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'I was 18 when India won Miss Universe': Sushmita's throwback post

May 21, 2018 12:20 IST

On May 21, 1994, Sushmita Sen became the first Indian to win Miss Universe. 
Twenty four years, later, the actor model looks back at the day that changed her life.

'I was 18 yrs old when #India won #MissUniverse for the very first time on 21st May 1994,' Sushmita Sen wrote on her Instagram today.

'I am 42 now, still a 'Miss' with a 'Universe' inside of me!!!' Sen detailed.

'Nothing has changed except the year’s.'

'Thank you guys for the letters, cards & gifts ..but mostly for ‘Re-membering’ the #Universe is lovingly #abundant & so what we give out, we get more of!!! #positivity #happiness #kindness #love #empathy.

'I celebrate with you #India and #philippines (my second home) #24years #missuniverse1994 here’s looking at you!!! I love you guys!!!! Mmmuuuaah'

Here are some photographs to refresh your memory:

Sushmita Sen wins Miss Universe on May 21, 1994

IMAGE: Sushmita Sen, holds her crown in tears after winning the Miss Universe 1994 beauty pageant in Manila on May 21.
At 18, she was the first Indian to win it. 
Sush wore a traditional amrapali dress with heavy jewellery when she danced to 'Mabuhay' during the Parade of Nations round at the pageant.
While introducing herself she said “Namaste I am Sushmita Sen from a country where love is the essence of life, India."

Photograph: Romeo Ranoco/Reuters

Sushmita Sen wins Miss Universe on May 21, 1994

What's interesting about Sushmita's journey is she wasn't a model or aspired to become one.
In fact, she was spotted at a night club by Ranjan Bakshi, then a senior manager with the Times of IndiaGroup, Femina's former editor Sathya Saran told (Read all about that here).

Photograph: Erik De Castro/Reuters

Sushmita Sen wins Miss Universe on May 21, 1994

Suhmita, a non-model, whom Sathya Saran, calls a 'dark horse' competed with Aishwarya Rai (who won Miss World the same year), Jesse Randhawa, Komal Rampal (Arjun Rampal's sister) -- all professional models to make her mark on the international title. 
"No one had expected Sushmita to beat Aishwarya!" Saran told
She's seen here posing with first runner-up Carolina Gomez Correa (left) of Colombia and second runner-up Minorka Mercado (right) of Venezuela.

Photograph: Romeo Ranoco/Reuters
Rediff Get Ahead Bureau