Femina Miss India 1994 gave many memorable beauties to India. The winner, Sushmita Sen became the first Miss Universe from India. The second-placer, Aishwarya Rai became the second Miss World from India and achieved international stardom. Top 5 finalist Swetha Menon was a semi-finalist in Miss Asia-Pacific and later became a known face in Indian cinema. Manini De, Top 10 finalist, is a popular TV actress. Apart from these, there is one more beauty who achieved recognition in her own unique way after the pageant. Her name is Barkha Madan. She was crowned 3rd Runner Up at the Miss Tourism International pageant, held in Malaysia in 1994.
After Miss India, she worked as model and then starred in “Khiladiyon ke khiladi” with Rekha and Akshay Kumar in the year 1996. She also acted in Indo-dutch production “Driving Miss Palmen”, Ram Gopal Varma’s “Bhoot” (played the ghost), “Soch Lo” and “Surkhaab” (Indo-Canadian release). She has also acted in about 20 TV shows. She was a co-producer in her last film. She enjoyed this glamorous career, but still yearned for many answers about life which she could not find in the glitz and the glitter of stardom. She had been to a monastery during her schooldays and enjoyed the experience again in 2002. Then itself she considered becoming a nun but she later dropped the idea. After a decade, she again decided to embrace Buddhism and became a nun. Her motivation was not running away from something, she did it for right reasons. After getting approval from parents, she went ahead and did it. Now she is 41, lives on a set of two robes, woollen clothes and flip-flops. She owns a cell and laptop too. She is perhaps the first Indian Nun from the non-Himalayan region and calls herself Gyalten Samsen.
Often we try to figure out how things should be for other people, assuming that everyone wants just same things. But that is not the case. Everyone has different intentions, choices and can have different paths. Perhaps from our individual perspectives, we cannot get complete or even fairly partial idea about what many others want in their lives. Live and let live. 🙂