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Jayati Godhawat

IWB Blogger

It Was In Jaipur That Sushmita Sen Opened About The Unconventional Relationships In Her Life

  • IWB Post
  •  February 4, 2017


The first ever Indian woman to win the prestigious, Miss Universe pageant, and an acclaimed actress, Sushmita Sen exemplifies beauty, individualism, and courage in the truest of sense.

She may be a supermodel and an ace actress, but for me, she is a real life superhero. Her life’s journey is as unique as her voice and persona.

And, that’s what she talked about, today, in Jaipur, at the FICCI Flo’s event, “Be Unique.”

Never in my wildest of dreams have I ever imagined meeting Sushmita Sen. But, such is the life!

When she entered the room, it seemed like a shooting star shone up the black sky, and all wishes would now come true.

Each one of us in the room could feel the warmth in her smile as she opened the session with “toh aisa hai meri jaan…”

The entire room clapped and hooted, and she, too, joined in.

I have never seen a celebrity of her stature so genuinely engaged and involved with the audience.

Discussing her recent visit to Manila, the Philippines as a judge for the Miss Universe Pageant, the same place where she was crowned Miss Universe in 1994, she reminisced,

“Life indeed comes a full circle! Then I was 18, and I was crowned Miss Universe. Now, I am 41, and I went back, but this time, the crown wasn’t on my head. Now, I learned how to wear a crown in the real life.”

Sushmita confided how her mother who she fondly calls, ‘Bengal Tigress,’ has been her biggest teacher in life.

Recalling the time when she was thinking of pulling out from Miss India when she got to know that Aishwarya Rai would be participating, Sushmita said, “My mother was so angry at me. She pushed me and said that if you don’t give it a shot, you would never know whether you could’ve turned things around or not.”

Though Sushmita went for the pageant, she begged her mother to not come along as she thought her mother would feel bad when she’ll lose the crown to Aishwarya Rai.

“I won the crown, and my mom was waiting for me at the airport. She gave me the ‘see-I-told-you’ look and said, “I weren’t there to see you win Miss India because of you. So, now I want to see your face when you win Miss Universe.”

“That’s my Maa!” exclaimed Sushmita.


Many of you might know that her Miss India finale gown wasn’t from any top-notch designer label, but was stitched in a small shop in Meena Bazaar. But, did you know that the gloves that Sushmita wore with that gown were actually made by her mother from an old pair of socks?

I have learned that clothes, money, and even fame, doesn’t define people. It may take you to other people, but, doesn’t define you. It’s your core beliefs that do. “Can you wear anything and still shine in them?” is what makes you, she asserted.

When asked about her courageous step of adopting a girl child at the mere age of 24, especially, when she was at the peak of her career, Sushmita joked, “Hmmm…. That’s a pregnant question, pun intended.”

“I have always had a natural maternal instinct. I always used to think of the oddity of people’s mindset. We give so much importance to the blood relations but marry a total stranger who’s not related to us by blood. And, when it comes to our children suddenly it becomes, our genes, our features, and our blood,” she answered.

At 18 only, my search started. However, no one was ready to give me a child. People thought I was too young, single and on top of that a celebrity and wouldn’t have the time to take care of a child. It was a battle I won though it took me many years, and I had my Renee when I was 24.” 

On being questioned about the lessons she learned from her daughters, Sushmita laughed, “This is where I should write a book.”

“Don’t you miss the feeling of being a mother? I’m asking all the men in the room,” she humored.

Ahhh… I have learned patience and forgiveness, and love from them. They forgive so easily. Also, they taught me, not to carry any baggage which, btw, I used to do a lot. And, most importantly they have taught me the indescribable feeling of the word, Maa,” she said teary-eyed.

She quickly lightened up the atmosphere by saying, “Don’t ask me too much about my daughters. I have been away from them for a while now, and I have fake lashes on.”

Isn’t she too real to be true?

She also opened up on her “unconventional relationships” and cross-fired, “With men or women?” she laughed.

“Yes, I have had quite a few relationships. Being a single mother, one needs rock solid people in the life, and I have been fortunate to have such men and women as friends, and boyfriends who taught me so much in life and have been my support always.”

Even if some of them broke my heart, they showed me that I have a heart,” she smiled.

Ahhh! Isn’t that a thought to remember forever?

Sushmita also confirmed that she started learning English when she was 16. She revealed that she still cringe when she sees herself pronouncing “Appreciate as Aaapreciate” in the answer to the question asked during Miss Universe 1994 Q&A round, “what’s the essence of a woman?” which is still one of the best answers given by any contestant in any beauty pageant.

“I might not have great English, but I had great clarity, and that’s what is important in life. The language in which you converse doesn’t matter till the time you are doing it with love and all your heart.”

Kudos on that!

Further questioned about her opinion of Item numbers, she responded, “Oh I love them! Let me correct myself: I love doing them.”

When asked about the height difference between her co-stars and her, she giggled, “I think, all of them accommodate, in different ways. I think Govinda was a little more conscious and sometimes, used to stand on the alleviated pavements when shooting on the streets. Shahrukh was more chilled out. But, I’ll have to give the cake to Salman Khan. During a shoot, he observed that I’m not wearing heels and asked me the reason. I said that the director said no. He was like, ‘Don’t worry! You wear heels. Waise bhi, my IQ matches your IQ, that’s enough.’”

She also added, “I love being tall and I have always dated shorter men.”

The session was later opened for the audience, and one of the women asked, “You are fearless. But, there must be something you would be afraid of. What is that thing?”

“I am not fearless because I am unafraid of things. I am afraid of lots of things. It’s just that I have the patience to handle my fears,” she replied.

Indian Women Blog also got a chance to interact, and we inquired about her morning ritual which is the secret of her positive aura, and she said, Yoga, Yoga, and Yoga! Also, my morning starts with tickling my 7-year-old while my 17-year-old tells me, ‘Mumma, it’s time…”

“Part of how you start the day defines the day. So, wake up each day with the sense, Ahhh, I am alive today.”

Finally, when asked about her plans of returning to movies, she said, “I promise, I’ll not take a bow from the films unless I have given you all a film that you’ll be proud of.”

Before concluding the session, she had an important message for youth:

Be proud of your origin. Be proud of your identity. Don’t let others dictate your limits. Find your own limits. Find your own path. But, don’t let you be the price you pay for your success. You get only one life. Live it for yourself. Do things which make you happy.”

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