Madhuri Dixit birthday special: What makes the star so desirable even today?

As the dancing beauty turns 46, we look at what makes her the ultimate queen of the silver screen

Madhuri Dixit is definitely one of the most revered and loved female actors in B-town, even today. Despite a long break from acting and an unsuccessful comeback attempt, Madhuri is back in the limelight, and her fans and the film industry have welcomed her with open arms. As the actor celebrates her 46th birthday today, we wonder what makes her one of the most desirable women on the silver screen, so many years after she started her career.

Why else would a young actor like Ranbir Kapoor bribe his friend and director Ayan Mukherjee to allow him to kiss her during the making of their Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani song (Ghagra) or make an acclaimed director like Vishal Bhardwaj desperately want to work with her, or the industry invite this beautiful lady to be a part of every awards function since her return from the US! It’s the kind of love and acceptance not many heroines in Bollywood receive after they are past their peak. We try to decode the magic of Madhuri to find out what makes her ‘wanted’ even today.

The Madhubala connection

Madhuri was definitely a victim of the outrageous 90s fashion scene. She often permed her hair, wore gaudy makeup and weird outfits, yet she became known as one of the most beautiful female actors of her time. She didn’t have great skin – her face was covered in pimples; she was known to be cold and unwilling to get into relationships with her colleagues (except for a reported link-up with Sanjay Dutt). Then what made her desirable? It was simply her radiant smile and gracious personality that shone through. She was soon compared to yesteryear beauty Madhubala, and like her, Madhuri too has become an icon.

Ageing gracefully

Madhuri Dixit is not in the best possible shape now, even though she has been working on her figure. She has given birth to two children and the effects show. But the actor has aged gracefully. Unlike some of her contemporaries from the 90s who have resorted to Botox and surgery, Madhuri looks her age and feels like a real woman. We like!

Dancing diva

Madhuri is perhaps the most graceful and talented dancers in Indian cinema. Her songs and dances have become a part of the audience’s collective dreamscape. Who can forget the steps from Ek do teen from Tezaab, or the thumkas from Humko aaj kal hai from Sailaab, or even the way she raises her eyebrows one after the other in Maar daala from Devdas? These are sequences that sighs are made of, and we just can’t wait to watch her shake her hips in the Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani song Ghagra with Ranbir.

Superb actor

Her facial expressions, body language and screen presence are matchless. Most of today’s female stars can only dream of acquiring the acting skills and the stardom that Mads had in her day. She’s got amazing comic timing, a convincing dramatic ability and mastery over dialogue delivery. With a sea change in B-town’s subjects and scripts, we are sure Mads will nab some powerful roles (she already has Gulab Gang and Dedh Ishqiyaa) and continue entertaining us.

Happy birthday, Madhuri!