Before she entered Bollywood, she used to appear for TV ads and appeared with Amir Khan and Aishwarya Rai for an ad for Pepsi.
She started her Bollywood career at the age of 24 and won a Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut for her film Pardes.
Before she came to Delhi and got an offer for an ad, she had won a local modelling contest in Darjeeling.
She was chosen out of 3000 auditions for the role of Ganga in Pardes.
In 1998, she was the Lux Face of the Year.
Dad was never the strict person. Mom was the disciplinarian. When it came to our parents leaving us to school, I always hoped it would be dad and not mom, because mom gave us just that exact amount of money while dad used to willingly throw in an extra note or two in our pockets. Those are the moments I remember dad very very fondly.
On crossover cinema: "Everybody`s into crossover cinema. The roles that an actress can have are more varied today than ever before. There are so many other languages that one could do a film in. I mean, I`d personally love to do an Indo-American film, which is so much of a trend today with `Monsoon Wedding` and `Bends it like Beckham` making it big. I had a script on the lines of a Hindu-Muslim love story from London. But since I didn`t have dates at the time, it didn`t work out. But I`m keen on working on such subjects alongside commercial films".
"There are so many talented actors today in the industry. There are 40 people who are not working in the top production houses in our country, but that does not mean they are not good actors. I feel if they need me they will call me. So it is better to wait rather than rue." (November 29, 2005)
MOST POPULAR DIALOGUES:
Pyar paana sabki kismat mein nahi hota
Har sapna toh sach nahi hota hai na ... kuch sapne aankh khulte hi hamesha ke liye toot jaate hai
Pyar karne waala insaan apni zabaan se chahe dus jhoot bol le ... lekin uski aankhen kabhi jhoot nahi bolti
In 2015, she made headlines with the news that she had a Swiss Bank account.
• In the 90`s every actor dreamt of working with Subhash Ghai. However, working with the veteran director comes at a cost. Reportedly, whenever any actor was signed by Subhash Ghai`s production house - Mukta Arts - they had to pay 30% of their income if they worked with any other production house. Though Subhash Ghai was the one to launch Mahima, it was also he who dragged her to court for violating the above-mentioned contract clause. After the success of Pardes, Mahima had a plethora of offers on the table. Naturally, she began working with other renowned filmmakers, not caring about giving the 30% of her income to Ghai`s Mukta Arts.