Madhuri Dixit found herself in star-studded company of a different kind on Saturday when receiving the Padma Shri award from President Pratibha Patil. Amongst other recipients of Padma awards were industrialist Ratan Tata, whose Tata cars recently bought Jaguar in the UK; UK-based steel giant Lakshmi Mittal, currently rated by Forbes magazine as the fifth richest person in the world, chess genius Viswanathan Anand, former LSE economist Lord Meghnad Desai, footballer Baichung Bhutia and Hollywood director M Night Shyamalan. Indian-American astronaut, Sunita Williams who also won an award was unable to attend.
It’s been a busy year for Madhuri who recently won both Filmfare and Stardust awards for her comeback movie, Aaja Nachle. Madhuri first became a star half her lifetime ago when she won the Filmfare Best Actress award for Tezaab. Since then, it’s been just one hit vehicle after another with perhaps some of her key movies being Prem Pratigyaa, Parinda, Dil, Saajan, Beta, Khalnayak, Anjaam, Hum Aapke Hain Koun, Raja, Yaraana, Mrityudand, Dil To Pagal Hai, Pukar, Lajja and of course Devdas.
For 20 years, Madhuri has been an icon for hundreds of millions of her fans worldwide and has established herself amongst the top pantheon of screen gods and goddesses for all time. Married to an Indian-American cardiovascular surgeon, Madhuri, her husband and two children have now settled in Florida, having recently moved from Denver, Colorado where her husband worked. How does Madhuri feel about her life so far? “God has been very kind to me,” she says, “There are no regrets and no complaints. Today, I feel complete and happy.”