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Madhuri steals hearts at AAPI convention

By Ela Dutt, IANS

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Once wanting to become a microbiologist, Madhuri DixitBollywood star Madhuri Dixit said she would like to be involved in charitable medical activities by Indian American doctors.

The actress, who herself is married to an Indian American doctor, said this at the 22nd Annual Convention of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), a powerful body of over 35,000 Indian origin doctors practising in the US.

Speaking on the Women Physicians Committee panel "A Salute to Professional Women", Dixit was comfortable in an audience of physicians and spouses here with their families.

She was the highlight that attracted the biggest crowd at the convention attended by around 3,000 people.

Flanked by her husband, Sriram Nene, who sat behind her on stage, and some highly regarded surgeons and professional women, Dixit said she was looking forward to working for the first time in her career with Bollywood's biggest male star Amitabh Bachchan and in another off-beat film being produced by Buddhadev Dasgupta.

"I would very much like the opportunity to work with the AAPI Charitable Foundation," said Dixit who is already associated with AIDS programmes in Mumbai.

"There are so many programmes in India to create awareness (about AIDS) but there's still so much to do," said the star.

In a question-answer session, Dixit spoke of her experiences about moving to the US from India. She also talked about what she does when stressed out: "I watch funny movies. I watch Kishore Kumar. I do believe in yoga and meditation, music and dancing.

"When I feel stressed I just put on my ghungroos (dancing bells) and dance. And there's always my husband as a punching bag!" she quipped, endearing herself to an audience that was already in raptures over her.

Moving from academia to the movie world was "like stepping into a dark room", Dixit said about her decision to drop out of school.

"I didn't have a particular idol. I used to like various styles - Nargis, Madhubala, Suchitra Sen. When I started working, I watched how they played, I studied their language, how they spoke. Mostly, I learnt as I worked. My greatest inspiration, however, was my mother. Basically, she gave up her life to be with me."

With her months' old son being cuddled by family members in the front row of the audience, Dixit expressed her inner joys and emotions about bringing him up. "But I would love to have a daughter... some time in the future," she laughed.

About entering Hollywood, she said, "I have not given it serious thought, but we'll see as time goes by."


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