Ravi Valluri

The year was 1967 and a star in Mumbai (then Bombay), was born into a conservative Marathi Konkanastha Hindu Brahmin family. Madhuri Dixit made a low-profile entry into the film world through a Rajashri production called Abodh, a debut for which she is hardly remembered.

The Dhak Dhak girl, gifted with a magnetic and a cherubic face has a net worth of $3.5 million and is said to charge Rs 3 to 4 crore per movie, besides endorsing a range of products like Maggie, Olay and Chyawanprash.

Her presence electrifies the a movie scene and it must be said that she certainly commands a unique screen presence. The actress adores Balraj Sahni , Gregory Peck, Meryl Streep, Nargis, Madhubala and Ingrid Bergman and likes to be draped in her favourite orange colour.

It was the 1987, N.Chandra film ‘Tezab’ that catapulted her to stardom. Co-starring Anil Kapoor, her gyrations to the popular number ‘Ek Do Teen….’ sent the film maniacal country into an instant tizzy.

This magnetic and charmed personality betrayed her human side when Madhuri Dixit publicly broke down and could not contain her sentiments at a condolence meet for ace photographer Gautama Rajyadhyaksha in 2011.

This unassuming girl was a student at Divine Child High School, Mumbai and was trained in microbiology. A dancer at heart and in spirit, a trained Kathak dancer; she was the suzerain of Bollywood in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s.

Her infectious smile and well sculpted body, almost contagious laughter had men of all ages eating out of her hands. The alluring actor’s dancing and artistic proficiency attracted both the hoi-polloi and the intellectual classes alike. So much so, the renowned painter MF Hussain made ‘Gaja Gamini’ his ode to womanhood with Madhuri Dixit playing the lead role. The trouper has been feted with 6 Filmfare awards, 4 national awards and decorated with the fourth highest national award, the Padma Sri in the year 2008.

Madhuri Dixit has been recognised internationally too. She is one of the handful of Indians and the second Indian film actress after Aishwarya Rai to feature at Madame Tussauds, the gallery founded by French wax sculptor Marie Tussaud back in 1761.

“I feel very humbled to be included alongside other Bollywood stars and some of my personal heroes,” remarked the Dhak Dhak girl once her chiselled and manicured frame found a place in the famous gallery.

It was a truly surgical strike when she married heart surgeon, Dr Sriram Nene of the US and settled down in Cleveland for two decades, only to surface back in the year 2011. Rumours also suggest that Sanjay Dutt, her alleged boyfriend wept when Madhuri Dixit got married. A large number of her fans too would have privately exhibited this emotion.

The enchantress who with amazing felicity can lift the gloom-ridden spirits of those on sets or ensconced in their brick and mortar house miles away, publicly wept and made the nation weep in unison when Shampa and Ryan, afflicted with Parkinson’s debilitation danced at the Chitramala reality show “So You Think You Can Dance”. The dancer-model-actress was on the jury of this spectacular show.

More recently Madhuri Dixit-Nene was shattered to the core of her being at the untimely demise of Sridevi, her colleague of several years in Bollywood.

Any human can cry. Recent researches in clinical psychology have revealed that through the process of crying, chemicals such as oxytocin and endogenous opoids get discharged from the brain which is significantly relaxing to the system.

Be it Madhuri Dixit-Nene or the stock individual, when a person is flooded with emotions, he or she would feel much more cheery after a bout of crying. Ad Vingerhoets, a Professor in Clinical Psychology though opines that the jury is still out about unabashed display of public emotion and crying in public and whether shedding copious tears assists a person in recovering from trauma.

“We believe that tears convey helplessness and powerlessness and that their function is to elicit help or stop aggressive behaviour in others,” writes the erudite clinical psychologist, Asmir Graavin.

Crying or shedding tears however precious they may be, stimulates the Parasympathetic Nervous System. Perhaps Dr Sriram Nene empathises with the psychological veneer behind crying.

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