Mumbai, Maharashtra : Harnaaz Sandhu, the 21-year-old model and actress, was crowned Miss Universe in Israel on December 13, 2021, becoming the third Indian to win the title following Lara Dutta in 2000. She has previously been named Times Fresh Face in 2017 and Femina Miss India Punjab in 2019, and has received widespread acclaim for her grace and intellect on stage.
Upon returning from Israel, Harnaaz was under quarantine due to the COVID-19 regulations in India. Her first visit after her isolation was at Hilton Mumbai International Airport, where she had several interviews scheduled with various Indian media outlets and journalists alike.
Her welcome at the property was done with utmost sincerity by the General Manager of the property, Mr. Deepak Kumar and the Commercial Director, Mr. Vipul Mishra. She was greeted with a traditional welcome of tutari and dhol tashe, followed by a welcoming aarti for blessings and best wishes.
To commemorate her success, the Hilton crew arranged a cake cutting ceremony as she entered the hotel lobby, following which she held interviews and media appearances with various journalists and publications in the executive lounge of Hilton Mumbai.
Harnaaz, during her interviews, remarked that she never planned on entering a pageantry industry and that it occurred by happenstance when she was 17 as she was inspired by Sushmita Sen, Priyanka Chopra, and Lara Dutta. She realised that, like the Bollywood actors, she wanted to be an inspiration to others. When asked about her future plans in Bollywood, during an exclusive interview with Times of India, Harnaaz stated that "I don't know what would happen, because I am a person who never plans life. But given a chance, I would love to be a part of it, because that has been my dream. I am an actor by profession, I've done theatre from the last 5 years. I have a vision of influencing people and breaking stereotypes of what women are and what they can be, and that can happen through acting. Because in today's times, people get so intimidated, so influenced by movies. That's the way I can influence people and inspire them by following my passion, just doing the best for the society,"
Further to her interviews, Harnaaz and the Hilton team held a brief meet and greet session, which included a mini photoshoot as well. Following her commitments to the media and journalists, Harnaaz and her family were invited to a private yet special dinner at the Brasserie, which concluded her first public appreacence in India after her triumph in Israel, with Hilton Mumbai International Airport.