It’s Madhuri’s birthday today! Well, today in India. But I want to start celebrating as soon as possible, so I am putting up my birthday posts today. One reason for every year she was alive.
1. I love her because she had to shoot this song in only her 9th film, when she was just 21, and it didn’t turn her off acting for life!
2. I love her because when she finally did hit it big, she burst of the screen like an atomic bomb.
3. I love her because once people realized that Madhuri dancing was like setting off ten thousand fireworks in the middle of your movie, suddenly every movie she was in needed a huge Madhuri number in it. Like Ram-Lakhan, which started filming right after Tezaab.
4. I love her because everyone got so used to seeing her as the stunning heavily made-up star of elaborate dance numbers, when she took a moment to be in a small, simple, song, it made it all the more powerful. Like this song, from Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s first hit, and one of the all time great gangster films.
5. I love her because she was amazing in the quiet moments in this song, from the first film to win her a FilmFare award.
6. I love her because she could have given up after her first movie flopped, but instead she kept trying and working for 4 years until she finally made it big.
7. I love her because that first movie, and the company that discovered her, was Rajshri films. And she still trusted them 10 years later, enough to agree to be in Hum Aapke Hain Koun.
8. I love her because she was still in school studying micro-biology at the same time she was working on 4 movies and trying to be an actress.
9. I love her because she co-starred with Vinod Khanna in her 8th film, and she co-starred with Vinod’s son Akshaye in her 54th film, a career that spanned a generation in just 9 years.
10. I love her because even after 9 flops, she still kept going and working to achieve her dreams, before finally hitting it big with Tezaab.
11. I love her because she wasn’t afraid to be sexy.
12. I love her because she wasn’t afraid to use her sexiness to promote even a weaker film.
13. I love her because she could also be more than just a glamorous object of desire, she could make simple married life look flirty and fun too.
14. And she could make being a barber or a paan chewing paanmaker look sexy.
15. And I love her because she can turn a simple children’s folk song into something that is somehow both sexy, and still innocent.
16. I love her because she always made her co-stars look better, making us believe that Anil Kapoor is sexy, Vinod Khanna is young, and Aamir Khan is tall.
17. I love her because she worked incredibly hard, making 20 movies between her launch in 1984 and the end of that decade, 9 coming out in 1989 alone.
18. I love her because she refused to be just a sexy dancer, even in the film that features her “Dhak Dhak” number, she is at least as memorable for her strong character and performance as for her sexy dance moves.
19. I love her because she was the true star of Hum Aapke Hain Koun, the film which finally toppled Sholay‘s reign over the box office, and everyone knows it. Salman was just there to make her look good.
20. I love her because she had the national adoration, and clever PR skills to avoid any damage from Sanjay’s terrorism arrest in 1993, despite being rumored to be dating him at the time, and co-starring with him in a huge release.
21. I love her because she infused the typical simple and pure and childish Rajshri heroine with so much spunk, you didn’t even notice this was a song sung by a 20 year old college student about eating candy!
22. I love her because she took the moves from an American classic (“Steam Heat” from Pajama Game, choreographed by Bob Fosse) and made them her own.
23. I love her because she somehow made a childrens game with shoes into a thrilling romantic duel filled with sexual tension.
24. I love her because she somehow made a song about asking her mother to find her a husband turn into a song with a bit of a wink in it, something that was more like “I’ll pretend my mother is finding me a husband, but we all know I am going to be picking out my own man!”
25. I love her because at the end of this song, Salman Khan bows down to her awesomeness, as is only right.