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Meher Jessia
Name : Meher Jessia
Date of Birth : 1969
Titles won : Miss India, 1986

Right from 1986 after becoming Miss India, Meher Jessia was one of the most sought after models in India. After Madhu Sapre defined the term Supermodels, She, Madhu and Milind Soman (a male model) formed the troika of Indian modelling. Any fashion show worth reckoning was incomplete without them. Meher retired this year (1999) but at the time of retirement also, she was in top 5.

Ace photographer Gautam Radhyaksha once rated her among the top 10 most beautiful women of India. This was probably the biggest tribute to her.

Meher looks every bit as ravishing as when she began her career with the Lakme cold cream ad. “I almost gave up with that first assignment,” she recalls. “In the middle of summer I was wearing my mittens, cap, pullover in a non-air-conditioned studio and sweating profusely! The ad was a hit and I stayed on. It’s a pity that we don’t have good modelling agencies in India. Face One, my modelling agency, has a ten-day grooming course where I train would-be models for a career.”

Admitting it was tough to quit five years ago - “People don’t recognise me on the streets and I’m getting used to that,” - Meher felt she had no choice. She couldn’t promote other models through her agency if she was modelling herself. Unlike Sushmita and Aishwarya, Mehr was one of the few models who wasn’t bitten by stardust. “Well, the mandatory offers did come my way. But ten years back Hindi films were so much about running around trees that I just didn’t know where I would fit in. Even actresses didn’t command the same respect they do today,” she says.

She says that there used to be a time when my mom had to scream at me to get me to even wash my face or brush my hair before I rushed off to the gym. I was a sports freak, always immersed in the world of swimming, badminton and snooker.

What does she do in her free time? “I freak out with my friends. I spend a lot of time with my boxer, Tyson. I love cooking and travelling. I cruise through TV only if I am very bored. And my life’s been a great ride, touch wood,” she says.

She has opended a modelling agency to promote new models. Meher Jessia is married to male supermodels Arjun Rampal.

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