It used to be believed that once a Bollywood heroine became a married woman, her stint in B-town had run its course. It used to be the case that former heroines, no less beautiful or graceful, would be relegated to television appearances and becoming brand ambassadors for products.
Consider, for example, Juhi Chawla. She married industrialist Jai Mehta and is now the brand ambassador of the "Kurkure" range of snacks, while Karishma Kapoor endorses products like Khaitan fans, Priyagold biscuits and Shaktibhog flour. Sonali Bendre too returned only two years after her marriage to actor and director Goldie Behl; she was restricted to a cameo in Nikhil Advani's "Kal Ho Naa Ho" (2003) and has been seen endorsing products like Pril detergent and soap, Surya light bulbs and Omega watches.
It would appear that given their marital status, actresses like Karishma Kapoor and Juhi Chawla are never really considered as heroines; they are, instead, given roles of sisters or sister-in-laws.
The times, however, have changed. Nowadays, the burden of a post-marital career isn't quite what it was.
Here are a list of Bollywood divas who've stuck around, even after marriage.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Aishwarya Rai married actor Abhishek Bachchan on Jan14, 2007. That fact notwithstanding, she has completed nine films since then, including one Hollywood film, "The Last Legion" (2007). Other films include "Jodha Akbar" (2008), "Sarkar Raj" (2008), "The Pink Panther 2" (2009), "Raavan" (2010) and "Robot' (2010). The 37-year-old actress is also seen on television, endorsing beauty products and soaps, from the house of L'Oreal and Lux.
The former Miss Universe 2000 married Indian tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi on Feb 16, 2011. She got right back on the Bollywood bandwagon, releasing Shashant Shah's "Chalo Dilli" on April 29. In addition, she is also seen endorsing products like Bajaj's Almond Drops, Pantene shampoos and recently launched "Yoga: Recovery and Rejuvenation".
The 33-year-old actress will be seen in Ravi Chopra's forthcoming film "Banda Yeh BIndaas Hai" and in Farhan Akhtar's "Don 2: The Chase Continues."
Ayesha Takia married Farhan Azmi on March 1, 2009. Her most successful stint in the industry just happened to be between 2009 and 2010. In 2009, she starred in Prabhu Deva's "Wanted" and Milind Ukey's "Paathshaala" in 2010.
Madhuri Dixit married Shriram Madhav Nene on October17, 1999. However, the success of "Pukar" (2000) and "Devdas" (2002), as well as her look in subsequent films won her yet more admirers.
Apart from the silver screen, over the past few years, the 44-year-old has found her feet in television too. The actress has been seen endorsing basmati rice, dishwashers and conditioners for clothes, as well as having made appearances in realities shows, both as a contestant and a judge.
Kajol made her debut in 1992, in Rahul Rawail's "Bekhudi". She married fellow actor Ajay Devgn in 1999. After her marriage, the 37-year-old actress has appeared in 17 films, the latest of which were "We Are Family" (2010) and "Toonpur Ka Super Hero" (2011).
Malaika Arora Khan
Malaika Arora, who married actor Arbaaz Khan, is probably better known for her item songs, especially 2011's big hit "Munni Badnaam Hui", in Abhinav Singh Kashyap's film "Dabangg". Apart from the silver screen, the 37-year-old actress is also a judge at various reality shows on television, including "Nach Baliye 2", "Zara Nachke Dikha" and in "Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa".
The actress, who appeared in 47 films before her marriage to Raj Kundra in 2009, was seen on television endorsing Olay's range of beauty products. However, she will be seen in R Sharath's forthcoming Indo-Chinese film "The Desire."