AN ELGIN EXCLUSIVE FEATURE
The mesmerizing beauty, resting in the hearts of millions, got her charm from the alluring hills of Darjeeling, where she was born and spent a major chunk of her lifetime. During the early 90s, Mahima did a few modelling assignments and appeared in several television commercials before venturing into the film industry. One of her most famous commercials was for Pepsi, with Aamir Khan and Aishwarya Rai. She was a VJ on music channels, where she was noticed by Subhash Ghai, a renowned movie director from the Bengal Film Industry who allowed her to debut in the film Pardes, released in 1997. The movie performed excellently at the box office as Mahima won many hearts as well as awards including the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. However, the interesting fact being originally named Ritu Chaudhary changed her screen name to Mahima as Subhash Ghai was superstitious about being successful with girls whose names start with M.
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Through the course of all these years in the industry, she has played a variety of roles, starting with a village girl in Pardes (1997) to her varied roles in movies like Daag: The Fire (1999), Pyaar Koi Khel Nahin (1999), Dhadkan (2000), Deewane, Kurukshetra, Lajja, Yeh Teraa Ghar Yeh Meraa Ghar (2001), Om Jai Jagadish, Dil Hai Tumhaara (2002), Dobara, The Film, Zameer: The Fire Within, Film Star, Home Delivery (2005), and Souten: The Other Woman (2006).
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When Mahima went back to the hills for the show at the Darjeeling festival, she shouted the words, “Smile Darjeeling, Smile! I want to take it back with me.” wanting to capture the beauty of the hills she spent her entire life in. She claims that the smile she owns, which was complemented in her first Mumbai audition is something she got from the splendid place where she was born.
Alongside featuring many films, she has worked with numerous talented Indian Cinema actresses, like Kajol, Shilpa Shetty, Amisha Patel, Urmila Matondkar, Hema Malini etc. On being asked about her experience working with all the legendary beauties of Bollywood, she responded by claiming that she enjoyed working with other actresses, and she expressed her desire to work with Juhi Chawla, her favourite actress.
For decades she has been lauded for her charismatic contribution to the industry and has been accoladed with awards such as Filmfare Awards, Zee Cine Awards, Bollywood Movie Awards, and Sansui Awards.
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An inspiration to us all, Mahima Chaudhary openly spoke about her battle with cancer
Anupam Kher, a Bollywood actor, posted a video of Mahima telling him all about her battle with breast cancer and how not even her parents knew. The video’s caption, as written by Kher, was as follows: “Story of Mahima Chaudhry’s courage and cancer. I called Mahima Chaudhry a month back from US to play a very important role in my 525th film The Signature. Our conversation turned to her discovering that she has breast cancer. What followed is in this candid conversation between us. Her attitude will give hope to so many women all over the world. She wanted me to be part of her disclosing about it. She calls me an eternal optimist but dearest Mahima. You are my hero! Friends, send her your love, warmth, wishes, prayers and blessings. She is back on sets where she belongs. She is ready to fly. All those producers/directors out there! Here is your opportunity to tap on her brilliance! Jai ho to her.”
Mahima was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2022. She recently opened up about her cancer journey and revealed that she has been cancer-free for three-four months. She shared glimpses of herself on the sets of The Signature. About bouncing back, she said, “The process is difficult, so it’s good to have supportive people around you”. She is an undying inspiration for millions of women fighting the evil of cancer.