Her last outing Aaja Nachle may have failed and she may be based in the US, but that's not stopping Bollywood's dancing diva Madhuri Dixit from being part of the evolving entertainment industry in India. Still flaunting flawless skin and an evergreen smile, she says she has no regrets over any film.
The 43-year-old is back in business with what she is best at - dance. She will be judging Sony TV's reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, and says the failure of Aaja Nachle in 2007 didn't deject her one bit.
"I don't regret doing anything. When you work in a film, you do it thinking it will turn out well and will do well. But when it doesn't do well, there's nothing much you can do about it. So why should I regret anything?" said Madhuri, looking rosy cheeked in an orange and yellow sari.A resident of Denver, Colorado, where she lives with her husband Sriram Nene and two sons - Arin, 7, and Raayan, 5 - she is out of touch with Bollywood but wants to be part of the changing face of Indian cinema by trying her hand at new genres.
"My choice of scripts will always be based on what appeals to me in a role. Of course, I will be looking for different kinds of roles. It's tough to say which role I have liked in recent times...but, yes, very different kinds of films are being made these days and it would be great to know what's out there for me," Madhuri told IANS in an interview.
She is here for a few months to shoot the reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa which goes on air Dec 12, and plans to flip through scripts during her three-month stay in India, but can't stay here too long.
"This (Bollywood) is not the only life. I have another life (in the US) and I really love it. I do miss India and my friends here. So it's like having two homes. When I am here, I miss my husband and children. When I am there, I miss people here.
"I can't stay long. I send my kids to school, prepare breakfast, shop for vegetables, drop them and pick them from school and all those things. I can do one film and then go, one show and then go, but I can't take too much on me," she said.
Madhuri became a formidable name in the film industry with superhits like Tezaab, Ram Lakhan, Tridev, Dil, Saajan, Khalnayak, Hum Aapke Hain Koun, Dil To Pagal Hai and Devdas, and that too without a godfather.
Her dancing prowess, thanks to eight years of training in kathak, has wowed fans in songs like Ek do teen, Humko aajkal hai, Dhak dhak, Choli ke peechhe, Chane ke khet mein, Didi tera devar deewana, Mera piya ghar aaya, Que sera sera and Maar daala.
Even her sons appreciate her songs. "My elder son likes Ek do teen...he keeps singing it. They like songs from Devdas , Aaja Nachle. When I was coming here for Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, they were very excited and said - 'Are we going to watch you on TV?'. And I was like, 'Yes, you will.'"
Age has not touched her. She is fit as a fiddle and her grace, personality, smile and aura are as youthful as ever. With her kind of looks, no wonder most present day actresses don't cringe before saying, Main Madhuri Dixit banna chahti hoon.
Madhuri blushed and humbly said: "Well, compliments always make you feel good. It's not that I have come to this stage without doing anything. I have worked really hard to earn this recognition and when one works hard, it is nice to receive such compliments."
What keeps her in shape?
"Well I do Kathak back home. But it depends how much time I have...sometimes I devote an hour, sometimes half an hour. And it does help. Not only is it a physical exercise, it is beneficial spiritually. I like it so much. It makes me feel good, and I also do yoga," she said.
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at email@example.com)