Yay, it’s Madhuri’s birthday! At least, in India. If you are in America, you still have 6 hours to prepare. I already posted the first 25 reasons I love her, now here are 24 more.
26. I love her because by the mid-90s, she had entered the elite list of female stars who were big enough to that people would buy tickets to see her, not the hero (The others in this elite category would be Meena Kumari, Hema Malini, and Sridevi)
27. Because at the height of her fame she made Mrityudand, a dark and uncommercial film about spousal abuse to which she was the only star willing to lend her name.
28. Because she was so luminous in Hum Aapke Hain Koun, India’s greatest modern painter, MF Hussain, took her as his muse and made a series of paintings featuring her, as well as a movie in which she played all the great Indian women of history and myth.
29. I love her because the same year she was in Mrityudand, she was in 4 other films, making her a harder worker than her co-star in 2 of those films, Shahrukh Khan.
30. I love her because she accepted the challenge of dancing with Prabhudeva in Pukar, and mastered his style, which is so different from her own.
31. I love her because that Pukar dance is so amazing.
32. I love her because she brought lightness even to super dark Mrityudand
33. I love her because she managed to make me forget Shahrukh had a mullet.
34. I love her because she managed to make me forget that she was wearing a full body spandex outfit that looks good on NO ONE.
35. I love her because she looked like a painting come to life in Hussain’s film.
36. I love her because she saw the signs and walked away from her career on her own terms, slowing to one or two films a year, and making them count.
37. I love her because she married a nice man who loved her and walked away without a look back.
38. I love her because when she was gone, she was really gone. She shopped at the grocery store, she took her kids to after school activities, she disappeared completely into the life of a normal housewife.
39. And I love her because whens he wanted to come back, she came back. No apologies for leaving her “wifely duties”
40. And I love her because she married Dr. Nene, world’s happiest husband, who gave up life as a surgeon in America to come to India and be her doting companion at every award show and special event.
41. I love her because she agreed to be Chandramukhi in Devdas, the role she was born to play, even though she didn’t appear until late in the film and was “only” a courtesan.
42. I love her because she wasn’t afraid to play an unmarried pregnant actress in a village theater, and to play her as a character without guilt or shame or regrets.
43. I love her because she came back to Indian film with no apologies, and no attempt at new modesty as a “married woman”
44. I love her because in the same film, she encouraged the rest of us to have the same freedom as she does.
45. And I love her because her next big onscreen appearance was as a prostitute.
46. I love her because, even when her film failed, she didn’t just give up, she repositioned herself as a TV host and public figure, and sometime actress.
47. I love her because, when she chooses to dance at award shows, or TV, or in item songs, she proves she is still the best.
48. And I love her because she is sharing her dancing with others, through online video classes.
49. And I love her because one 30 second waltz with Shahrukh still has more chemistry than a whole film with him opposite someone else (well, excepting Kajol)
And finally, a bonus 50th reason, that other people love her so much, there is an entire movie named after her.