Prakash Raj Pony Verma   Aishwarya Rai recently ushered in her 37th birthday with her family and friends. And so..? This is a just another normal event and there is nothing Martian about it. It was just one more star celebrating her birthday.

However, there is something that is absolutely new to the Indian scenario especially from a film world’s point of view. In an industry where heroines have a very short shelf life and where marriage rings in the death knell of roles in the leading capacity for the fairer sex, this former Miss World has held her fort for a commendable period in a quite elegant manner despite being on the wrong side in the age category for the glamour world.

Indian audiences are not used to witnessing married women in a heroine’s role; there could be a few exceptions like Kajol who again has not delivered much work post-marriage. There are actresses who continue to act after marriage but in supportive roles in a changed sphere and not as heroine cavorting with heroes. In the western world, marital status or motherhood is not an issue for artists who want to continue their work. Angelina Jolie and
Julia Roberts are the best examples who are still commanding good roles and projects.

Hence in such a situation, straddling two horses is quite a Himalayan task in the Indian context and Aishwarya Rai has nonetheless done it with graceful aplomb.

Of course, her career graph has not been on an even keel and is punctuated with rough patches. Media, critics and industry folks have always managed to go in for a ginormous magnifier with Xn magnification when it comes to scanning Aishwarya Rai. In other words, the bar always goes several notches up for this beautiful lady. She is constantly criticized for her fashion faux-pas, her costumes, the styles or the lack of it, her talks more so her giggles and so on. A miniscule swell of flab anywhere in her body becomes the talk of the town. Her dressing sense at Cannes Film festival received more flak than pride that should have arisen for an Indian representation at an international event. Her acting skills are the topics of discussion and her personal life is also not spared. It would not be an exaggerated statement to say that no other artist, in contemporary times, in the film industry, had come under such a severe undeserved denigration.

Despite all these predicaments, Aishwarya Rai manages to be one of the top actresses in India and her popularity in the global segment also cannot be questioned. She was also featured in Hollywood ventures, though they did not get her the required acclaim. She continues to endorse prestigious national and international brands and commands a huge fan following all over the globe. She is also the most ‘searched’ or ‘googled’ personality. In the recently released Endhiran, her ravishing looks have been much appreciated and age seems to have ‘paused’ with Aishwarya Rai.

On her filmi career, she has appeared in 5 fine films of 2010, 2 in Tamil – Raavanan and Endhiran and 3 in Hindi – Raavan, Action Replayy and Guzarish and her performance in these films are also widely appreciated. She still is the most coveted and sought after actress and film makers don’t shy away from casting her in an Aishwarya-centric roles despite her age and marital status.

On the personal front, she has managed to remain a good partner for Abhishek Bachchan and their marriage is replete with verve and color. The duo seemed to be very much in love which was evident in the recently held chat show of Karan Johar. She is also said to be taking an active part in the activities of her Pa Amitabh Bachchan’s ABCL and the Bachchans present themselves as one big unified family in any social event.

To stay in the limelight brazing all oddities and that too with cool composure requires excellent vigor and Aishwarya Rai seems to have it all. This article is definitely not aimed at singing hosannas of her but just to state that she be judged or analyzed in an unbiased fashion and be given the credence that she deserves. After all, her dedication and sincerity besides her ethereal looks have brought her to her present stature and she has certainly broken the Indian belief that married actresses don’t have star value. Here is wishing Aishwarya all the best in her endeavors and many more successful years!
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