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November 6, 1999
Hubby Hardly Knew Of Madhuri's Screen Life
Madhuri Dixit, the queen of Bollywood and the star of hit films like Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, Dil To Pagal Hai, Tezaab and Khalnayak has married a man who had never seen any of her films, and who was unaware of her celebrity status.
In fact, Shriram Nene, the Los Angeles-based cardiac surgeon, had never even heard her name before the two were introduced through some common friends in June.
The two were married on October 17 in a small, private and traditional ceremony held in the Laguna Beach area in Southern California, at the residence of Ajit Dixit, the star's elder brother.
"He (Nene) hadn't heard of her because he grew up here (in the US)," said Madhuri's eldest sister, Bharati Adkar, in an interview from her home in Saratoga, CA.
Adkar added that Nene watched some of Dixit's films after the superstar told him that she was a top-ranking film actress in India.
"He is so busy, so he could only watch the movies in parts and he got to know her," she said, adding that the films and Dixit's larger-than-life screen presence did not change Nene's feelings for her.
Adkar, a computer engineer who runs a consulting business with her husband Sanjay (also a computer engineer), described her brother-in-law as "a brilliant chap, a brilliant surgeon, who is very much interested in different things, such as sports, debates, and arts and craft." She said that Nene, at 33, was a year older than Dixit.
Shriram Nenes father is an engineer, Adlar said. The Nene family moved to the US a few decades ago, having lived in England for some years.
Adkar said that after the couple was introduced, the two spent a few months getting to know each other.
"She met him, they got to know each other, she liked him, he liked her. And that was the most important thing to us." Adkar said. "They liked each other as individuals and human beings rather on issues like her career and his career. Later you can make all the adjustments that are needed in life."
Besides her California-based brother and sister, Madhuri Dixit has one more sibling -- Rupa, an architect with a master's degree in computer sciences, who is based in the Washington DC area.
An engineer by training, Ajit now works as a director of finance for a multinational company.
Ajit's family and the Adkars migrated to the US in 1984 ("way before Madhuri was an actress," Sanjay Adkar said), while Rupa and her husband came to the US in 1987. However, Bharati Adkar said that the family was not necessarily looking for a match for Madhuri in the US.
"It wasn't a decision to find a match in this country or that country. It was the question of the person. That was most important thing to us -- and that he comes from my community," she said. Both the Dixit and the Nene family are Kokanasth Brahmins.
"We were not looking for someone from our community but he happened to be of the same community," Adkar said. She denied reports that horoscopes were matched before the decision was taken.
While the Indian press has often speculated about Madhuri's wedding plans, Adkar said marriage was not a priority for the actress till she met Nene.
Sanjay Adkar said that prior to the wedding ceremony, Dixit and Nene had a court marriage in Los Angeles, a legal requirement in the US. He described the wedding at Ajit Dixit's residence as "a typical Maharashtrian wedding, done with the immediate family."
Bharati Adkar said that the new couple had taken no decision regarding Madhuri's film career. Currently Dixit is back in India to complete some of her assignments.
Dixit's secretary, Rakesh Nath (aka Rikku) has said that the actress is going to complete all her projects and would continue with her film career.
Sanjay Adkar also assured Madhuri Dixit's fans that "there is nothing to say that she is going to quit or do something radical like that."
He said Madhuri Dixit visits her family in the US every year at least for a month "or even a couple of times a years.
"It's not going to be very different," he added.
"Maybe now she will come here more frequently, depending on her shooting schedule."
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