New Delhi: She won the Miss India crown in 2002, but after marriage (with Angad Bedi) and bearing a child (Mehr), Neha Dhupia feels she owns three crowns.
Just about a month away from her first wedding anniversary, the actress who has been reinventing her career by taking baby steps into content production, spoke candidly about how life has changed.
On the sidelines of judging the west zone participants for the fbb Colors Femina Miss India 2019 in Pune, Neha told IANS: "It has been a roller-coaster ride. The last time I was mentoring Miss India, I had no idea I was going to be a wife and a mother. But here I am, after a year, I have done both.
"It's a huge accomplishment and so rewarding. Just to wake up next to two people who you cannot believe you love so selflessly... I was always this person who thought 'I am the most important person in my life', my work is important, family is important, and they are important because they make me happy.
"And then suddenly you have this, which is infinitely more important than you are in your own eyes. It's so hard to describe it. I would never have understood this if I hadn't become a mom. I feel like I have come here to mentor the participants with not just the (Miss India) crown that I won in 2002, but also with two more crowns... It's three crowns on my head right now."
Neha and Angad were blessed with a daughter, whom they have named Mehr, in November 2018.
But motherhood hasn't deterred Neha from staying away from showbiz. Her film career may not have been a super success story, but she found her own path by finding something different every time -- whether it's with "Roadies", "No Filter Neha" or now with "BFFs with Vogue".
"I get compliments for my journey. It's definitely one that comes from a place of never wanting to give up, and the importance of realising that the only way you can let your personality show is by doing work that you believe in.
"Yes, I thrive and I am hungry to do film. I am taking baby steps towards becoming a content producer as well. And my chat show is one of them."
That apart, she enjoys being a mentor for Miss India contestants, a role she has taken care of for three years.
"It's a huge responsibility. I am in my third year, and feel I have done a half decent job because Manushi Chhillar (who won the Miss World 2017) didn't do that bad."