On Madhuri Dixit’s 52nd birthday, a look at diva’s early life, silver screen journey, marriage and more.
Every ’90s kid, who grew up on a staple Bollywood movie diet, is likely to go on a trip down memory lane, if the song Ek do teen… is played. Memories will immediately spring up from the deepest subconscious imagining the diva dancing to this peppy number in the movie ‘Tezaab’. Madhuri Dixit Nene, the woman who lit up the Indian silver screen with her million dollar smile, turns a year older on May 15, and there’s no stopping the 53-year-old, who ruled millions of hearts with her effervescence and charm.
Madhuri Dixit was born on 15th May 1967 to Shankar and Snehlata Dixit in a Konkanastha Brahmin Maharashtrian family in Mumbai. Madhuri grew up to pursue Microbiology and had no intention to make a career in movies. But thankfully, before she could complete her degree course, destiny intervened and the world was introduced to a beauty, who could not just act effortlessly like other actresses that came before her, but also dance like a dream. Back in the day, Rajshree Productions was looking for a fresh face to star in their movie ‘Abodh’. An agent from the production house knew the Dixits since his daughter was Madhuri’s classmate and knew how fluent the youngest one was when it came to performing arts. He approached Madhuri’s parents with the offer, but was turned down by her conservative family, until they met the Barjatyas and knew it was an offer they shouldn’t refuse.
Madhuri’s film career began with a string of flops after ‘Abodh’ bombed at the box office in 1984, but that did not deter the young actress to aim for the sky. Acting came naturally to her but there was not a single hit in her career that could put her name in the list of celebrities. She began signing films until ‘Tezaab’ came around in 1988 and changed the game for the bright star. The late 80s and the 90s was the ‘decade of Dixit’ as cinephiles called it! She ruled the celluloid with her performances and carved a niche for herself in the industry. Madhuri had finally arrived in Bollywood.
From starring in commercially successful films like ‘Ram Lakhan’, ‘Tridev’ and ‘Dil’ in the late 80s to ‘Zindagi Ek Jung’, ‘Khel’, ‘Khalnayak’ ‘Beta’, ‘Thanedaar’, ‘Saajan’ and ‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun…!’ in the 90s, Madhuri was one of the most successful artists of her time. She worked with some of the highly successful directors and paired opposite top actors of the industry and proved her versatility with every movie. It is said that for her role in ‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun…!’ Madhuri took home an even bigger pay cheque as compared to Salman Khan! She had come a long way in the industry and earned her fame. Madhuri, who is fondly called Mads, even starred in women-centric films, along with making appearances in parallel cinema, where her acting was critically praised yet again. Movies like ‘Parinda’, ‘100 Days’, ‘Prahaar’, ‘Mrityudand’ ‘Lajja’ and ‘Gulaab Gang’ proved Madhuri was definitely cut out for acting!
She had great interest in dance right from a very tender age, enrolled to train in Kathak at the age of just three, performed on stage for the first time at the age of eight years.. This helped her in her career, which spans a little more than 35 years today. Her fans best remember her for her dance numbers in films, which are nothing short of epic. Madhuri, to her credit, has the exception of being the first ever film actor to train under none other than Kathak legend Birju Maharaj. He even went on to the extent of calling her ‘one of the best’ in the field! Madhuri had a huge fan following across the globe, and had secretly inspired unusual fans back home too. Celebrated Indian painter M. F. Hussain was so mesmerized by her gorgeousness that he claimed to have watched ‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun…!’ more than 65 times. Madhuri had become his muse and his artworks were inspired by her beauty later in his life. Hussain even turned to direction only to cast her in the lead and came up with ‘Gaja Gamini’ in 2000. Although the film failed to impress the audiences, her performance was greatly lauded.
Her secondary roles in films like ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’, ‘Devdas and ‘Pukar’ could have proved harmful for her career, but she shone in her performances and was still ruling the industry, proving she was second to none. During her prime, rumours had it that she was dating her co-stars like Jackie Shroff, Mithun Chakraborty and Sanjay Dutt, but nothing concrete came out of it. She is said to have been involved with Sanjay Dutt while they were shooting for ‘Saajan’, but her family disapproved of the relationship because Dutt was already married to Richa Sharma then. While she offered her shoulder to Sanju to cry on, while tending to his cancer-stricken wife in the US, they had even decided to tie the knot, but Dutt was charged under criminal offences and their dream was cut short. Later in 1999, when news was out that Madhuri had settled with a Los Angeles-based doctor Shriram Nene, millions of hearts broke into pieces back home in India!
Madhuri took a sabbatical to raise her two sons Ryan and Arin and returned for her second innings in the industry and it more than welcomed her with open arms. She acted in a number of films post marriage and motherhood and later turned her attention to the small screen, playing host on reality shows, proving yet again that her charm hadn’t faded away. Madhuri even tried her hand at Marathi cinema, with Tejas Deoskar’s ‘Bucket List’ being her debut in regional films. She was even roped in to lend her voice to Nisha, Mowgli’s adoptive wolf mother in Andy Serkis’ ‘Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle’ in the Hindi version.
Donning different hats at different times, the versatile actress has now released a hope anthem called ‘Candle’ on her Instagram feed, where she is seen singing the newly-released single – Hope – , amid the corona crisis. Joined by her son Arin, the preview of Madhuri’s song garnered a lot of attention on the Internet and she said it was her way of giving back all the love to her fans on her birthday. As the ‘Dhak Dhak’ girl turns 53, here’s wishing her more successful films and more spunk in her life!