A few years ago, I was at the Mumbai airport waiting for my flight when I noticed someone walking in my direction from a distance. She had a carefree walk, was constantly smiling, and greeting everyone on her way. There was also a small crowd around her. That’s when I realised it was someone popular. And so happens, it actually was.
I remember Sushmita Sen walking past me with a big smile on her face. “Hi,” she had said to me. Now, you don’t expect celebrities to acknowledge your presence let alone say ‘hi’. Naturally, I was stunned and spent my entire journey thinking about it over and over again. At the time, I was in awe. Five years later, I feel the same.
Sushmita Sen was the first Indian ever to be crowned Miss Universe in 1994. After that, she went on to join Bollywood, act, raise two adopted daughters by herself and shatter stereotypes and gender norms. Today, the woman turned 44 and there’s no stopping her. On this happy occasion, we thought of listing down 11 life lessons that we have learnt from this iconic woman. Here they are:
“I knew from the age of 14 that I was going to be famous. And the reason I knew that was because my mum and my dad were watching Rakesh Sharma go to space on TV and howling on the couch. I came down from the stairs and asked my baba “what happened? who is he?” and my father was so choked up, he just said, “he’s famous!” And I knew then that by being famous I could make you cry and affect lives without even knowing you.”
“Arm yourself with knowledge, it will be your greatest strength one day.”
“My father named me Sushmita – which means a beautiful smile. So I guess I’m stuck with it!”
“I like winning, it’s an old habit. But I don’t like rat races.”
“Carve your own way, choose not to drift along.”
“I don’t like the word “sacrifice” or “compromise”. Anyone who is too into this sacrificing concept has very low self-esteem because they want to be martyrs at the drop of the hat. No! Stand up for yourself!”
“The world will be a better place if the woman decides what she wants for herself.”
“I don’t know what “enough” is but as long as I do everything I choose to do with everything I got, that to me is being successful.”
“I think I deserved to win because that night I was my best. I wasn’t trying to be better than anyone else, I was being my best.”
“I’ve just been very lucky I think. I’ve met some incredible men in my life.”
“Things happen to people who believe. If you believe something long enough, it becomes a fact.”
Wish you a very happy birthday, Sushmita. Thank you for inspiring us every day.
Featured Image: Instagram
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