Beauty pageants are usually considered a ticket to Bollywood. Many actresses have begun their film career after becoming either Miss India, Miss World or a Miss Universe. Crowned as the Femina Miss India 2002, actress Neha Dhupia stepped into Bollywood in 2003 with her debut Qayamat: City Under Threat. She might have won the most coveted crown in the showbiz, but after marrying Angad Bedi and bearing a child, she feels as if she owns three crowns.
Just about a month away from her first wedding anniversary, the actress spoke about how life has changed for her in a candid interview. On the sidelines of judging the west zone participants for the fbb Colors Femina Miss India 2019 in Pune, Neha told a leading daily: "It has been a roller-coaster ride. The last time I was mentoring Miss India, I had no idea I was going to be a wife and a mother. But here I am, after a year, I have done both."
"It's a huge accomplishment and so rewarding. Just to wake up next to two people who you cannot believe you love so selflessly... I was always this person who thought 'I am the most important person in my life', my work is important, family is important, and they are important because they make me happy,'' she added.
The 38-year-old actress got sentimental while talking about motherhood: "And then suddenly you have this, which is infinitely more important than you are in your own eyes. It's so hard to describe it. I would never have understood this if I hadn't become a mom. I feel like I have come here to mentor the participants with not just the (Miss India) crown that I won in 2002, but also with two more crowns... It's three crowns on my head right now.''
Neha and Angad were blessed with a daughter, whom they have named Mehr, in November 2018.
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But motherhood hasn't deterred Neha from staying away from her career. Her film career may not have taken off, but she rediscovered herself and found her own path with TV shows like Roadies, No Filter Neha and BFFs with Vogue. Neha gained immense popularity by working as a judge and a TV show host. "I get compliments for my journey. It's definitely one that comes from a place of never wanting to give up, and the importance of realizing that the only way you can let your personality show is by doing work that you believe in,'' she said.
Talking about becoming a content producer, Neha further added, "Yes, I thrive and I am hungry to do a film. I am taking baby steps towards becoming a content producer as well. And my chat show is one of them.''
In an earlier interview, Neha had accepted that winning a beauty pageant is no guarantee of striking gold in Bollywood and that it's only hard work that finally counts. She enjoys being a mentor for Miss India contestants, a role she has taken care of for three years. "It's a huge responsibility. I am in my third year, and feel I have done a half decent job because Manushi Chhillar (who won the Miss World 2017) didn't do that bad,'' she said.
Neha finally got noticed when she did the bold film Julie in 2004. She went on to do films like Kyaa Kool Hai Hum and Shootout At Lokhandwala, but she tried to break her glamorous image with Chup Chup Ke, Mithya, Maharathi and Dasvidaniya. The actress got a lot of critical acclaim for her role in the Netflix original Lust Stories.
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