It’s an open secret that Akshay Kumar played the role of matchmaker between former actress Asin and her handsome Rahul Sharma (CEO of Micromax). Asin’s career never took off in Bollywood despite successes like Bachan Bowl, Ghajini, Housefull, Khiladi 786 and Ready. So, as always happens, marriage is the safest option for an actress whose business status is declining.

The actor, who is now the happy mother of a little girl, did the right thing at the right time! Do you know that there was another actor who stood at the crossroads of his career in South Indian cinema as well as Bollywood? However, unlike Asin, this actor enjoyed modest success in Bollywood. It was none other than Rajinikanth who helped this damsel in distress to find her bearings. The actress is none other than the one with the most beautiful eyes and we all know her as “Madhavi”.

The dark Madhavi began her career in the Telugu films. She appeared in Maro Charitra, a movie directed by K Balachander. The script was about the doomed romance between a Tamil boy and a Telugu girl. Madhavi played a stellar role in this 1978 release which turned out to be a major hit among Telugu audiences. She wasn’t the head though.

When LV Prasad proposed to remake the film in Hindi, Balachander roped up Kamal Haasan, Rati Agnihotri and Madhavi. Madhavi took over the same role she had played with finesse in Maro Charitra. Ek Duuje Ke Liye came out in 1981 and gave Rati Agnihotri an easy entry into Bollywood. Madhavi feared being labeled as the widow aspiring to a new life. Lucky for her, Kamal Haasan and Rajnikanth have signed a few films with Madhavi as the lead actress. Madhavi was lucky because when she made her debut in Tamil cinema, Sridevi was about to come out.

Between 1981 and 1985, Madhavi made a record number of films with these two superstars, and most of those films were resounding box office success. Some of the memorable movies were –Thambikku Endha Ooru, Raja Parvai, Kaki Chattai and Tik Tik Tik. In the latest film directed by veteran director Bharathi Raja, Madhavi didn’t flinch to appear in a two-piece bikini. It made people in the cinema notice her immediately and she became famous overnight.

When Bollywood comedy Golmal was remade by K Balachander, he chose Madhavi for the lead female role. Rajinikanth who took over the role of Amol Palekar in the original had put a word for Madhavi. This led to a good platonic friendship between Rajinikanth and Madhavi. Madhavi has become Rajini’s lucky charm. So when Rajini made his Bollywood debut with Andha Kanoon (1983), it was only natural for Madhavi to get a cameo role – something that would stand out. Madhavi had the golden opportunity to star against no other Amitabh Bachchan. In a 15-minute role, Madhavi proved his histrionic abilities as a background actor.

Andha Kanoon was inspired by a Tamil movie Chattam Oru Iruttarai (1981) which featured Vijaykanth, a Madurai-based businessman who wanted to become an actor. Vijaykanth had enough family wealth to sponsor his entry into the movies. We have to credit the inclusiveness of Kollywood which welcomes people like Vijaykanth with no looks or talent to try a career in film. Vijaykanth later entered Tamil Nadu politics, but bit the dust earlier than expected. He showed a lot of promise at the start, which prompted Jayalalitha to take an interest in him as an ally.

After the success of Ek Duuje Ke Liye, offers poured in for Rati Agnihotri. Madhavi received less mileage. But the cinema of South India has taken care of it, whether it is Andhra, Karnataka or Kerala. Tamil Nadu of course welcomed her with open arms as deals did not rain in Bollywood.

Two years after Andha Kanoon, Madhavi starred in Geraftar (remember the famous song – “Dhoop Mein Nikla Na Karo, Roop Ki Rani “) facing Amitabh Bachchan again. This is the period when ambition overtook Madhavi. Driven by the success of Sridevi, Madhavi decided to focus more on Bollywood. She agreed to do Kalyug Ki Ramayan – a grade B film with Manoj Kumar’s brother, Vishal Goswami.

Manoj Kumar had him frolic in a bikini for a song but that couldn’t stop the film from falling like nine pins at the box office. When producer-director Balaji decided to remake BR Chopra’s film Insaf Ka Tarazu, he could only think of Madhavi in ​​the lead role played by Zeenat Aman in the original. Tamil movie Tarasu didn’t ring the cash registers, but critics took note of Madhavi’s powerful performance. Although she decided to focus solely on Bollywood, Madhavi couldn’t say ‘no’ to someone like Balaji who was her ardent admirer.

Age was no longer on Madhavi’s side. Flops like Haar Jeet (with Kabir Bedi) and Agneekaal and Sheshnag (with Jeetendra) did nothing to make things better. Madhavi had achieved what an actress of her caliber could achieve. She had reached a tipping point. As she mulled over her next move, her shining armored knight Rajinikanth came to her aid. He asked her to go and meet his guru in the Himalayas. It was as if Rajinikanth was behaving like a clairvoyant.

Madhavi met the guru and achieved an “indescribable” spiritual transformation. The catharsis was incredible. Her guru asked her to marry one of her devotees who was also present at the same time. It was indeed a strange coincidence.

The man in question was a successful businessman in the United States. It was time for the wedding bells to ring. Madhavi entered into a happy marriage and disappeared from the scene. Her guru had told her that she couldn’t return to India for the next 30 years. Madhavi didn’t believe it, but that’s what really happened. Every time she booked a flight to India, something disrupted that plan.

(Image Courtesy: TV9)

Madhavi is now a proud mother of three daughters. She lives in a lavish mansion in America, far from the glitz and glitter of Bollywood, Kollywood and Tollywood. She is a businesswoman now and has aged gracefully. When you compare Madhavi’s life with her contemporaries like Sridevi, Rati Agnihotri and Jayapradha, you have to admit that life has been much nicer to her.

Fortunately, all of this new wealth did nothing to shake Madhavi’s humility and grace. She is still in touch with her friend and supporter Rajinikanth and was one of the first to wish him the best when he announced his decision to enter politics. Madhavi cannot thank Rajinikanth enough for showing her leadership as she stood at a crossroads and struggled to come to terms with a career that was at a stalemate. In a fantasy world where inconstancy is the accepted norm, Rajinikanth’s gesture towards a fellow actress deserves to be noted, isn’t it?

(After working in the corporate world for nearly two decades, Bhagyalakshmi began her second career as a headhunter. She is passionate about Hindi movies and loves retro music. When her family moved to Chennai in the 1980s, Bhagya also got a taste of Tamil cinema. In the long run, she plans a book on two of her favorite directors – Guru Dutt and K Balachander. She travels across the country for her job and is based in Mysore.)


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