Our morning started on an incredulous note as the effervescent queen of grace and beauty, Sushmita Sen gave us a reason to get nostalgic about. Sushmita took to social media to thank all her fans for the love they have given her. The occasion? Today marks twenty years since the day Sushmita won the Miss Universe crown, making India proud as the world bowed down to this beauty with brains. Her caption further proves her wit, though with just the right pinch of poise.Sushmita took to Instagram to post a gorgeous picture of hers.
I was 18 yrs old when #India won #MissUniverse for the very first time on 21st May 1994....I am 42 now, still a ‘Miss’ with a ‘Universe’ inside of me!!!!😉😄💋 nothing has changed except the year’s’😄😍😜 Thank you guys for the letters, cards & gifts ..but mostly for ‘Re-membering’ the #Universe is lovingly #abundant & so what we give out, we get more of!!!👍😍😊❤️ #positivity #happiness #kindness #love #empathy 💃🏻😁❤️ I celebrate with you #India & #philippines (my second home) 😍 #24years #missuniverse1994 here’s looking at you!!! I love you guys!!!! Mmmuuuaah!!!!!🙏😍💋❤️💃🏻🎵
However, those of us who witnessed the two gorgeous beauties, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Sushmita Sen clinching the international titles, know the ultimate, underlying rivalry between the two. Even though there was no social media at that time, fiery debates took place between fan groups of both, as each justified their revered beauty more worthy.
In one of the episodes of ‘Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai’ hosted by late veteran actor Farooq Shaikh, Sushmita opened up on the fact about how she was intimidated with Aishwarya and could not believe when she won the Miss India title, leaving behind the popular beauty. In an interview with Jessica Soho, she opened up on the fact as to how she took one look at Aishwarya and thought of bolting, for here was a beauty of international standard.
Sushmita said, “Aishwarya is not a conventional Indian gorgeous woman, she is gorgeous internationally. So you are looking at her at 17 and a half and you are saying, she is entering the pageant, okay next year bye-bye! I am not participating.”
It is a known fact that during the tie-breaker question, Sushmita beat Aishwarya by just 0.2%, and clinched the Miss India title, and went on to represent India in the Miss Universe that year. The two were asked questions distinctly different, and to date no one knows why Sush’s answer was considered better. Even after winning the crown, Aishwarya was a clear favourite, with no takers or supporters for Sushmita. It was like swimming against the tide for Sush.
In the times when there was no social media to express one's glee or disappointment, eminent journalist Khalid Mohamed reminisced how he met Aishwarya and her mother in the after-dinner party and groaned audibly that the jury must be suffering from cataract vision for not giving her the crown. Aishwarya, on the other hand, replied with a polite thank you, keeping her dignity above her disappointment.
Twenty-four years have passed by, twenty-four years since the two most gorgeous ladies made India proud on the international front, and are still continuing to do so. Both Aishwarya and Sushmita have come a long way since then, carving their own niches, and are gracefully warm to each other, letting go of all the rivalry that may or may not have been. The fans also came together, eventually.And today, twenty-four years back Sushmita did the impossible, defying all the oppositions, brought home laurels and the coveted crown none thought she would.