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Sushmita Sen meets her four young Filipino namesakes in Manila


The former beauty queen was surprised by the presence of four young women named after her on a Filipino talk show.

Sonal Pandya

As a confident and poised teenager at 18 in 1994, Sushmita Sen shocked herself and the world by winning first the Miss India title (opposite the favoured model, Aishwarya Rai) and later the Miss Universe Pageant. She became the first Indian woman to win the title and since then her popularity has grown ten-fold as she ventured into acting and launched her own beauty contest called I AM She.

This year, Sen returned to the world stage for Miss Universe after 23 years to the same city, Manila Philippines, where she won her title. Appearing for an interview with Jessica Soho for her weekly show, Kapuso Mo, Sen also revealed that she almost backed out of the Miss India competition when she heard Aishwarya Rai would also be competing. On her mother’s backing and advice, she entered and won. She told Soho, “You have to give life a shot. I’m living proof of that.”

At the end of the interview there was a wonderful, inspiring surprise waiting for her, one that almost brought her to tears. Soho introduced four young women in their 20s, all named after Sushmita after her famous win in Manila. Initially shocked, Sen greeted the young women warmly and explained the meaning of her name to them and Soho. FYI, it means ‘beautiful smile’. Sen thanked the young women and their parents and like a seasoned beauty queen sent her love and regards to them.

Watch the video below