An accomplished actress, a former Miss World title holder, a wife, a mother, and one of India’s biggest stars, both at home, and overseas, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has done it all. There probably isn’t another feather that this Bollywood beauty could add to her much decorated cap.
As the former Miss World turns 42 today, it is hard to believe that she has come such a long way, since she first debuted in the year 1997, in Mani Ratnam’s Iruvar. The same year, she forayed into Hindi cinema, in Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya, opposite Bobby Deol; the rest as they say, is history.
Rai went on to act in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas, which was an instant hit with the audiences for it’s grandeur and glamour. Rai set the screen ablaze with her timeless beauty, and of course her portrayal of Devdas’s distraught lover, Paro.
From one success to another, Rai has been unstoppable over the years. She made her international debut with Gurinder Chaddha’s Bride and Prejudice, where she starred the ever so handsome, Martin Henderson. She then went onto do Mistress of Spices, which was later followed by her biggest project so far, The Pink Panther, starring Hollywood comedy legend, Steve Martin.
Rai’s list of accomplishments does not end here; she’s been the face of L’Oreal Paris for years, before Sonam Kapoor, and Frieda Pinto joined the ranks. She’s represented India at the Cannes Film Festival, year after year, before other Indian actors set foot onto the Cannes red carpet.
Rai was also the first Indian actor to feature on the Oprah Winfrey Show. No one since has achieved the kind of International acclaim that she has.
On the personal front, Rai has been happily married to her co-star from Dhai Akshar Prem Ke, and Guru, the film which blossomed their love for each other. She married Bachchan in 2007, and became a member of one of the most illustrious families of bollywood, the Bachchans. Now fondly known as the Bachchan Bahu, Rai has since given birth to a beautiful girl, named Aradhya, and is leading a prosperous life in the Bachchan household, making regular public appearances with the family.
Such is her charisma, that despite of being away from the industry, for quite a few years, Rai made a successful comeback, opposite Irrfan Khan, in Sanjay Gupta’s Jazbaa, which went onto collect a whopping 25.11 crore in 5 days.
Not only in reel life, where she is known to have successfully portrayed characters of various shades, Rai has also achieved similar success in her real life, where she has been juggling the responsibilities of being a daughter, a daughter-in-law, a wife, a mother, an actor, and the face of India, overseas.
So, as she turns a year older, TEHELKA would like to wish the mesmerising Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, a very happy birthday, and a successful life ahead!