To make his wife Aishwarya feel special on her birthday, sources say Abhishek Bachchan is planning to throw a bash for her this evening. The party will be a private affair, where only friends and family of the stars will be invited.

The Bachchans will also be holding a Diwali bash, where several members of the industry will be invited.

Says an insider, “Aishwarya usually celebrates her birthday with her family. This year, Abhishek has invited close family friends to the Bachchan bungalow for a private birthday party.”

Ash also took to her social networking site to convey her thank-you to fans, who had sent her presents for her big day.  

Ash, as she is profoundly known, started her journey as a model, became a successful Bollywood actress and now leading an ecstatic journey of being a mother, wife and ‘bahu’ in B-town’s most celebrated Bachchan family.

Crowned Miss India 1994 runner-up, she was a hot favourite in the run for Miss World Title (1994), which she won. Her beauty and charm made her India's darling.

Soon after her victory in the Miss World pageant, Aishwarya stormed into the Indian movie industry where she proved herself as a brilliant and genuine actress.

Rising of a star

One of the most photographed woman in the world, Aishwarya stared modeling as a part time job at a very young age. Though she came into the limelight with the Garden Sari and the Pepsi ad, Camlin pencils is her first ever commercial which she did when she was in the 9th grade.

Aishwarya Rai's striking beauty might make her seem an obvious fit as a model, but the truth is that she was studying to become an architect. But due to her obvious talent in front of the camera and captivating beauty, the starlet began accepting the movie offers that had been pouring in.

Surprisingly, becoming a star she once auditioned for voice dubbing for a television serial and was rejected!

Bollywood journey

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has risen to a larger degree in these 14 years since she started her voyage with Tamil movie “Iruvar”. She made her Bollywood debut in Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya (1997) opposite Bobby Deol.

Like any other struggler, she didn’t receive acclaim in her initial years in Indian cinema. However, she was quick to pick up the pace and adapt to the norms of Bollywood and soon she was ruling the charts with movies like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas, Jodha Akbar, Dhoom 2, Guru, Action Replay, Raavan, Robot, Guzaarish and many more.

This ‘Kajrare girl’ kept the audiences glued to their seats when she had shaken her legs with husband Abhishek Bachchan and father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan in the all-time hit number in ‘Bunty & Babli'. The film sold out like hot cakes, thanks to the item number which set Aishwarya as the hottest item girl.

As the actress put more and more films under her belt, her position as India's darling cemented.

Aishwarya, a trained classical dancer, is one of the few actresses who got a chance to do a duet with dancing Queen Madhuri Dixit. Not only she gave a tough competition to Madhuri in ‘Dola Re’ song of Devdas (2002) but also won her second Filmfare Best Actress Award for her performance as Paro.

The movie was one of the most successful films in Bollywood’s history and received a special screening at the Cannes Film Festival (first Bollywood film to receive such an honour).

Her performance as ‘Nandidni’ in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999), opposite Salman Khan fetched another Filmfare for her. By 2004, Ash had appeared in over 20 films in just seven years.

Her film ‘Robot’ remake of South flick ‘Endhiran’ (2010) opposite Tamil super star Rajnikanth was a super hit. Though Ash’s films like Raincoat, Raavan, Umraao Jaan were not commercially hit but her performances in these films earned kudos.

Hollywood ventures

Aishwarya Rai had acted in a number of Hollywood films in addition to her brilliant performance in Bollywood. Her most successful Hollywood film are ‘Bride and Prejudice (2004)’, ‘Mistress of Spices (2005)’, ‘Pink Panther 2 (2009)’, ‘Provoked: A True Story(2006)’

She has also shared screen with Colin Firth and Ben Kingsley in 2007's historical epic ‘The Last Legion’ as well as French director Coline Serreau's remake of her 2001 film Chaos, which screened Ash alongside Meryl Streep.  Ash gave fantastic performances in films like Provoke: A True story, The Mistress of Spices, Pink Panther 2 and many more. Ash gave flesh and blood to Binodini, a Bengali widow in Rituporno Ghos’s ‘Chokher Bali’.

Her success as an actress unwilling to compromise her love and devotion to her national background had made her the highest paid actress in Bollywood’s history.

Her fame had also buffered her image as the face of India, helping bring the art of her home country into the world-consciousness through countless magazine covers in multiple countries, a listing in Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World Today," as well as Hello Magazine's "Most Attractive Women in the World" and Rolling Stone's "Hot List."

This former Miss World is among six Bollywood actors in the Forbes list of Hollywood's Most Valuable Actors. Other Indians on the list compiled by the American business magazine are Aamir Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Irrfan Khan and Hrithik Roshan.

Stormy love life

It is well known that Salman Khan and Vivek Oberoi were the two men Aishwarya Rai dated before marrying Abhishek Bachchan but very few know that when she entered the film industry, she was dating a little-known man called Rajeev Mulchandani. As Rajeev dated Manisha Koirala before Ash, the two ladies had a couple of catfights over this.

