Once you have been in the limelight, it refuses to leave you for life. That's the reason why many Bollywood actresses have time and again made an effort to stage a comeback and stand under the arc-lights again. While a few managed to recreate the old hysteria, the rest have had to face bitter rejection from the crowds that once cheered for them. Here are some of the most famous comeback sagas of Hindi Cinema:
1. MUMTAZ (Aandhiyan) - She was once the sex-kitten of Bollywood who draped orange sarees and danced to 'Aaj Kal Tere Mere Pyar' and 'Bindiya Chamkegi.' With Rajesh Khanna, Mumtaz was box-office gold so it came as a shock when she chucked her stardom to marry millionaire Mayur Madhwani in 1974. But a greater shock was her comeback in 1990 with 'Aandhiyan.' Though she played her age, she said yes to running around the trees with an aged Shatrughan Sinha in a flashback sequence. Add to that a terrible script and bad direction by David Dhawan earned her so much flak that she left for good.
2. REENA ROY (Aadmi Khilona Hai) - The actress who at her peak was regarded as the only competitor to Rekha, Reena Roy also tied the knot at the pinnacle of her career with Pakistani cricketer Mohsin Khan in 1983. A tragic divorce and lost custody case for her daughter saw her make her way back to the studios in 1992 with a film aptly titled 'Aadmi Khilona Hai'. Fate remained unkind and the film went on to be a dismal failure.
3. KAJOL (Fanaa) - Kajol was the dusky beauty who played SRK's Simran and Anjali with great aplomb. Right during the making of 'K3G', Kajol plunged into matrimony with Ajay Devgan in 1999 and took a break for a good 5 years. With 'Fanaa' in 2006, she returned and found her fans welcoming her back with open arms. Though the success of the film was majorly attributed to the hero Aamir Khan, Kajol knew she was back with a bang. She even bagged the Filmfare Best Actress award for her beautiful portrayal of a blind Kashmiri girl and continues to sizzle on the 70mm.
4. MADHURI DIXIT (Aaja Nachle) - Darling of millions, the nation danced to her tunes for more than a decade when she burst on the scene with 'Ek Do Teen.' Several hits and chartbusters followed till 1999 when she broke a million hearts. Madhuri tied the knot with Sriram Nene and settled in US with 'Devdas' being her last release in 2002. But she could not stay away for long and she returned after 5 years with an accent and with 'Aaja Nachle'. Alas! her comeback found no takers and her act met with empty halls and went on to be a disaster. Her usual song and dance routine failed to interest anyone and the film was utterly rejected. Mads is now trying a second comeback of sorts with Gulab Gang.
5. KARISMA KAPOOR (Dangerous Ishq) - When Lolo metamorphed into Rani Hindustani, she became every Indian male's ultimate fantasy. The blue-eyed Kapoor ruled the marquee right through the 90s and finally married industrialist Sanjay Kapur in 2003. Karisma retuned to the silver screen a good nine years later in 2012 with Vikram Bhatt's 'Dangerous Ishq'. Like the title, it proved to be a dangerous gamble and the mind-numbing tale of star-crossed lovers spanning four births could not even last four weeks at cinemas. The use of 3D only magnified the plot-holes for all to see.
6. MANISHA KOIRALA (Bhoot Returns) - 'Ek ladki ko dekha to aisa laga' sang Anil Kapoor and the whole of India followed suit. With 'Bombay' and 'Khamoshi', Manisha became the undisputed actress to reckon with. Then began the downward spiral and she was failed to cash on her initial success. In 2012, Manisha made a comeback of sorts with RGV's 'Bhoot Returns' but only managed to scare the public away from the theaters. News of her tragic illness has shocked everyone and we wish her a speedy recovery.
7. SRIDEVI (English Vinglish) - The mother of all comebacks! Known as the First Female Superstar of Hindi Cinema, this Chandni of Bollywood remains our longest running No.1 actress. A diva for whom roles were exclusively written, Sridevi wielded such power at her peak that she overshadowed her heroes and was called the Female Amitabh. When she returned after 15 years with English Vinglish, she proved that some legends are timeless. The only actress to make such a triumphant comeback in the cinematic history of any film industry, she stunned not only us but an entirely new generation around the globe. And by carrying the film towards box-office success all by herself, Sridevi shows that even after 15 years, she will always remain the 'hero' of her films.
Written by: Salinee