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Happy Birthday Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Stealing Hearts @43

November 01, 2016 10:24
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    Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, often hailed as the world's most beautiful woman, completes 43 wonderful years today. From being the face of international brands to being a doting mommy to almost four-year-old Aaradhya, life changed drastically for the former Miss World, but she has enjoyed her sabbatical to the fullest and came back with Jazbaa in 2015 . 2016 has been a successful year for the actress as she gained critical acclaim for Sarbjit. And then came Karan Johar's Ae Dil Hai Mushkil where her onscreen romance with Ranbir Kappor left audience in awe. She was seen as a poetess in the film .

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    Aishwarya was born in Mangalore on November 1, 1973. Her family belongs to the Bunt community and speaks Tulu. Aishwarya's father, Krishnaraj Rai, is a retired marine biologist while her mother, Vrinda Rai, is a writer.

    Ash has an elder brother, Aditya Rai, who is in the merchant navy.

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    Aishwarya was born in Mangalore on November 1, 1973. Her family belongs to the Bunt community and speaks Tulu. Aishwarya's father, Krishnaraj Rai, is a retired marine biologist while her mother, Vrinda Rai, is a writer.

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    Brought up in Mumbai, Ash studied at Arya Vidya Mandir High School, then moved to Jai Hind College and finally completed her HSC degree from Ruparel College.

    While in college, a young Ash dreamt of becoming an architect. However, destiny's favourite child quickly fell into modelling instead.

    In the 1994 Miss India pageant, she stood second, narrowly losing the crown to Sushmita Sen.

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    Staying true to her indomitable spirit, Ash stuck to her guns and went on to beat 86 other contestants at the Miss World pageant in 1994.

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    In the time honoured tradition of beauty queens seeking Bollywood fame, Aishwarya decided to try her luck in movies.

    Three years after winning the Miss World title, in 1997, Ash debuted with the Tamil film Iruvar, a fictionalised account of the lives of Dravidian political icons M G Ramachandran and M Karunanidhi. She played the role of actress-politician Jayalalithaa. Directed by Mani Ratnam, the film was a raging critical success.

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    In the same year, Ash made her Bollywood debut with Rahul Rawail's Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya. Though Ash won the Screen Award for the Most Promising Newcomer Female, she could not save the movie from being a box office disaster.

    Her next movie was the Tamil musical Jeans. The blockbuster, directed by Shankar, was India's official Best Foreign Language Film entry at the Oscars.

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    After the mediocre Aa Ab Laut Chalein (1999), which was directed by Rishi Kapoor, Ash delivered a breakthrough performance in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999).

    Aishwarya also bagged the Filmfare Award for Best Actress for her stupendous performance in the movie.

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    It was on the sets of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam that Ash met Salman Khan. It was love at first sight for the two extraordinarily good looking co-stars.

    Even though there was no happy ending for the couple in reel life, their real life romance continued for two years and they didn't shy away from going public with their relationship - a rare phenomenon in Bollywood back then.

    Alas, their fairytale was to have no happy ending. After a two-year relationship, Aishwarya and Salman split acrimoniously, sending the media into a state of complete frenzy.

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    Ash's talent for dance secured her the lead role in Subhash Ghai's blockbuster Taal (1999).

    She was nominated for the Filmfare Best Actress Award for her performance in the movie.

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    In the year 2000, Aishwarya starred in the Tamil movie Kandukondain Kandukondain, which was a Tamil adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. The movie went on to become a major hit. In the same year, she starred in two movies with Shah Rukh Khan. In Josh she played his twin sister while in Mohabbatein she played his sweetheart.

    Both the films were declared blockbusters at the box office. Ash also featured opposite her future husband, Abhishek Bachchan, for the first time in Dhaai Akshar Prem Ke (2000). Sadly, the movie was a flop.

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    After the success of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Sanjay Leela Bhansali cast Aishwarya as Paro in his magnum opus Devdas, in which she was once again paired opposite Shah Rukh Khan.

    The film was a huge hit and swept all the major awards. Ash went on to win the Filmfare Award for the Best Actress, Star Screen Award and IIFA.

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    In 2003, Ash forayed into Bengali filmdom with Rituparno Ghosh's critically acclaimed Chokher Bali, which was based on a novel by Rabindranath Tagore. Critics heaped praises on her performance.

