Amidst the football mania of FIFA World Cup in USA 1994 came the news in India , those were no internet days that a tall 18 year- old Bengali by the name of Sushmita Sen had won the Miss Universe contest in Manila after having won the Femina Miss India title. An Indian girl winning the Miss Universe contest for the first time was a terrific achievement. It was her crowning glory and the rest as the saying goes is history.
Sushmita’s stunning win along with the success of the green eyed beauty Aishwarya Rai won the Miss World contest in the same year in 1994 set the stage for Indian girls sweeping beauty contests in the years to follow -Diana Hayden ( Miss World 1997) , Yukta Mookhey ( Miss World 1999), Lara Dutta ( Miss Universe 2000) and Priyanka Chopra ( Miss World 2000).
Blessed with stunning good looks and svelte figure Bollywood debut was a foregone conclusion. And the debut did happen in 1996 when she appeared on the big screen in film Dastak. It did not create much ripples in the Box office except for introducing her. It was after three years in 1999 in Biwi No 1 when got a chance to act opposite superstar Salman Khan that she got noticed and made the audience dance to the foot tapping song Ishq Chaandi hai, Ishq Sona hai. Being tall gave her an impressive screen presence and in sexy western outfits she looked hot and sensuous. Her role in film and the applause won her the Filmfare best supporting actress award. A lull in her film career followed with series of films not faring well. A sizzling cameo song appearance in Fiza the popular Mehboob Mere somewhat kept her in the reckoning.
But in 2004 her career got a much needed lease of life with Farah Khan’s directorial venture Main Hoon Na opposite the superstar King Khan Shah Rukh Khan. The Film was Blockbuster at the Box office and it till now remains Sushmita Sen’s biggest hit. Playing a role of a chemistry teacher Sushmita does full justice to her character. And the leggy lady with her had the nation swooning with her sensuous hot and sexy dance moves in the chartbusting song Tumhe jo maine Dekha with SRK. The chemistry of the duo was crackling and no wonder it did wonders at the Box – office.
The Main Hoon Na success was soon followed next year by a film opposite Salman Khan Maine Pyar kyun Kiya in 2005. Thereafter Sushmita’s films did not create ripples and slew of releases there after hardly did anything to keep in the race and faded into oblivion.
As her career in Bollywood did not make the waves , Sushmita Sen decided to dazzle the ramp. And she has carved out a niche for herself while doing the catwalk and is a head turner. And her image of an enduring diva comes to the fore.
The gorgeous Sushmita’s love life which is under constant media glare due to her various liaisons. But the lady remains unfazed by the gossip and exudes great confidence and has the guts to lead life on her own terms. It takes guts to adopt at a young age and be a proud single mother with such aplomb as Sushmita Sen. Today she is a proud mother of two lovely daughters – Reene and Alisah.
I had the opportunity to watch her interact up-close when she was the brand ambassador for the watch giants Tag Heuer. And the impact is worth remembering. A head turner largely due to her height and the sexy figure. She was warm, nice, friendly and extremely articulate and yes quite candid in her views on various issues. Her openness impressed all. She was perfect beauty with brains. And I clearly believe that she has an aura about her that makes her unforgettable. She is a Sen but is truly Sensational.
As she turns 41, Sushmita Sen remains forever an icon. And her Bollywood dreams could still happen. She does not need to lose hope. And for that Sushmita can surely look at how her long time rival and now friend, another beauty queen the stunning Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has just staged a fine comeback in Bollywood in a never seen before sexy glamorous avatar at 43 in Karan Johar’s Ae dil Hai Mushkil. Who knows Ash’s comeback might just spur Sushmita to scorch the screens all over again?