11 consecutive years.



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