Was Sushmita Sen asked to go for Miss World instead of Aishwarya Rai right before she was heading for Miss Universe?

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Sushmita Sen went on to become the first Indian to be crowned at the Miss Universe in the year 1994. The actor beat Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and became the winner of Miss India while the latter was the runner-up, who became Miss World 1994. But did you know, at one point of time, Sushmita was asked to go for Miss World instead? Yes, it all happened due to the passport of the Main Hoon Na actor getting misplaced right before she was about to leave for Miss Universe competition.

Recalling the incident, Rajeev Masand in an interview asked Sushmita, “Apparently a couple of days before you were meant to leave for Miss Universe, you lost your passport”. To which she replied, “Correction, I’m glad you asked. No, I didn’t lose it, it was given to Anupama Verma, then a very famous model and was also a coordinator for events. She had my passport for a show in Bangladesh and she needed it for some ID proofing.

So I very confidently told Miss India at that time, ‘Don’t worry, my passport is safe with Anupama Verma.’ She couldn’t find it, she did take responsibility for it and said ‘I don’t know what I’ve done’, but the timing of it was scary because I had to then go crying to my dad. I said I don’t know what to do and my family wasn’t from one of those well-connected networking people.”

Rajeev went on to ask, “I heard that they actually told you, ‘You go for Miss World and Aishwarya go for Miss Universe’.” Sushmita stated, “I was very angry because you win something and rightfully so, you’re not requesting it. So now we have to come together and ensure that it gets done. It’s easy to say now we can’t find it, the passport is lost and Miss World is in November, so you go later, we will figure out your passport till then.”

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