Sushmita Sen winning the Miss India pageant in 1994 took many by surprise as Aishwarya Rai, an established model at the time of her participation, was hot favourite to win the crown. In a throwback video that has resurfaced, Sushmita said that she ‘most definitely’ deserved to win.
On Koffee With Karan, Sushmita was asked if, looking back, she objectively felt that her win was well-deserved. “Oh, most definitely. Without a thought there,” she said.
Karan Johar then asked Sushmita why she felt she deserved to win, in comparison with Aishwarya, who was adjudged the first runner-up. “ I don’t compare myself to Aishwarya’s performance, I think she was fabulous on stage. I do believe in two things. One is, that night, I was my best and that is why I deserved to win. Not because I was better than someone else. It was only because I was my best,” Sushmita said.
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“The other is that I was sort of luckier than everyone else that night. My shooting star went right over my head. I think that is important at times. When you are competing for anything, it is not just your hard work, because there are 20-30 girls who put in equal or more amounts of hard work. It is also that dash of luck, which I think I had that night,” she added.
Sushmita and Aishwarya went on to represent India at the Miss Universe and Miss World pageants respectively, and went on to win. They also built successful careers in Bollywood and have acted in a number of hits. Sushmita recently made her acting comeback with the Disney+ Hotstar series Aarya, while Aishwarya will soon resume shooting for Mani Ratnam’s period epic Ponniyin Selvan.
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