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Monday, December 6, 2010

Madhuri Dixit says it was not demanding to state farewell to fabulousness

Madhuri Dixit says it was not demanding to state farewell to fabulousness: Her bewitching smile could give Bollywood's young things an inferiority complex, and as she effortlessly moved to the beats of “Ke Sera Sera”, Madhuri Dixit sent young pulses racing and the oldies gasping. For an event that was two hours behind schedule, nobody was complaining.
In Delhi to promote Sony's Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, where she is one of the three judges, Madhuri descended with starry paraphernalia. Rikku Rakesh Nath, her secretary for 27 years, was making his presence felt and Mickey Contractor was around to keep her make-up fresh as Madhuri charmed the media. In fact, Mickey and Rikku eagerly looked at the LCD monitors of the cameras to gauge the impact madam was making at 43.

Quite a contrast from the homemaker she is in Denver, Colorado! Madhuri says it was not difficult to detach herself from the glamour world. “The credit goes to my upbringing. I was never treated as a star at home. For me acting was just a profession…I was like a working woman who loved to dance and perform in front of the camera. At home my parents never gave me ‘starry' treatment.”

Was it really that easy? “Yes, there is always an exception to the rule!” says Madhuri, confidence glinting in her eyes. Madhuri adds that because of this upbringing, she always wanted to ensure the man in her life should not be overawed by her status as a Bollywood star. “I wanted him to love me as a person. And Shriram turned out to be that person. Being from a disciplinarian Marathi family, he had very little clue about cinema. And when I went to the U.S. after marriage I could do things which I hadn't done for years. I could drive down to buy groceries. It was liberating. I still love to drop and pick up my kids.”

A role model for working women? “I am no one to advise working women because of the ‘luxuries' I have, but I strongly feel every working woman should believe in her talent and her family.”

Vanishing purity

She has come back at a time when innocence is vanishing from our screens, every heroine giving the impression she has seen it all, done it all. “It's a reflection of our society. Even the kids seem to know everything. You tell them a story of the moon and stars and they will start talking about satellites and galaxies. What was once called fantasy is real today.”

Similarly classical dance, which was once the backbone of Bollywood dance, is on the wane in our cinema. Madhuri, who still practises Kathak as part of her fitness and spiritual regimen, says younger actors don't seem eager to put in the effort required to master the classical art forms. “You can't learn Kathak overnight, Hip Hop you can.”Isn't she the one who started the trend of raunchy stuff with “Ek Do Teen”, “Dhak Dhak” and “Choli Ke Peeche”?

“But why do you forget that I have done a lot of classical stuff as well? And I was not the first one to dance to westernised songs. Vyjayanthimala did it much before me. ‘Ek Do Teen' was crucial to the story because it was a make or break condition for the character. She had to win crowd support to survive.”

When she came at the time of Aaja Nachle, the press accused her of losing touch with fashion, and one must say her saris still look dated. “But it didn't prevent me from coming again,” Madhuri gets a little caustic.

Was Aaja Nachle's box office performance a reason for this long break?

“See, my kids are still small. I can't take three-four projects at a time. For the last two years I am being pursued for films and reality shows including Jhalak… and I agreed when I watched the original Dancing With The Stars being shot in Los Angeles. The producers have promised that this time they are going to take Jhalak to the same level.”

Rikku says industry people keep on tapping him about her plans and that six-seven scripts are pending for Madhuri's nod. “I keep on sending DVDs to the States so that she could understand the changing trends.”

But Madhuri says she gets very little free time. “I have seen Ishqiya only after coming here. I liked Vidya Balan. Then I saw Raajneeti. It has no songs and very little commercial trappings but I have been told it worked well. I am not in a hurry. I will sign only when I get something really different.”

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