Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit - are those two names in the Hindi film industry that will always remain etched in millions of hearts till the eternity. The two actresses not only emerged as the bankable stars but also left their male counterparts in awe of their charismatic personality. Both went on to cement their position in the film industry, reached heights of their super stardom becoming iconic of their time and later, settled happily into domesticity.
After a sabbatical of more than a decade, they once again showed their relevance in the entertainment world by making a stunning comeback with their respective films - Aaja Nachle (2007) and English Vinglish (2012). In fact, Madhuri had even praised Sridevi's performance in English Vinglish and oozed confidence when had said that 'they are relevant even today'. But there was a time when Sridevi and Madhuri were one of the biggest rivals in Bollywood when they both were at the peak of their acting career.
Back in 80s, Sridevi was undoubtedly the ultimate diva and was labelled as India's first female superstar who dominated the Indian cinema. There was no one who could match up to her level other than Jaya Prada until she crossed path Madhuri Dixit who stepped into the Hindi cinema towards the end of the 80s with Tezaab (1988).
With her stellar performance in Tezaab, Madhuri became an overnight star and also emerged as the new dancing sensation with her popular upbeat and energetic number Ek Do Teen. She soon became every filmmaker's delight with her sparkling eyes and a perfect face laced with impeccable dancing and acting talent. There was no one who could resist her charming smile that was worth a million hearts. But her growing popularity had started developing into a threat for Sridevi who, by then, had sent herself into the sophistication world.
While Madhuri soon started appearing on the wish list of filmmakers and went on to work with actors like Sunny Deol, Sanjay Dutt, Jackie Shroff, Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Anil Kapoor, Sridevi seemed rather stuck with actors like Rishi Kapoor and Anil Kapoor. Sridevi's glorious career had suffered a huge dent when her big budget film of that time Roop Ki Raani Choron Ka Raja (1993), produced by her husband Boney Kapoor, bombed at the box office incurring huge losses rocking not just professional life but personal life as well. During this time, Madhuri was climbing up the ladder of success and had appeared in almost 6 films including Khalnayak in 1993.
Not just in the late 80s and mid 90s, the rivalry between Madhuri and Sridevi just refused to die down even after they chose to appear on the silver screen after more than a decade with Aaja Nachle and English Vinglish. There was a lot of excitement and eagerness among moviegoers to watch Madhuri perform on the silver screen. But Sridevi showed everyone that despite being not in the business for years, her aura, her talent, her charisma, hasn't faded with time.
But the best part about Sridevi and Madhuri's rivalry was their personal admiration for one another and their body of work. The word 'insecurity' didn't exist for them at all. In fact, both Sridevi and Madhuri had even gone on record to praise each other's work and admitting how they were bowled over by their performances in their respective films.
Not matter what you do, the bottom line will always remain that - 'there could never be another Sridevi and there could never be another Madhuri'.