Pooja Batra was born to Ravi Batra, an army colonel and Neelam Batra, a Miss India participant in 1971. The actress lived in Ludhiana with her extended family during her childhood. An Economics graduate from Fergusson College, Pune, the actress also holds an MBA in marketing from Symbiosis, Pune. Pooja Batra became the third runner-up at Miss Asia Pacific in 1993, when she was 18 years old. (All photos/mid-day archives and Pooja Batra's official Instagram account)
Femina Miss India International, Pooja Batra, was a sensational face in the '90s. The actress took over the silver screen whenever she appeared with any B-town actors. Be it, Akshay Kumar or Suniel Shetty, the leggy lass has worked with many A-listers.
At a young age, Pooja Batra started modelling as a part-time job, but never thought to pursue it as a career. Later, the actress became the face of a popular soap brand commercial. She was the first Indian face to be launched and be a spokesperson for an international shampoo brand in India. Till now, Pooja Batra has participated in over 250 modelling events and ad campaigns. The actress went on to become one of the top models in India in the '90s.
Though Pooja Batra turned down many offers to complete her education, the actress kick-started her career with Virasat in 1997, alongside Anil Kapoor and Tabu.
She went on to work in over 20 films including Haseena Maan Jayegi, Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya and Kahin Pyaar Na Ho Jaaye. One of her films, Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story, a historical epic, was also a part of the Cannes film festival in 2004.
Very few know that Sushmita Sen's character in Sirf Tum (1999) was offered to Pooja Batra. However, she turned down the film and the role was subsequently given to Sen.
It was not just Bollywood which the actress stuck to! Pooja Batra has also appeared in South Indian films, including three Malayalam films and two Tamil films. Pooja also did a cameo in the 1995 film Aasai.
Pooja Batra has acted in theatre and toured North America, which earned her considerable acclaim. Once again, for her role in the film Virasat, the actress appeared at the 2009 Academy Awards in Los Angeles, where she reunited with her co-star, Anil Kapoor.
When in the USA with ex-husband Sonu Ahluwalia, Pooja set up her own casting agency. Pooja's company was helping a Los Angeles-based casting company set shop in India. She was spearheading the operations at that end as it was looking forward to getting Indian talent for Hollywood. Batra had helped the makers of Kambakkht Ishq sign Sylvester Stallone and Denise Richards.
In 2014, Pooja Batra turned RJ. She founded and launched a Bollywood radio station in the USA called Mera Sangeet. "I wanted to provide the Indian diaspora in US and Canada with something that takes them closer to home," she said.
In 2016, Pooja Batra appeared in a Hollywood sci-fi movie, One Under The Sun directed by Vincent Tran and Riyaana Hartley, said the audience is also opening up to Indian actors.
In an interview, Pooja Batra said, "Indian actors did not get work before but in the last four or five years, things have changed. Even the audition feature requirements for Indian actors. A lot of Indian actors are booking shows in Hollywood like 'Quantico' and 'Homeland', and the audience is accepting that."
On the personal front, Pooja Batra married US-based orthopaedic surgeon Sonu Ahluwalia on February 9, 2003, at a glittering wedding ceremony in New Delhi with people from the modelling fraternity in attendance. But in 2011, Pooja Batra filed for a divorce citing irreconcilable differences.
Pooja Batra was later in a relationship with her Norwegian boyfriend - Christian Middelthon. However, they broke up.
Then, the internet was abuzz with Pooja Batra's alleged relationship with Tiger Zinda Hai actor Nawab Shah. The actors frequently post a lot of lovey-dovey photos on social media, with loads of love-filled captions!
Reports suggest that Pooja and Nawab have got married. The two tied the knot in a traditional ceremony and will be making it official by signing papers soon. A few days ago, Nawab shared a video with Pooja Batra where the actress is seen flaunting traditional red bangles worn by married women in India.
Pooja Batra is back in the news, and this time it's because she has reportedly tied the knot with beau Nawab Shah. Here's taking a look at her journey in pictures.
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