By Line: Shivendra Pandey
From doing a Limca ad to becoming a successful actress, producer, and businesswoman, Shilpa Shetty Kundra has paved a commendable path for herself. Manya was born on 8 June 1974 and so turns to be of forty years of age, today. Her indomitable versatility is signified by the fact that she is well-versed in languages like Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Marathi, and Gujarati. Apart from her skill of speaking different languages properly, she has also good knowledge of nutrition. The famous book ‘The Great Indian Diet’, has been co-authored by Shilpa Shetty in collaboration with Luke Coutinho. Manya is terrified of driving cars, which is contrary to her filmy image.
Shilpa is a black belt in Karate and along with that, she is a trained dancer in Bharatnatyam, which makes her exceptionally good. The captain of the volley-ball team is entangled in the three amazing aspects of acting, fitness and a perfect body. She has appeared in more than forty films. The two films which give an intense boost to her career were Baazigar(1993) and Dhadkan(2000). Baazigar was her first film. Shetty starred in the unreleased 2010 Indo-Chinese drama The Desire, a film rescued during production by her mother who stepped in when its producer abandoned the project unfinished. Her portrayal of an AIDS patient in Phir Milenge (2004) won her many accolades. The amount which she earned from the respective serial, was given to an Aids Charity by her.
As far as her relationships are concerned, she had dated Akshay Kumar in the past. The awkward situation is that Akshay Kumar and her husband Raj Kundra, have the same birthdates(9th September). In September 2006, alongside Farah Khan and Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Shetty began the first season of the dance reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa.
In January 2007, Shetty was a contestant on and the subsequent winner of the British reality television series Celebrity Big Brother 5. She was the first Indian celebrity included in the show. Reportedly paid Rs.31.5 m (£367,500 GBP) for her participation, she said to presenter Davina McCall, “I just want every Indian to be extremely proud that I’m in here”. As for her participation, she stated: “I have zero expectations. The only thing I really hope is to keep my self-respectful and my dignified.” Her sister Shamita told The Times of India, “This is the boldest decision Shilpa has taken so far.” During her stay on the show, Shetty instructed fellow housemates Carole Malone and Ken Russell in meditation and flirted with Dirk Benedict but tempers started to the fray by Day 7 as a clique formed in the house disapproving of Shilpa’s presence. Following a worldwide controversy that publicized her as a target of racist bullying within the house, Shetty won the contest after gaining 63% of the public vote and described the experience as “incredible and overwhelming”. She further thanked the public for “a fantastic opportunity to make my country proud”.
In August 2008, Shetty began hosting the second season of the reality television series Bigg Boss, the Indian version of the international reality television series Big Brother. Controversially, one of the housemates was Jade Goody, Shetty’s Celebrity Big Brother co-contestant, with whom she was involved in the racism controversy. Goody left the series early after receiving news that she had cervical cancer, of which she later died on 22 March 2009.
In February 2009, Shetty and Raj Kundra became part owners of the Indian Premier League franchise cricket team Rajasthan Royals by paying approximately US $15.4 million for an 11.7% stake. Shetty also co-owns the Indian chain of spas and salon called Iosis. Shilpa Shetty has a strong supporter of feminism and is completely against the use of wild animals in the circus. “These once dignified animals only leave their cages, which are barely larger than the size of their bodies, for a few minutes each day to be forced into the ring to perform tricks which make no sense and are upsetting to them. The best way to help animals suffering in circuses is to boycott the circus”, she added, “I thought I should stop that. If I can make a little difference in their lives, why not go for it?”.
In 2006, she joined PETA(people for the ethical treatment of animals), as a member of an advertising campaign to support the freedom of wild animals. Though the honeybunch of her mother, is not doing many films today, then also we cannot ignore the fact that she is simply a milestone in the history of Indian Cinema and the Dhadkan of many hearts even today. We wish you a very very happy birthday, Shilpa Shetty