And dressed in a gown tailored by the colony darzi from forgotten silk pieces, she wowed the country with her razor-sharp intellect, made off with the crown and became one of the world’s biggest style icons.
Before Sushmita, beauty pageants were merely a step above neighbourhood DIY contests. We did not even know enough to call for products from international lands – there was no internet and a handful of locally produced magazines and one single government-controlled television channel were our only sources of information about the rest of the world.
International makeup brands, couture clothes, designer fragrances, boutique skincare potions… Rather, they were totally non-existent from our vocabulary. Sushmita Sen’s Miss Universe crown changed all that.
According to a report in a leading daily, the actress came to the party with a date, and everyone was shocked to see her with a half her age guy.
Now, it is very much possible that he is just a friend, like a date for the evening but surely the level of interest in Ms Sen’s love life never fades away.
I heard stories of the heartwarming way in which she explained the adoption process to Renee (who once told me I was “boring because I was born from the stomach, rather than my mother’s heart”).
I quickly learnt never to use the words “your own child” unless I wanted my head bitten off by this follower of Goddess Durga.The world was opening up in the wake of Sushmita’s shimmering, sparkling adventures. Chitra went to Iowa for studies; I travelled half-way across India, studying first journalism and then law in Pune, living the software culture in Bangalore, working with a law firm in Mumbai and then giving it up for my first love – a career in lifestyle journalism. blame it on the lack of email, Skype and affordable ISD rates. , Sushmita finally captured not just my attention but also my heart. By then I had become cynical about celebrities, mentally editing out their cliched statements, evasive answers and holier-than-thou attitude over a course of 100 Bollywood interviews. She was not one to mince words whether on or off the record.Mired in a multitude of controversies – the Anil Ambani ring saga, the much-publicised rivalry with Aishwarya Rai, the numerous affairs, the single motherhood at the age of 24… She said what she felt, did what she wanted, lived how she liked – and the world could be damned.I learnt how to dream bigger and how to achieve those dreams without losing yourself or your family in the process.Over the next couple of years, Sushmita and my paths continued to intersect – whether in person on photo shoots and interviews, or through bizarre coincidences like when she was dating my schoolmate Randeep Hooda. I fell in love with her house: Earthy and warm, with dark wooden floorings, bright rustic colours, vibrant paintings, plush sofas, beds that you could sink into, slanted sun roofs with electrically operated shutters, spa-like terraces…This is not the first time Sushmita has been linked to a guy who is much younger than her.