Actor Sushmita Sen has turned 45 today on Thursday. To get the party started, we bring you one of the amusing stories from her Miss India days and the journey of how she became Miss Universe in 1994 with not just her beauty but with her Indian jugaad.
Sushmita was born in Hyderabad on November 19, 1975. Later, her family shifted to Delhi. She graduated from Delhi University. Her father is a former Indian Air Force Wing Commander and her mother is a jewellery designer. She has a brother, Rajeev, and a sister, Neelam.
Young Sushmita dabbled in modelling before participating in the Miss India pageant in 1994. But she almost withdrew her application when she realised that Aishwarya Rai was also participating.
In the tie-breaker, when asked about the Indian textile industry, Sushmita answered, "It started off with Mahatma Gandhi's khadi, and it has gone a long way since then. But the basics still lie there."
This was enough for the judges and, in what was considered as a shock defeat, Aishwarya had to settle for the second place.
According to reports, Sushmita on the eve of Miss Indian finale wore a gown that was made out of curtain cloth because the actress couldn't afford to buy an expensive gown and thus she got it stiched from a local tailor.
Not only her gown was made out of jugaad but her gloves too were made with some creativity as she used socks and styled it up with some lace that she bought from Sarojini Nagar market in New Delhi. Sushmita became Miss Universe in 1994 when she was just 18 years old.