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Womb of the universe

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Written by   123
3 months ago

How can people not adore Sushmita Sen?

For some unexplainable reason, I was captivated by the Indian lass when she won the Miss Universe title in 1994. The pageant was held in Manila and it was the first time her country held the crown.

She was a very young 18, but quite wise for her age. I think that's what draws you in - her wisdom - beyond the physical beauty. Oh she was stunning no doubt, but it's true what they say: true beauty comes from within.

Her winning answer to the question "what is the essence of being a woman" remains one of the most profound and heartfelt ever given on a beauty pageant.

"Just being a woman is God's gift that all of us must appreciate. The origin of a child is a mother, and is a woman... She shows a man what sharing, caring and loving is all about. That is the essence of a woman."

I remember watching her, and recall seeing her think while she answered. It's most fascinating to watch someone's eyes while they think, because very few are capable of doing it.

To this day, I can still see her doing that when being interviewed so you know everything that comes out of her mouth is carefully thought of and purposeful.

Photo: wikimedia commons

Genuine... and wise

No longer 18 but a very successful and self-possessed woman, Sushmita Sen is as heartwarming and authentic as when she first made a splash as a beauty queen. She has since crossed over to films and established herself as an actress, and became a businesswoman as well.

But the class, elegance, intelligence and poise remain, even when she laughs or giggles in the middle of a conversation.

I read comments on videos of her interviews and I totally agree with most who say they can listen to Sushmita talk even for hours. Simply because she always makes sense, and is often astute with her answers.

Of course it helps that her beauty is arresting, even in her late 40s, and her voice, deep yet silky, is mesmerizing.

Yet, most of what she says are words of the sage and you cannot help but be in awe. Then there is her calm demeanor even when relating something so devastating, like her health crisis, which is truly admirable.

Raise more nurturers

Winning the beauty title gave her a platform to introduce herself to the world as a woman of substance, a woman to be admired and emulated.

But her winning answer was more than just a beauty pageant line, it became a seed that she nurtured in her heart.

Her deepest desire was to become a mother. Not necessarily a wife or have a partner to be one. She knew she was born and built to be a nurturer, as opposed to a provider, which is the primary role of men.

Sushmita, speaking to Indian film critic Rajeev Masand, said:

"Being a mother is a calling that should not be confused with having a baby. Biologically, the one thing we should be craving for, naturally, is to be a mother."

And to fill that void since there was still no husband in sight at 24, Sushmita decided to adopt. Not just any baby, but a girl child.

In India where girls are marginalized, many female infants end up being abandoned.

A visit to Mother Teresa's Sisters of Charity shortly after being crowned Miss Universe imprinted in her mind and heart the sight of 50 or so cribs filled only with female babies who, as Mother Teresa described, were blessed not to have been left in dustbins.

Photo: Sushmita Sen/Instagram

Mother Teresa also impressed upon the young Sushmita that she should not aspire to change the world. "The world will change on its own," she was told. Instead:

"You can change one life, one thought, one opinion."

When that time came for her to decide about adoption, it was clear that she would bring home a girl child.

Why a girl?

"Because a woman has the womb of the universe."

Caring for and raising a daughter, Sushmita said, will help sustain the nurturers of this world. "She (the child) will change the life beyond."

And the young mother-to-be would be doing her part to ensure there is a balance between providers and nurturers.

Fighting for a dream

It was an arduous process that required 26 documents and more affidavits to impress upon the court how serious her intent was to take in and raise a child. What made it doubly difficult was her being a young, unmarried woman.

India disallowed 24-year-old single women from adopting children.

But her heart was set on it, and nothing was going to stop her from fulfilling this dream.

"When you're moving towards your destiny, God prepares you. And when you decide to do something, the universe conspires with you."

Sushmita underscored the importance of a strong support system - in her case it was her family - when undertaking such endeavor.

When the court finally granted her the right to adopt in 2000, it was a nine-month old baby girl whom she named Renee, who would fulfill her dream of nurturing a child from the heart.

According to Sushmita, that decision paved the way for the adoption of more babies at that time, an increase of 45 percent.

She would adopt another baby girl, Alisah, in 2010. And since she had more than proven herself capable of supporting and raising a child in a loving home, she had little problem with her second petition.

I did it for me

Whenever people commend her decision to take in two girls and become a single mother, she makes it clear she did not do it out of charity. It was to ground herself amid all the success she was enjoying.

"The wisest decision I made at the age of 24 was to become a mother. It stabilized my life. People think it was a great act of charity and wonderful action but it was self-preservation. It was me protecting myself."

When you listen to Sushmita speak, you don't see a beauty queen or an actress or even a career woman. You see in her the embodiment of humanity.

She knows of the gift and privilege given her to inspire and move people and she does not take this responsibility lightly.

Grace, humility, honesty, sincerity, and wisdom. It is rare combination in one human being. Thankfully, there is Sushmita Sen.

Lead image: Unsplash

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Written by   123
3 months ago
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It's like just yesterday when she won the title. I lost touch with her development after that. Thanks for bringing us up to speed.

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3 months ago

Oh my!!! A delicious read! Thanks again for this!

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3 months ago