Young Sushmita dabbled in modelling before participating in the Miss India pageant in 1994. But she almost withdrew her application when she realised that Aishwarya Rai was also participating.
In the tie-breaker, when asked about the Indian textile industry, Sushmita answered, "It started off with Mahatma Gandhi's khadi, and it has gone a long way since then. But the basics still lie there."
This was enough for the judges and, in what was considered as a shock defeat, Aishwarya had to settle for the second place.
This image was posted on Instagram by Sushmita Sen