Sushmita Sen is one of the few women from India who have made the country proud with their big beauty pageant win. After being crowned Miss India, Sushmita also became the first Indian woman to wear the Miss Universe crown in 1994. Today, we bring you an old video from the pageant, where Sushmita wore a beautiful outfit and proudly introduced her country to the world. (Also read: Sushmita Sen told Aishwarya Rai how she withdrew her Miss India form because of her: ‘Bahut khoobsurat hai bhai’)
In the video, Sushmita is seen in a golden dress that included a cut sleeve blouse and a golden dupatta that she wore over her head. She also wore heavy jewellery and a large bindi. Sushmita also wore the sash that read ‘India’.
As she approached the mic, she said, “Namaste I’m Sushmita Sen from a country where love is the essence of life, India!” Later, Sushmita was crowned Miss Universe as she gave the iconic ‘shocked’ reaction.
Last year, celebrating 27 years of her win, Sushmita had written in an Instagram note, “Have you ever stared at the impossible & thanked God for giving you the opportunity to make it possible? I have!!! To my Motherland INDIA…Happpyyyyy 27th Anniversary of India’s first-ever victory at #MissUniverse in Manila #philippines That early morning on 21st May 1994, not only changed an 18 yr olds life forever…it made History!!”
In 2019, Sushmita also revealed the story behind how she almost lost the opportunity to represent India at the pageant. Speaking to journalist Rajeev Masand, Sushmita had said that she lost her passport right before she was supposed to leave. Organisers of Miss India suggested that the Miss India pageant’s runner-up, actor Aishwarya Rai be sent in her place instead to the Miss Universe pageant. Meanwhile, Sushmita could go for the Miss World pageant, which made her very angry.
Sushmita then talked to her father about it and said she would go for no other pageant than Miss Universe. “I only cried in front of my father and I said, ‘Baba, I’m not going for anything else. I rightfully deserve to go for this. If I can’t go, nobody else will go for it’,” she said. Her father got help from late union minister Rajesh Pilot who helped her out with the documents.
Of course, Aishwarya also won the Miss World pageant where she represented India.