Sushmita Sen created history when she became the first Indian to win the Miss Universe pageant back in 1994. While Sushmita has always spoken about how supportive her family was, in a recent interview, she opened up about how her father did not speak to her when he learnt that she would be participating in Miss India. Even when she had to wear a swimsuit for one of the rounds in the pageant, her father was quite upset about it.
Talking to Mid-Day, Sushmita said that she was all of 18 when her life changed, and at that point, her father wanted her to be an IAS officer. “My father wanted me to be an IAS officer, so I was studying accordingly. When the bomb was dropped on my father that she is going to Miss India, my father didn’t speak to me for a bit,” she said.
Sushmita said that when she entered the world of pageants, her father was quite concerned as she had not even finished her graduation at that point. “I never went to a college and graduate, which was a big problem for my father because he always said, ‘Beta, do whatever, just have a degree’,” she recalled.
Recalling the time she had an “emotional moment” with her father, Sushmita shared that he wasn’t too happy about the fact that she would be wearing a swimsuit on stage. “I remember having this very emotional moment with my father when I promised him, I said ‘Baba, I have to wear a swimsuit, it is a part of the show. I cannot not wear it but I promise you I will add respect to it. It won’t be crass.’ He was not very happy with that, but when I won Miss India and I told my father that I will represent my country, that, for my father, being a defence person, he had balled his lungs out,” she recalled.
In 1994, the Miss Universe pageant was held in Manila, The Philippines, and while her mother and brother had traveled with her, her father was in India and watched the show on television. Sushmita Sen said that he watched the delayed broadcast with the rest of the country .
She was last seen in Aarya 3, which is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.