Namrata Shirodkar birthday: Looking back at her journey from Miss India to films

The year 1993 changed former actor-model Namrata Shirodkar’s life. It was the year she was crowned Miss India, represented the country in Miss Universe and Miss Asia Pacific, and placed sixth and chosen first runner-up, respectively. And unlike most of her counterparts, Namrata was in no rush to make it big in films. Looking back at memorable moments of her journey from pageantry to films. (Also Read: Guntur Kaaram: Namrata Shirodkar says ‘let’s rock it MB’)

Snapshots of Namrata Shirodkar in her beauty pageant journey

Making a splash

Namrata made such a splash during her swimsuit round in Miss India that India Today wrote back then, “When it comes to the catwalk, it’s like a cakewalk for the Shirodkar sisters. Sister Shilpa’s been making waves so far. Now, petite Namrata Shirodkar has made a splash with her swimsuit by winning the Femina Miss India crown. For Namrata, it was all in the gene pool: her grandmother, Meenakshi, was the first actress to wear a swimsuit in Indian cinema. Next stop? The movies? That will be a real sister act.”

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Her simple answers

In her third round of Miss India, Namrata told the judges she’d make friends with Count Dracula if she found him in her bed, but first, she’d be “really frightened.” Her answer seemingly impressed the judges and even former beauty queen Sangeeta Bijlani stated that Namrata was a ‘hot favourite.’ The answer that however seemed to win her the crown was based on the chicken-egg conundrum. When asked which came first, she replied, “The chicken, if there was no chicken, there would be no egg.”

The crowning glory

Pooja Batra was the runner-up for Miss India in 1993 while Namrata was crowned the winner. Dressed in a silver ballgown and rocking short hair, the actor looked like a dream on stage. Talking about the moment in an interview, she said, “My most precious memory is being crowned Miss India, I worked hard for it. Then going for Miss Universe in Mexico and meeting so many people, experiencing different cultures and varied traditions, I made so many friends, it’s something I’ll cherish all my life.”

At Miss Universe

Once she won Miss India, she represented the country at Miss Universe. When asked if she considers herself traditional or modern, she said, “I consider myself both because we follow traditions in our family, plus I am a modern woman because I believe in my instincts.” She also added that she loved travelling to Switzerland and America and loved the beautiful architecture in these places. She placed sixth in the pageant.

From modelling to films

While her sister Shilpa was quite well-known in the entertainment industry, Namrata said she waited to act in films because she was “very busy.” “I was so busy with modelling, I never got the chance to think if I even wanted to act,” she said, adding, “I was not sure after Miss India because films require a lot of commitment. I took my time to debut in films. And despite what people think, it’s a misconception that models can’t act.”

She debuted on-screen only in 1998 with a special appearance in Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai. She quit films after marrying Mahesh Babu in 2005.

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