Sushmita Sen was the first Indian ever to be crowned Miss Universe in 1994, and that's something no one can take away from her. But truth be told, someone almost did.
In an interview with popular movie critic and talk show host, Rajeev Masand, Sushmita talked about a lot of things including how she told her daughter Renee that she is adopted and a never-heard-before story that also involves former Miss World 1994 Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.
The OG Dilber actress shared how she had lost her passport a couple of days before she was supposed to leave for the Miss Universe pageant in the Philippines, "It was given to Anupama Verma, then a very famous model and she was also a coordinator for events. She had my passport for a show in Bangladesh. She needed it for some ID proofing. So I very confidently told Miss India that, 'Don't worry my passport is very safely with Anupama Verma.’ She couldn’t find it. So she did take responsibility for it and she said, 'I don’t know what I have done' but the timing of it was scary."
Furthermore, she said, "I wasn't helped by The Times of India at all." Confirming Rajeev's speculation, she revealed that the organisers actually suggested that she compete for Miss World and let Aishwarya go for Miss Universe instead. This made the Main Hoon Na actress very angry. Reason being, "When you win something, rightfully so, you're not requesting it." Damn right, Sush! She added, "It's easy to say 'Yeah, well, now we can’t find it. The passport is lost. Miss World is in November. You go later, we'll figure out your passport till then'."
Quick reminder - Sushmita defeated Aishwarya at the Miss India beauty pageant in 1994. Aishwarya was the first runner up so, according to pageant rules, it was Sush who was meant to go for Miss Universe and Aish for Miss World.
Sushmita put her foot down and the rest is glorious history. However, she maintains that she and Aishwarya have always been, and still are, very cordial with each other. Although they were pitted against one another during the 90s, there's no competition between the beauty queens.
Recently, Sushmita Sen celebrated 25 years of this life-changing achievement and shared some beautiful pictures on Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
Love all things colourful and cute? Take it up a POP with POPxo Shop's collection of super fun mugs, phone covers, cushions, laptop sleeves and more!