The year 1994 is celebrated for so many reasons, one of them being that in this year, an 18-year-old Sushmita Sen created history by bringing home the Miss Universe crown for the first time. Months later, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (then Aishwarya Rai) bagged the Miss World title, adding to the glory. While Indian beauties have previously won the Miss India pageants, it was the first time that someone from India has won the Miss Universe crown, which made Sushmita’s victory more special to everyone. Let’s see how it all began.
Both Aishwarya and Sushmita were participants at the Miss India pageant held at Goa back in 1994. Everyone was sure that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will emerge as the winner, as she was media’s favorite and was a known name in fashion and modelling world as compared to Sushmita Sen. Most people had placed their bets on her to clinch the title. On the other hand, Sushmita was more of an underdog. However, it was Sushmita who beat Aishwarya and walked away with the Miss India crown.
So how did the underdog of 1994, Sushmita manage to achieve this win? Well, it all happened during the intelligence/personality round. Both Sushmita and Aishwarya were locked in a tie and with zero disrespect meant, it was the tie-breaker round that tilted the points chart in Sush’s favour.
During the tie breaker round, Aishwarya was asked the question “If you have to look for qualities in a husband, would you look for the qualities in Ridge Forrester from Bold & Beautiful or in Mason Capwell from Santa Barbara?”, to which her response was “Mason. They do have a lot in common, but from what we see, Mason has a very caring side to him, and a terrific sense of humour. And that really gels with my character.”
Sushmita, on the contrary, was asked “What do you know about the textile heritage of your country and how long has it been around?” Her answer: “I think it all started with Mahatma Gandhi’s Khadi. It has gone a long way since then but the basics of Indian textile heritage has been from there.” The results were that Sushmita beat out Aishwarya by a mere 0.2 percent! And the world is as is.
That was the answer that made Sushmita beat Aishwarya by a mere 0.2 percent. Even though the actor came in second to Sen in the Miss India contest, she went on to become Miss World later that year and is now known as one of the most beautiful women in the world. The best part, both the crowns came home that year!