New Delhi:  Gregarious dazzling diva of Bollywood, Sushmita Sen turns 36 on Saturday. She has been always famous for her unconventional activities which stand her out from the league.  She went out to conquer the Universe at an age when other girls remain busy in dreaming about ‘Mills and Boons’.

Nobody in their 18 even think about downtrodden children’s or essence of women, but Sushmita is the only one who thought about such kind of serious issues.  At the age of 18 she stunned the world by winning the Miss Universe pageant.  India was euphoric that time.  Being most beautiful woman in the universe, she doesn’t want to be tagged as an ice maiden.  She is a true example of beauty with brain.

Rising of star

On May 21, 1994, an Indian girl for the first time ever was crowned as a Miss Universe in Manila, Philippines. Sushmita had put India on an International beauty map overnight.

The elegant lady made a powerful impact in the first round itself by introducing herself as "Namaste, I am Sushmita Sen from India, where love is the essence of life."

When asked to explain what she meant by that, she spontaneously replied that India was multi-racial, huge country with 168 languages. That people here live in a state of relative harmony, is an indication that this is a nation of love.

In the final round of the pageant, the question put to her was, "What is the essence of a woman?" She replied, "Just being a woman is God's gift". Then came the clincher, “The origin of a child is a mother, a woman. She shows a man what sharing, caring, and loving is all about. That is the essence of a woman."

The youngest among the 77 contestants, she was the chosen one to be an ambassador of peace and goodwill, and an angel of mercy to underprivileged children. She charmed a million viewers but her ebullience and zest for life won her even more fans as she toured the world as Miss Universe 1994.

Sushmita Sen planned a career in journalism but landed in cinema.

After winning the pageant, as expected, she was flooded with offers as soon as she returned to India. And soon enough, she finally entered Bollywood in 1996 with the film Dastak.

After Dastak, she acted opposite Sunny Deol in the action flick Zor. Both the movies flopped miserably.

Though, her movies get flopped most of the time but her selections of movies are very unique. In 2002, Sushmita acted opposite singer Palash Sen (Euphoria) in the film Filhaal which dealt with the issue of surrogacy - a first in Indian cinema. The movie was directed by Meghna Gulzar.  This serious issue based film fetched Sush Zee Cine Best Supporting Actress Award in 2002.

Sush did her first item number in the movie Fiza. The song Mehboob Mere became a huge hit and made Sushmita the new item girl in Bollywood.

Sush dared to play a prostitute in the 2006 flick Chingaari. This was yet another example of the variety of roles she has tried out in her decade long career.

Sushmita also tried and tested her magic on the small screen as a judge of the dance reality show Ek Khiladi, Ek Haseena. The other hottie on the panel was former cricketer Wasim Akram.

Universal affairs

Sushmita is a woman of substance. But she is very famous about her steamy affairs in B-town. Sushmita Sen is one of those celebrities who never backed out doing things she loved. This leggy lass has always been open to media about her relationships. She had the best of all. Bollywood biggies, business men, young non entities, married men etc.  The list is long! Sushmita has always been in the news, not for her movies, but for the men in her life.

Her first relationship that came to limelight was with her first director Vikram Bhatt. After her break off with Vikram Bhatt, Sushmita fell in love with a hotelier Sanjay Narang. Both Sushmita and Sanjay used to make public appearances like a couple and looked very much in love, but their relationship didn't last long.

Just after her break up with Sanjay Narang, Sush started seeing Sabeer Bhatia, the head of Hotmail.com. Apparently, Sabeer Bhatia even gave her a diamond ring, but Sush preferred to maintain the "just friends" tag for Sabeer Bhatia.

After Sabeer Bhatia, Sush fell for a newcomer Randeep Hooda. Both were seen at parties and also spotted shopping together. But like her other past relations her affair with Randeep didn't last long and both mutually called off their relationship. Apart from this, her steamy affairs with Anil Ambani, Bunty.

Not considered as a leading star, but this classic beauty with her unconventional lifestyle she ended up in many relationships but she does not marry with anyone.

Lady with good deeds

Sushmita is well known for motherly affection; she was all of 24 when she decided to adopt a baby girl. Since she was single, she had to fight a court battle before she could finally adopt the baby. Sush named her daughter Renee which is French name meaning reborn and being the proud mom, she hates it when people call Renee her adopted daughter. The Bollywood diva recently adopted her second child a six month old baby, she named her Alisah.

Besides this, she is a gem of heart. She is supporting P&G’s project Shiksha, which collected Rs 2.27 crore through a consumer participation program. Thus she is spreading awareness about providing quality education to underprivileged children.

In 2004, the Swiss sports-luxury watch brand Tag Heuer signed up Sushmita Sen as its brand ambassador in India. Sushmita was Tag Heuer's first Indian woman brand ambassador.

Sushmita Sen, who was the winner of Miss Universe 1994, is a big celebrity in India both as a supermodel as well as a good actress. Besides acting, the Bengali beauty is now heavily involved with various business ventures. She bought the India franchisee of Miss Universe 2010. Last year, the franchisee was Times of India group.

Sushmita Sen had earlier launched “I Am She” contest through which she is going to select India’s representative to Miss Universe 2010 beauty pageant. The contest is organized by Tantra Entertainment, a company owned by Sushmita Sen. Miss Universe Organization assigned Tantra Entertainment to organize the competition and select the participant who will represent India in 2010 Miss Universe beauty pageant.

Albeit, she is not famous for her acting skills in tinsel town, this classic beauty with mesmerising smile is the woman of substance. She is most famous for her unconventional lifestyle and good deeds. She is a lady with golden heart. Wishing this dazzling diva of Bollywood a very happy birthday form Jagran Post.

Farhat Jabeen