Sushmita proved a natural as she forayed into fashion modelling. But she almost withdrew her application for the Miss India 1994 pageant when she realised that top model 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 its gone a long way since then. But the basics still lies in there."
This was enough for the judges and, in what was considered a shock defeat, Aishwarya had to settle for second place.