Happy Birthday to the gorgeous beauty who is as relevant today as she was in her first appearance in the public domain.
The lady received as much love as she has got hate from all quarters. In the midst of it all she keeps shining forever more as a loving mother, wife and gorgeous diva of the film and beauty world.
Currently riding high on the success of her global mega hit “Ponniyin Selvan:I”
Aishwarya is the ultimate beauty with brains. What’s even more appealing is that she is as Desi as it gets and yet has a worldwide global appeal.
Born to South Indian highly educated upper middle class parents, Aishwarya was a brilliant student who wanted to pursue medicine. She somehow ended up enrolling herself in Architecture College. And as life would have it, she did a photoshoot for her English Professor who was also a photojournalist.
What followed was a great modelling career even before the Miss India and Miss World crowning. Infact Aishwarya’s popularity was so high that a lot of girls withdrew from the competition knowing she was bound to win the Miss India crown.
In fact, just before the pageant Aishwarya had become a household name with the famous soft drink ad where Aishwarya plays Sanjana alongside Aamir and Mahima Choudhary. Many people started naming their daughters Sanjana after this ad.
But when the crowning moment came, the blue-green eyed beauty had to settle for second place and Sushmita won the crown. It was indeed heart-breaking to see Aishwarya trip on stage during the Miss India pageant.
It must have been a real setback for her initially. Though she bounced back by winning the Miss World crown in 1994.She has been voted as one of the most favourite Miss world’s ever.
Rai started her film career in 1997 with the Tamil film “Iruvar”, followed by her Hindi debut with ‘Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya the same year’.
Initially she was written off as just a pretty face and her blue-green eyes and hair colour caught more attention than her acting skills.
All that changed with her performance in successful films like Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s larger than life romantic dramas, Hum Dil Chuke Sanam(1999) and Devdas (2002). These two films also fetched her the coveted Filmfare Awards.
During the former film her association and love affair with Salman Khan also began.
After a while things went down south for her due to Salman’s erratic behaviour and possessiveness. It started affecting her work, when all big actors refused to work with her.
Being the woman she is, she was not going to succumb to circumstances.
She found an opportunity in her troubled times and turned to Hollywood. She became the first Indian actor to go to Cannes and has remained ever popular at cannes since her first appearance. In 2003, she was even a Jury member at the prestigious Cannes Film festival.
Mani Ratnam , Abhishek Bacchan and Ajay Devgan were the only people who worked with her in difficult times back home.
Through the years she also got accolades from the critics for her portrayal in films across regions and continents. Her sensitive portrayal in commercial and art house films like Chokher Bali (2003), Raincoat (2004), Provoked (2006), Guzaarish (2010) got her critical appreciation.
Commercial hits like Mohabbatein (2000), Dhoom 2 (2006),Guru(2007), Jodhaa Akbar (2008), Enthiran (2010), Ae Dil hai Mushkil (2016), and the latest period film
Ponniyin Selvan :I (2022). These films have seen Aishwarya in many avatars across genres speaking many different languages.
Aishwarya has also left her mark on the Hollywood Screen with big films like Last Legion (2007), Bride and Prejudice (2004) , Mistress of Spices (2005) and Pink Panther 2 (2009).
Her love story with Abhishek started during the filming of guru. It is said that they would both be missing from the set for hours. Guess old school romance still lives on.
This romance ended in marriage and Aishwarya became the bahu of Bollywood’s first family.Rai married actor Abhishek Bacchan in 2007 and they have one daughter together.
The beauty who has pledged to donate her eyes has also been involved in many charities.
A Goodwill ambassador for the UN.
Aishwarya took a break from films during her pregnancy and the first few years of her daughter growing up. She earned our respect even more for making that choice and knowing exactly what she wanted and standing by her choices.
Aishwarya got our respect specially when she graced the Cannes Red Carpet with her Postpartum weight. When a woman like her does that it sends a huge message to women world over to love your body and enjoy every phase of your life with beauty.
She returned to movies after 5 years in 2015 with the movie Jazbaa, what followed were films like Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Fanney khan and the Global blockbuster Ponny Sullivan.
Next year in 2023, Pony Sullivan 2 hits the screen. Nandini aka Aishwarya will keep giving us new cinematic treats to look forward to.
Recipient of the second highest award in France, the order of France and Pama Shree Aishwarya, you will keep turning heads, year after year because you are worth it!