Madhuri Dixit is back in the city to judge a dance show and I'm transported back in time to when everyone was going
'Ek, do, teen...
' with Mohini. The country was dancing to the tunes of this
charttopper but Madhuri privately admitted that having trained in classical dancing, she initially found it difficult to bend her limbs to the filmi
that choreographer Saroj Khan gave her.
The song was filmed in 24 hours, from 10 am to 10 am, because director N Chandra had to dismantle the set. And it forged a bonding between Madhuri and Sarojji that is still as strong. Buzz is that talks are on with Sarojji to come on board as one of the co-judges of
Jhalak Dikhla Jaa
and Madhuri's partnership went on to give us more gems, from
’s sexy swinger,
Mujhko aaj kal…
Chane ke khet...
Hum Aapke Hain Kaun’s
Didi tera dewara deewana…
Choli ke peeche kya hai….
By the time
... came along in 1993, Madhuri had shrugged off her earlier inhibitions and was dancing with abandon. And when an activist moved court for a ban, her mentor-director Subhash Ghai defended his "innocent" song saying it had been inspired by a folk number and answered the question raised in the second line itself,
choli ke peeche dil hai
Interestingly, it was Subhash
who after spotting Madhuri in Kashmir doing a bit role in the Rajesh Khanna starrer
, offered her an item song in
. Sarojji choreographed it. And Madhuri’s karma was decided.
The showman saw the rushes, took the starlet who was dreaming of a career in microbiology under his wing, re-launched her with an eight-page ad campaign, cast her opposite his protégé Jackie Shroff in brother Ashok Ghai's
and then gave her his Lakhan in Ram Lakhan.
The first time I met Madhuri, she was filming
. She was painfully thin and boringly correct. She stonewalled sticky questions with studied answers. And when she went to give a shot, her mother fed me apples and oranges because I looked as frail as her and sparked off her maternal concern.
The last time we spoke, she was in Denver. Soon after
, Madhuri had an American twang and was enjoying domesticity. I couldn’t think beyond
Kahe chhed mohe
… that Pandit Birju Maharaj had choregraphed. Madhuri admitted that she’d enjoyed putting her Kathak lessons to use.
Last Friday, Pamela Anderson did a
in the Bigg Boss House. And the ratings shot up along with heart beats. Guess what would happen if the original moved to the Bollywood beat again. The cardiologists would have a field day!