I never aspired for awards

Filed on May 5, 2008

OKAY, CONGRATULATIONS are in order. Madhuri Dixit, Bollywood's original dhak-dhak girl, is getting the Padmashree for her contribution to Indian cinema. She will be coming to receive it on May 10 from Florida with husband Dr Sriram Nene in tow.

The couple's children won't accompany them. Which is a pity, because May 15 is Madhuri's birthday, and there will be a dinner with family and close friends.

Madhuri is delighted with this double celebration.

Talking from Florida, where she has settled down, she said excitedly, "Everyone works hard and to be acknowledged for it is a huge thing. I am honoured. As a young girl, I thought the Padma Shri was accorded only to scientists. Awards are important, but I never aspired for any, I just put my best foot forward."

Madhuri's comeback film last November, Aaja Nachle, bombed at the box office, but that did nothing to dent her image in Bollywood or diminish her considerable fan following.

In fact M F Husain, her greatest admirer, while expressing disappointment over the film blamed its failure on filmmaker Yash Chopra. Madhuri defended the film, "Husain saab must have expected more from it, but I don't believe in blame games.

"Everyone worked hard on the film and I had fun doing it. You win some and lose some. Filmmaking is unpredictable business."

Was it true that the Barjatyas are planning a sequel to that delightful entertainer, Hum Aapke Hai Kaun, in which Madhuri and Salman Khan will be shown 15 years older?

"If the news is true, this too will be so much fun," replied the actress enthusiastically.