Madhuri Dixit recently released Tu Hai Mera, the second song in her album titled Film-Star. It is an expression of the diva’s love for her fans. Her first single Candle was dedicated to all the frontline workers during the pandemic. The iconic actress talked to Deccan Chronicle in an interview. Here are excerpts from the conversation.
Whatever you do — dancing, acting, singing — is right there on the top of the charts, isn’t it?
It’s because of the love and appreciation I’ve got from everyone. I would like to thank all my fans and the people who have been with me during my over-35-year journey so far. They have always cheered me and encouraged me whether I was going through good or bad times. They always believed in me. Tu Hai Mera is like a Thank You, it is dedicated to all my well-wishers and fans.
Tu Hai Mera is so different from Candle, which released earlier. How were they conceptualised?
The songs are part of my album Film Star. It is basically the back story of what it is like to be a film star. The first song was about being able to get to be yourself when you are a star. When you are in front of the camera and in front of the people, you have to be an icon. People want to look up to you, so you have to be a larger-than-life kind of person. You may be facing turmoil in your own life. There could be a hurricane, but the candle stands apart, burning brightly. So that was the feeling and idea behind that song.
Another aspect of being a film star is your fan following — you are who you are because of your fans. I wanted to say thank you to my fans. I feel they are my strength and they made me rise higher. That’s the basis of the lyrics of the second song. I thought it was the best song to release on my birthday. There are four more songs.
Tu Hai Mera seems to have a Westernized tune with an Indian dancing style?
It is a Western number. We wanted a beat like a pop song and added electronic music. It’s a Hindi and English mix, it’s ‘Hinglish.’ The first line is in Hindi as my audience is Indian. Tu hai mera is a beautiful line to begin with, I thought. There is a little dancing. I thought this song has more of an emotional connect. When we started, we would get letters and cards. We began in the style of the 90’s. We ended by showing how we are in the different universe of the social media now. Also, there is a little bit of fan involvement. I am singing for them.
Do you miss the 90s, and replying to the fans’ letters?
Every generation has a different connect. One has to move with the times. Today the connect is wonderful too. It’s a direct connection without having to wait for a letter, read it and reply. It's instant now. On, Insta, I love to make reels, it’s enjoyable and fun. I do it because it gives me pleasure. I feel that’s how it should be looked at.
Women actors have evolved. How do you see this change?
We are going through a magnificent phase. It has been possible because of OTT. There is no constraint or worry about theatre release and no pressures about budget. We can make programmes at our own pace. So creativity has blossomed. Women actors are not worried whether they’ll be portrayed in a cliched or stereotypical way. They have carried entire series on their shoulders, and are playing central characters. We are very strong, independent women, and we are flawed too. We are mothers, daughters and wives, we are professionals, and ambitious without being apologetic about it. Also, women are human beings, not caricatures. Such good roles are being written for women now. When I walked onto the sets in the 90’s, there would be a female co-actor and my woman hair dressers on the sets. There were no other women in any other department. But today I feel proud that when I walk onto the sets, there are women everywhere. I have even worked with a woman DOP. There are women writers, assistant directors. We find women working in every sphere of film making. It has a bearing on how a woman is received on OTT and in films.