Sushmita Sen
Sushmita SenVarinder Chawla

Former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen, who made India proud in 1994, turns 39 on Wednesday and still continues to charm with her personality.

Sen garnered massive appreciation when she adopted two beautiful girls, Renee and Alisah, and is raising them as a single mother.

Here are a few lesser known facts about the ultimate icon of India.

Sen is the first Indian woman to win Miss Universe crown in 1994. The diva proved during the final round of Miss Universe beauty pageant that it is not about what she wears, but about the confidence she exudes. The gown she wore in the final round was not any expensive designer outfit, but was made by Sen's mother and a not-so-popular Meena Bazar tailor.

She made a mark when she decided to be a single mother at the age of 25. Due to her young age, Sen was not given the permission to take the guardianship of her first adopted child. However, later the High Court repressed the appeal and the result went to her favour.

Though, the actress made her debut in 1996, she won an award in 2000 for romantic-comedy film "Biwi No. 1", which also starred Salman Khan and Karisma Kapoor. David Dhawan's directorial got her a Filmfare, IIFA and Star Screen Awards in the category of Best Supporting Actress.

Very few people know that Sen loves to write poems. It might be because her maternal grandfather was a poet.

Farah Khan directorial "Main Hoon Naa" was the first film, in which Sen wore a saree on-screen. 

Also, the character of Chandni in the film was bagged by the diva, while she was working with the same director in the song 'Mehboob Mere' from "Fiza". Apparently Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was the first choice for the role of Chandni, but due to tiffs with the film's actor Shah Rukh Khan, Sen was roped in instead.

The glamorous lady of India used to be a tomboy in school and learnt English only when she turned 16. Initially, she was reportedly studying in Hindi Medium schools but mastered English in just a matter of few years.