Madhuri Dixit was at the peak of her career when she married Shriram Madhav Nene and decided to leave Bollywood to head to Denver, US. That was in 1999. Now, over a decade later, the actor has increased the frequency of her trips to Mumbai; some for work, some for her family. Ask if she plans to return ‘home’ and she smiles, “Mumbai was always home. Of course, that’s (Denver) home too. But sometimes, I feel maybe I should come back…”
The actor, who was awarded the Padma Shri in 2008 and won various honours for her films in the ’80s and ’90s, insists she never planned any of this. “Leaving Bollywood wasn’t planned. One thing I was clear about — the moment I met the right person in my life, I wouldn’t hesitate,” says the actor, insisting that even when she was in India, she was never affected by stardom. “I had a simple life at home and was never part of the scene. So it wasn’t tough leaving my career behind, because everybody has dreams and a big part of mine was to have a family — a husband and children.”
Madhuri is a doting mother to Arin (8) and Raayan (6). And living in Denver gives the 44-year-old actor time for her kids. “I get my privacy there, I can do all the normal things that everybody does, which I could never do in Mumbai. That gives me a sense of freedom,” she says.
Even though her children haven’t seen all her work, they do question her about why she’s still called ‘Dixit’ in India. “They ask me, ‘why do they call you Madhuri Dixit, you’re Nene right?’” she laughs, adding, “They have seen Devdas (2002), a bit of Gaja Gamini (2000) and Aaja Nachle (2007).”
The actor, who was recently presented the Bollywood Beauty Legend Award at the Vogue Beauty Awards, is also on the cover of Vogue Magazine this month. “This is the love of the people and it always feels great to be recognised,” says the actor, who is currently in talks with the makers of Dedh Ishqiya, the sequel to the Abhishek Chaubey film Ishqiya (2010). She will also be mentoring chefs on a culinary TV show.