Cassian Baliarsingh

Miss World Aishwarya Rai, the crush of the 90s, turns a year older today. The evergreen diva who has been ruling the hearts of millions celebrates her birthday today.

As she turns 49 on Tuesday, let’s take a look at her glorious journey from a beauty pageant winner to the bahu of the Bachchans.

Born in 1973 in Mangalore, Karnataka, Aishwarya Rai started her modelling career in her college days. She gained huge success in modelling and also appeared in commercials and TV ads. The diva enjoyed huge popularity even before foraying into movies.

In 1994, she competed against Sushmita Sen for Miss Universe title. While Sushmita took home the crown, Aishwarya became the first runner-up. The ‘Mohabattein’ actress then went on to represent India at Miss World 1994 and fetched the bejeweled crown.

She was known for her beautiful eyes since the beginning. The title 'blue-eyed girl' became Aishwarya’s identity after becoming Miss World in 1994. Her eyes speak volumes even today.

After ruling the beauty pageant world, she made her acting debut in 1997 and continued to be one of the most successful celebrities in India.

She made her acting debut with filmmaker Mani Ratnam in his 1997 Tamil film Iruvar and also worked with Bobby Deol in Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya.

She then went on to work in several blockbuster movies like Devdas, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Mohabbatein, Dhoom 2, Jodhaa Akbar, Enthiran, Ae Dil Hai Mushkhil and Josh.

However, before achieving stardom, the Miss World had her fair share of struggles. Recalling her struggling days, she once shared how she took trains and buses to college while studying in Mumbai.

“I have done the bus and the train journeys and everything as a college kid. I know exactly what it gets like at Dadar station, I know what it is like in buses and I know how the rainy season is just not the easiest at all on public transport,” she told Rajeev Masand during an interaction.

After appearing in many hit movies, Aishwarya took break for her daughter Aaradhya. She recently marked her comeback and reunited with Mani Ratnam in his magnum opus Ponniyin Selvan: I.