1994 Miss India contest was historic, firstly because the winners Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai went on to win Miss Universe and Miss World titles, respectively. But it was also one year where most of the participants got opportunities in the glamour world. Just a few days ago, we told you about Kimi Verma, who was one of the participants that year. Apart from them Priya Gill, Shweta Menon, Barkha Madan, Jesse Randhawa, Manini De and a few more were among the participants who later got into films and TV.
Out of them, one of the participants was Barkha Madan, a Punjabi girl. She was also the runner up of Miss Tourism International. She went back to her modelling assignments post the contest. Soon she got the offer of Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi(1996) which had Rekha, Akshay Kumar, Raveena Tandon & Gulshan Grover in lead roles. She was paired opposite Indir Kumar in the film. The film turned out to be a big success and Barkha was noticed for her work. She was fairly doing well with modelling and a few films assignments.
In between, Barkha played the lead role in a Punjabi movie Tera Mera Pyar (1999). She followed it with a few TV serials and video songs. Her most remarkable work was as a ghost in Ram Gopal Verma's Bhoot(2003). But instead of cashing on her newfound fame and success, she became clueless over her eternal bliss. She frequently visited Dharamshala monasteries but kept coming back to her regular life. She produced two films Soch Lo (2010) & Surkhab (2014), the latter was a Punjabi film in which she had even acted.
It turned out to be her last film. She received accolades for both the films at film festivals but during Surkhab she made her mind to become a Buddhist nun. Even though she had success and fame, but still a feeling of some sort void in her life kept disturbing her. She would feel relaxed and happy by visiting monasteries and finally took a deep interest in Buddhism and monk life. Ultimately, she chose to become one of them.
Since then she has cut herself from the entertainment world. The only film she watched ever since she became a nun/monk was Nanak Shah Faqir. She watched that film only because her 'Soch Lo' co-star Sartaj Singh Pannu was associated with Nanak Shah Faqir. She now lives a simple life and has even changed her name to Gyalten Samten.
We have all heard about the book 'The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and here is a former Hindi-Punjabi Film Actress who left her fairly successful acting career to follow the path of spirituality.
Pic Courtesy: Ghaint Punjab