"Dad was sailing constantly. So mostly, it was mum, brother and me. Even as a child, I was a dreamer. I conjured up my own dreams and created a world of my own. At the same time, I was this sensible kid. In the family, I always spent more time with my aunts and uncles than with my cousins. It was a comfortable atmosphere. My parents have always encouraged open communication. Between the four of us - mom, dad, my brother and I - we were and are a very closely-knit family. We discussed everything from relationships to friends and family matters together. Even in school, lots of kids would discuss their problems with me. I was a rather talkative child. I thought I was always ahead of my time. I got into these little conversations with people and I was convinced that I was putting my point across, even if they were perceived as arguments."

"I loved to watch Chhayageet. As a child, I was exposed to various kinds of music at home. My brother, who is 3 years older than me put on whatever he liked. There were no CDs at that time. So, he'd buy some tapes and record some pop music, mainly. My mother used to listen to old Hindi songs. Later on, I also learnt Hindustani Classical and Carnatic music. I loved music and dance. I was trained in Bharatanatyam, as well. I was inclined towards the fine arts right from the beginning. We watched films as kids, but not excessively. It wasn't part of our normal routine. There was television and the Sunday movies, which were the big events over the weekend. I was enthralled by the magic of cinema even then. Videos were new and it was a big thing to watch the latest movies on them, whenever we could. Films weren't a taboo. They just weren't allowed to be the centrepoint of our lives, just like we weren't allowed to go crazy over chocolates or going to game parks."

"I was born in the south Indian state of Karnataka in Mangalore on 1st Nov 1973. I come from a conservative middle class family from Bangalore. I was younger of the two children, my brother being three years older. When I was about four years old my family moved back to Bombay. My father worked as a merchant navy officer. I did my schooling at Arya Vidya Mandir, Santacruz. Academically, I did very well and earned myself a position as the head girl of my school. I chose the science stream while at DG Ruparel College, my favourite subject being Zoology. I made my parents proud by securing 90% in Physics, Chemistry, Biology. I wanted to study medicine, but circumstances didn't let me. Instead I chose architecture and passed the interview at Raheja College with flying colors. By this time, I had started getting modelling assignments. I, then decided to take a break from architecture and concentrate on modelling. From that point on, there was no looking back. “Aishwarya” became a household name with the Pepsi ad campaign. I was crowned Miss Femina World and went on to win the Miss World title at Sun City in 1994. I am an indispensable part of Bollywood and was working with a number of prestigious banners, the Chopras, and Venus among them."

"I first modelled for Camlin industries when I was in 9th grade. I had never thought of taking up modeling seriously. It just happened. During my college days, a professor (who was also a photographer) requested me to do a shoot for him. Since then I got noticed in the Ad world and this green-blue eyed beauty did ads for many firms. The ones which brought me into the limelight were the Garden sari and the Pepsi Ad campaigns."

"I modelled for very distinctive campaigns like Garden Varelli, Lakme and Pepsi. I entered the Miss India contest in 1994, with all odds in favor of me but lost to Sushmita Sen. I proved that nothing could keep me down. My answers and hard work in this pageant won me the Miss World crown and title. In the same year, I also won the 'Most Photogenic face' in the Miss World Pageant. I have cut down my modelling assignments owing my film career. I have swept all major movie awards for the year of 2000 for my performances in films like Taal and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam."

- Aishwarya Rai

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