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Rediff.com  » Movies » Mahima, Manisha, Madhuri: Subhash Ghai's leading ladies, THEN and NOW!

Mahima, Manisha, Madhuri: Subhash Ghai's leading ladies, THEN and NOW!

Last updated on: April 23, 2014 18:51 IST

Mahima, Manisha, Madhuri: Subhash Ghai's leading ladies, THEN and NOW!

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What are the showman's erstwhile leading ladies up to?

While some filmmakers are known for their penchant for certain alphabets when it comes to their film titles, Subhash Ghai took to launching leading ladies in his films, whose first names started with M.

He would even go so far as to change their names if their initials didn't fulfill the criteria.

After 17 years, Ghai will launch yet another actress -- Mishti will play the title role in this week's release, Kaanchi.

We take a look at actresses who Ghai took under his wings and how they have flourished in showbiz so far.

Mahima Chaudhry

Dehradun girl Mahima -- real name Ritu Chaudhry -- was given her screen name to fit the (Ghai) bill.

Although Pardes (1998), costarring Shah Rukh Khan, went on to become a monster hit, the showman and his then 24-year-old protege later locked horns in a much publicised legal battle over contractual issues and remuneration.

They quickly patched things up and moved on subsequently.

Mahima went on to work in films like Dil Kya Kare, Daag: The Fire, Pyaar Koi Khel Nahin, and Dhadkan.

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Image: Mahima Chaudhry in Pardes


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Mahima Chaudhry

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While Mahima's role as a demure village girl Ganga in Pardes catapulted her to overnight stardom, her subsequent films failed to match up to her debut success.

After appearing in multistarrers like Lajja (2001), Dil Hai Tumhara (2002) and Kudiyon Ka Hai Zamana (2006), the actress is now seen routinely fulfilling showstopper duties during fashion weeks and at other social dos in Mumbai.

She recently campaigned for BJP candidate Bijay Mahapatra in the Mahakalpada assembly constituency of Kendrapada district (Odisha) and is currently on the judges panel of a reality talent show titled Ticket To Bollywood.


Image: Mahima Chaudhry
Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar

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Meenakshi Sheshadri

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Meenakshi Sheshadri, who won the Miss India title at the age of 17 in 1981, became an overnight sensation with fellow newcomer Jackie Shroff after starring in Subhash Ghai's romance drama Hero in 1983.

She went on to star in noted films like Meri Jung (1985), Dacait (1987), Shahenshah (1988), Jurm (1990), Ghayal (1990), Damini (1993) and Ghatak (1996).


Image: Meenakshi Sheshadri with costar Jackie Shroff in Hero


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Meenakshi Sheshadri

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The actress, however, moved to the US permanently after tying the knot with investment banker Harish Mysore in a registered marriage.

The couple has two kids -- daughter Kendra and son Josh.

Also known for her dancing skills in her filmi days, Meenakshi now teaches Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Odissi to kids in Pleno, Texas, where she currently resides with her family.

She also performs with her students at charity shows and fundraisers.


Image: Meenakshi Sheshadri
Photographs: Suresh Narayanan

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Manisha Koirala

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After starring in a Nepali film titled Pheri Bhetaula in 1989, Manisha Koirala made her dream Bollywood debut along side Vivek Mushran in Ghai's 1991 hit Saudagar.

The film went on to become the biggest success of the year.

She followed up her commercial acclaim with critically praised performances in Vidhu Vinod Chopra's 1942: A Love Story in 1994 and Mani Ratnam's Bombay in 1995.

Her parts in films like Agni Sakshi and Kachche Dhaage also received positive reviews.


Image: Manisha Koirala in Saudagar


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Manisha Koirala

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Following a tough battle with cancer, that was detected in 2012, the actress has now turned vocal about cancer awareness in India.

She also received a diploma in filmmaking from New York in 2004.

Apart from social work -- she was appointed as the ambassador of United Nations Population Fund Goodwill Ambassador in 1999 and works for women's rights -- she is also working in a Malayalam film titled Edavapathi: No Man's Land.


Image: Manisha Koirala at a film screening recently
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar

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Madhuri Dixit

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Although Madhuri Dixit tasted big-time success with her 1988 blockbuster Tezaab, Subhash Ghai helped establish her further by giving her Ram Lakhan the next year.

The duo collaborated together once again in Khalnayak (1993), and her dance number in it Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai became an instant rage.


Image: Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit in Ram Lakhan


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Madhuri Dixit

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After her first attempt at a comeback -- Aaja Nachle -- crashed and burnt at the box office, Madhuri quietly retreated to domestic life in the US, where she was then residing with her husband after marriage and their two sons -- Arin and Raayan.

After relocating to India in 2011 with her family, the actress was seen on judging panels of various reality shows on TV before starring in Abhishek Chaubey's Dedh Ishqiya and Gulaab Gang.

While she was widely praised for her turn in the former, Gulaab Gang mostly received flak for its script and treatment.

Her online dance academy Dance With Madhuri is quite popular with her fans too.


Image: Madhuri Dixit in Dedh Ishqiya


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Mishti

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Ghai's latest leading lady, Mishti makes her Hindi film debut with his new film Kaanchi.

The young starlet has previously worked with Prosenjit in a Bengali film and hails from Kolkata.

Her real name is Indrani Chakraborty.


Image: Mishti at the music launch of her debut Hindi film Kaanchi
Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar

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