Madhuri Dixit: A beautiful journey from Abodh to Dedh Ishqiya

Madhuri’s mischievous smile, nimble-footed dancing & acting prowess made her steal the hearts of many. For a decade, she ruled the Bollywood and still enthrals when she appears on TV 

Photo courtesy: social media
Photo courtesy: social media

Iqbal Rizvi

If we fuse together the elements of beauty, skill, hard work, simplicity and favourable stars, the picture that emerges will most certainly be that of Madhuri Dixit. In the 105 year-old history of Indian cinema, only two actresses became as popular and will be remembered forever for their iconic, mischievous and captivating smile- Madhubala and Madhuri Dixit.

Born on May 15, 1967, Madhuri Dixit aspired to be a doctor. Most of the times during her childhood, she was busy with her studies. But she was also fond of dancing and took formal lessons in Kathak for eight years. It was a mere coincidence that she got an opportunity to work in the film Abodh when she was only seventeen. In the movie, she essayed the character of a village girl Gauri, who is married off at a younger age and gradually realises love for her husband and her responsibilities as a wife. While the movie bombed at the box office, critics’ attention nevertheless was drawn to the simple and spontaneous acting of Madhuri Dixit. After Abodh, she acted in many B-grade films like Swati, Awaara, Baap, Zameen, Mohre, Hifazat and Uttar-Dakshin, etc, all of which proved to be massive failures at the box office. But in every film, Madhuri’s talent, hard work and perseverance was visible.

Once again, Madhuri’s stars favoured her after a long chain of flops and producer- director N Chandra’s film Tezaab catapulted her to great heights of popularity. Her dance number in the film, ‘ek do teen…’, became such a rage that from then onwards, film-makers made it a point to create a space for an item song featuring the actress.

Tezaab also made the Anil Kapoor-Madhuri Dixit pairing a hit, repeated by Subhash Ghai in Ram Lakhan. The film again proved to be hit. They went on to star together in about 15 films. After Tezaab, Madhuri never looked back. Her popular dance number in Beta,dhak-dhak karne laga..’, bestowed on her the title of ‘dhak-dhak girl’.

Jora-jori chane ke khet me..’ in Anjaam,deedi tera devar deewana..’ in Hum Apke Hain Kaun?, ‘mera piya ghar aaya o Ramji..’ in Yarana,ankhiya milaun kabhi ankhiya churaun..’ in Raja, ‘ke sera sera in Pukar,dil to pagal hai, dil deewana hai…’ in Dil To Pagal Hai and many more dance number became very popular and engraved her image. that of a bubbly vivacious girl in the hearts of millions of Indians, so much so that even the flop films like Anjaam, Sailaab, Pukaar, Rajkumar are remembered for her dances only.

But it is not that she ruled the industry and people’s hearts only because of her beautiful dances. She proved her mettle as an actor in many flims like Beta, Parinda, Devdas, Anjaam and Mrityudand. She won the coveted Filmfare Award six times. Before her, such popularity was enjoyed with none other than the iconic Sridevi.

Madhuri even went a step ahead. She became so popular that she was at one point of time considered more influential and effective than her male counterparts. Many critics even called her ‘Amitabh Bachchan’ of heroines.

For almost a decade, she dominated the film industry and ruled people’s hearts as well. There was no one who could challenge her popularity on the silver screen.

But Madhuri never remained in dilemma about her life and career. When she decided to get married, she decided to give up her career too. After her marriage in 1999, she transformed herself into a homemaker, thus all but distancing herself from the film industry. Only after both her sons grew up did she return to Mumbai and again started working. She made a comeback on the silver screen in 2007 with her film Aaja Nachle. Though this film was not a commercial hit but everybody praised her work. After that, she starred in some more films like Gulaab Gang and Dedh Ishqiya.

She is still active and is seen on some TV shows. Her age is now apparent on her face but her captivating smile and vivacious presence remain the same as ever.

(Translated into English by Pragati Saxena)

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