A born winner. There's no other phrase to describe Aishwarya Rai.
A bright student throughout in her academic career, Aishwarya's talent as a model was first discovered by a college professor-cum-photographer.
The shoot was widely noticed in the advertising world. As fate would have it, the dainty beauty became hot property. Her immensely successful modelling stint led to her entering the Femina Miss India beauty pageant.
Ash was billed a sureshot winner. Not very surprising. But, surprisingly, she lost by a miniscule margin to dark horse Sushmita Sen. She had to settle for second place.
Undeterred, and more determined than ever, Aishwarya set her sights on the Miss World crown. Her efforts paid off and she was crowned Miss World 1994.
That wasn't enough. And then the plunge into films happened. (She had been flooded with film offers much before she won the coveted crown, but the green-eyed lass had decided she wasn't ready for tinseltown then.)
She made a relatively humble debut in Mani Ratnam's Iruvar, followed by the clichéd Hindi film heroine act in films like AAur Pyaar Ho Gaya..., Jeans and Aa Ab Laut Chalen.
Pleasing the ever-so sceptical critics was quite a task. They dismissed her as just another pretty prop with no acting mettle.
But there is no word like impossible in a Scorpion woman's dictionary. Aishwarya worked hard on her performances and diction for Subhash Ghai's Taal and Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.
She proved her point. The two films not only became big draws at the BO, the critics too acknowledged her performance.
Whether it was HDDCS's Nandini , Taal's Mansi, Josh's Shirley, Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai's Preeti or Mohabbatein's Megha, Aishwarya displayed a different facet to her individuality every time.
Her reputation and profession as an actress has been flawless like her beauty -- although stories of her alleged affair with actor Salman Khan have been too strong to ignore.
An academic topper. Supermodel. Beauty queen. Numero uno actress. Aishwarya Rai refuses to be ignored...
Get a touch of Ash
Design: Rupali Nimkar
Text: Sukanya Verma
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