    Ash's blouse changing scene in the film, which implied that she was topless, created quite a stir at the time.

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    After Mohabbatein and Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin, Ash teamed up with future father-in-law, Amitabh Bachchan, again in Khakee (2004). The movie also featured Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn and Tusshar Kapoor.

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    Ash delivered one of her most lauded performances in the Rituparno Ghosh-directed Raincoat (2004), an adaptation of the short story The Gift of the Magi by O Henry.

    Even though the film was a commercial flop, it was a critical gem.

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    British film director Gurinder Chadha gave Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice a desi twist in Bride and Prejudice (2004).

    Aishwarya played the novel's protagonist Lalita, a Punjabi version of the fiesty Elizabeth Bennet, adding her own charm to the role.

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    It was during this time that Aishwarya was dating actor Vivek Oberoi, who insisted on going public with their relationship. However, Ash was keen to keep the relationship low-key after her failed romance with Salman made headlines.

    The then couple even appeared together at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.

    However, after working with Vivek in Kyun? Ho Gaya Na! (2004), Aishwarya quietly ended the relationship and moved on with her life leaving Vivek apparently devastated.

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    In the year 2006, Ash starred opposite Hollywood actor Dylan McDermott in The Mistress Of Spices, which was a film adaptation of Chitra Divakaruni Banerjee's novel.

    Directed by Gurinder Chadha's husband, Paul Mayeda Berges, the movie was a miserable flop.

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    The late Jag Mundhra, best known for his erotic thrillers, took the true story of Kiranjit Ahluwalia, who killed her abusive husband, and made Provoked (2006) with Ash in the lead role.

    After Raincoat and Chokher Bali, many consider it one of Ash's finest performances.

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    In JP Dutta's remake of Umrao Jaan (2006), Ash was once again paired with her future husband Abhishek Bachchan. She had the difficult task of recreating the role of a 19th century Lucknow courtesan, which had won actress Rekha a National Award in 1981.

    Sadly, Ash and Abhishek's sizzling chemistry could not repeat the magic of Muzaffar Ali's 1981 version. Even though Aishwarya looked overwhelmingly beautiful, the movie failed at the box office.

    However, the movie marked the beginning of Ash's real life love story with Abhishek Bachchan.

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    For the 2006 action heist film Dhoom 2, Ash shed not only her demure, girl-next-door, perpetually-in-love image, but her clothes as well. She completely reinvented herself with this movie.

    A sequel to the 2004 movie Dhoom, Dhoom 2 saw Ash paired opposite Hrithik Roshan, in the role of a sexy thief turned police accomplice.

    Shedding the extra pounds she had gained while in Bollywood, Ash bounced back with a body to die for, sharing crackling chemistry with Hrithik that remains one of the highlights of the film.

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    Ash's next film Guru, which again starred Abhishek Bachchan, marked a turning point in her life. At the premiere of the movie in Canada, Abhishek popped the question to her, and Ash said yes.

    Amitabh Bachchan took to his blog to announce the happy occasion, creating a media furore like none other. Directed by Mani Ratnam, Guru turned out to be a phenomenal success at the box office.

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    Aishwarya and Abhishek were married on April 20, 2007 in an elaborate wedding. Bollywood, however, took umbrage to the guest list, which included only a few close friends of the Bachchan and Rai families, blissfully ignoring many of the industry's biggest stars.

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    Two years later, in 2009, Aishwarya was awarded the Padma Shri by the government of India.

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    Marriage did not stop Aishwarya from continuing to work in movies. The actress delivered a commendable performance in Ashutosh Gowarikar's magnum opus Jodhaa Akbar (2008), where she played Rajput queen Jodhaabai opposite Hrithik Roshan's emperor Akbar, the woman who influenced many of his decisions.

    While the movie generated some controversy for its depiction of Jodhaabai and Akbar's relationship, it went on to become a huge hit. Once again, her chemistry with Hrithik had hit the mark.

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    Aishwarya and Abhishek's first film together after they were married was Ram Gopal Varma's Sarkar Raj (2008), the sequel to the very successful Sarkar (2005). Aishwarya played a character with subtle shades of grey, as did Abhishek. Sarkar Raj was based on Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather II.

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    In the 2009 movie The Pink Panther 2, Ash appeared in the role of a criminology expert, Sonia Solandres, opposite everybody's favourite funnyman, Steve Martin.