One of Bollywood's nastiest breakups was between Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai. They fell in love during the shooting of ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ (1999) and after a relationship of two years, the two split up over accusations of physical assault, threats and drunken brawls.

Their relationship was often reported in the media until the couple separated in 2001. But Ash had to pay a lot for this rift with Salman.

For instance, when she was at the peak of her career, Shah Rukh Khan unnecessarily dropped Ash from ‘Chalte Chalte’ project because of her soured relationship with Salman.

The two have had a cold war ever since, though recently, they were seen chatting and it was reported that SRK had apologized to Ash.

Soon after Ash and Salman broke up, and in fact before Salman had stopped 'harassing' her, Vivek Oberoi came into her life. While Ash was relatively silent about the relationship, Vivek was quite gung-ho and quite naturally so! It was not so easy for Salman to let go Ash.

In 2003, Vivek called a press conference at his house, where he alleged that Salman had been threatening him because of his close relations with Aishwarya Rai. Salman, however denied the allegations.

Finally, Ash found her soulmate in Abhishek Bachchan. When Abhi announced his engagement with Ash people could not think of a more powerful and beautiful couple than this.

While Abhishek Bachchan was to grab a foothold in Bollywood and Ash was already a successful heroine, they signed ‘Dhai Akshar Prem Ke’, first movie of the couple together. Initially they were friends but destiny had planned something else for them.

Rumours of their romance started to spread after they were seen together in a song in ‘Bunty Aur Babli’. Later, they gave a fantastic performance in ‘Guru’, the first solo hit of Abhishek Bachchan. During the premiere of ‘Guru’ in Toronto on January 12th, 2007 Abhishek Bachchan proposed Aishwarya Rai and she accepted on the spot.

Without wasting much time, they tied the knot on April 20th, 2007 in a quiet private ceremony. It was the most awaited and talked about wedding in years.

After Vivek’s episode, when Ash was happily married with Abhishek Bachchan, her electrifying chemistry and smooching scene with Hrithik Roshan in ‘Dhoom 2’ stirred controversy, making the Bachchans very uncomfortable.

Before the fire was put out, once again, the duo sizzled on fire in ‘Jodhaa Akbar’. This could not have helped the Abhi-Hrithik rivalry, at least not for Abhishek.

‘Aishwarya Rai’- the name sure comes with a value and the value isn’t any small- it runs into crores. Her entry into the Bachchan Family has made the Bachchan clan worth Rs 700 crore!

Lady with a noble heart

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is considered as one of the World's Beautiful Women and a powerful person too. She might have been the face of the Cosmetic brand L’Oreal, brand ambassador of various others products, but her cleft lip ad for Smile Foundation, for which she is the brand ambassador made everyone sit up and take notice of her.

She is the only Bollywood actress who dares to come onscreen with a cleft lip.

It is reported that Aishwarya Rai will be helping the charity to provide free cleft lip surgery to children in India and other 76 developing countries around the world.

The ‘bahu’ of Bollywood’s first family is the youngest actress to receive the Padma Shri Award, the fourth highest civilian honor from the Government of India for her contribution to cinema.

Unknown facts about Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

•    Won the title of "Miss Photogenic" in the 1994 Miss World Pageant.
•    Has more than 17,000 websites dedicated to her.
•    Became the first Indian and South Asian actress to be featured on The Oprah Show (April 25, 2005).
•    Aishwarya Rai turned down the role of Briseis in the film "Troy" (2004) as she refused to kiss Brad Pitt.
•    Became the first Indian actress to be interviewed on 60 Minutes (January 2nd, 1968).
•    Her wax figure is on display at Madame Tussaud's wax museum making her the first Bollywood and Indian actress to do so (2004).
•    Not too fond of jewelry, loves to collect watches instead.
•    Sued 'Star and Style' magazine for a sum of Rs 2 crores for printing an article claiming actress Raveena Tandon had caught her and Akshay Kumar in a compromising position at the pool side of a five star hotel.
•    When International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) weekend was held at Amsterdam (in June 2005), a new breed of tulip was named after her.
•    She is the first Indian actor/actress to be a member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival.
•    In the summer of 2005, Mattel released limited-edition Barbie dolls inspired by Aishwarya and her costumes. They were released only in Britain and sold out within minutes.
•    She is the second Indian actress to appear on the cover of TIME magazine in 2003. The first was Parveen Babi in 1976.

Aishwariya Rai Bachchan, who started as a little known model but made it to the throne of Bollywood, is considered as the beckon of inspiration for Indian girls for whom sky is not the limit.

Wishing this ‘Aphrodite of Bollywood’ and soon to- be- mom a very happy birthday from Jagran Post team.

JPN

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