    She was the film's main villain and also the prominent eye-candy, holding her own against the Hollywood A-listers.

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    Ash's bilingual portrayal of the reinvented role of Sita in Mani Ratnam's Raavan (2010) and Raavanan (2010) met entirely different fates.

    Raavanan was a huge hit down South and the actress saw that as a potential ready to be tapped. Raavan, on the other hand, was one of the most loathed films of 2010.

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    Another Southern superhit followed, this time opposite the redoubtable Rajinikanth, in Enthiran (2010). The dubbed Hindi version, Robot, was also a superhit.

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    Ash was once again paired opposite Hrithik Roshan in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Guzaarish (2010). She played Hrithik's Florence Nightingale and reaped rewards for her sensitive but strong portrayal.

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    After five years Aishwarya returned to the big screen with Sanjay Gupta's Jazbaa, in which she played the role of a righteous criminal lawyer, forced to do the bidding of a goon to save her daughter. The film also starred Irrfan Khan, however was declared a box office dud.

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    Aishwarya was seen Omung Kumar's biopic of slain Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh, Sarbjit. She played the role of Sarabjit's sister Dalbir, who made it her life's mission to save her brother.

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    Aishwarya, who has been attending the Cannes Film Festival as the face of L'Oreal since 2002, announced the launch of her next film, Madhur Bhandarkar's Heroine, on the French Riviera in 2011.

    However, just a short while later she unexpectedly announced that she was having a baby. Mr Bhandarkar, who furiously accused Ash of blindsiding him, first shelved the film and then controversially dropped Ash from the project, replacing her with Kareena Kapoor.

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    Aishwarya then took a long sabbatical from work, clearly enjoying her pregnancy and, after that, her new role as a mother.

    This picture shows a heavily pregnant Ash checking in to the Seven Hills hospital for delivery.

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    The new mum made her first major public appearance after her pregnancy break at Cannes in May 2012.

    Already under public scrutiny for failing to shed her pregnancy weight, Ash had a mixed bag of fashion hits and misses at the Cannes. She earned a thumbs up with her dresses and gowns but left style watchers divided in a cream and gold embellished sari worn with a jacket-style blouse.

    Her final red carpet appearance in a grey Elie Saab, accessorised with a huge smile and a carefree wave of her hand, unmindful of the fact that the dress clung to every plus size curve, was a fashion high for her.

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    These images are from Aishwarya's first job, a jewellery campaign for Kalyan Jewellers, after her long maternity leave. Ash even inaugurated a Kalyan Jewellers showroom in Kochi on August 19, 2012.

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    On the occasion of International Peace Day, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan attended the peace bell ceremony at the United Nations in New York. Dressed in a black and cream lehenga, Ash was among a host of celebrities who took part in the ceremony which aims at ending hostilities among nations around the world. Also seen with the actress was veteran Hollywood actor Michael Douglas (extreme right).

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    Ash looked poised and elegant in a blue Gucci dress at the UNAIDS event where she was announced as its new Goodwill Ambassador.

    Who cares about weight anyway when we have a beautiful face like that, a piercing light-eyed gaze and cascading hair to look at?

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    In December 2012, Ash was interviewed by British journalist Sir David Frost - best known for his interviews with former President Richard Nixon - at the Whistling Woods International Institute for Films, Media, Animations and Media Arts in Mumbai.

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    We got our first real look at Aishwarya's bundle of joy, Aaradhya, at Big B's bash.

    This picture was posted on Twitter by @AishwaryaSpice.

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    In the year 2012, Ash finally accepted the second-highest Order of France, 'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres', becoming the fourth Indian actor, after Sivaji Ganesan, Nandita Das and Shah Rukh Khan, to be chosen for the award.

    She had earlier refused it because her father was suffering from a serious illness and she wanted her whole family to attend the award ceremony.

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    Aishwarya and her purple lips made headlines at this year Cannes film festival where she promoted Sarbjit. She wore a Rami Kadi floral gown.

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    In 2016, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil proved that Aishwarya is here to stay. Her onscreen romance with Ranbir created quite a stir among the audience. The makers of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil leveraged this to their advantage. This Filmfare photoshoot of the duo became the talk of the town. It created enough buzz to get audience to the theatres.

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    Here's wishing Aishwarya a very happy birthday and a great year ahead.

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