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Born on March 2, 1973, Vidya Malavade is best known for her role in Chak De! India as Vidya Sharma, the goalkeeper and captain of the Indian Women's Hockey Team in the film. Vidya hails from Mumbai. (All photos/Vidya Malavade's official Instagram account)
Vidya Malavade is a distant cousin of actor Prateik Babbar. Very few know that Vidya's father Mohan Malavade and late actress Smita Patil were cousins.
Vidya Malavade lived a very simple childhood. Vidya in an 2010 interview with mid-day, 'As a child, I remember spending a large part of the monsoons at my grandmother's place at Peddar Road. I and my cousins would get together and create a splash. The best part was playing in the puddles that used to form in the building compound and getting drenched in the rains. But we could only take all these liberties at her place. There were times when she too got irritated seeing so us dirty and wet, but she never yelled at us. And not to mention, the yummy snacks she made for all of us samosas, bhajias, soup and so on. There is always a smile on my face every time I remember the time I spent with my cousins in the monsoons at my grandmom's house. Rains are the best time for kids to have fun.'
Though Vidya has an LLB degree, she did not pursue a career in law. In fact, you would be surprised to know that Vidya Malavade has worked as an air hostess for a year with Lufthansa Airlines.
Another lesser-known fact about Vidya Malavade is the Chak De! India actress is a trained Kathak dancer and she can perform salsa, rumba, foxtrot and tap effortlessly as well.
'As a child, I was a very sincere student and my teacher loved me. I would go for Kathak classes four times a week. Now I've become a little laidback and go whenever I can. I need to pull up my socks again, rather put on the ghungroos,' Vidya was quoted in an interview back in 2010.
Another lesser-known fact of Vidya Malavade is she loves doing household chores. 'My friends say that I'm just like Monica from the TV sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Since I don't have a maid, I end up looking after all the domestic chores single-handedly. And I'm just such a freak that I might even wake up in the night and start clearing my wardrobe. I think I can do with a full-time domestic help.'
However, tragedy struck in 2000 when Vidya's husband Capt. Arvind Singh Bagga died after his plane crashed into a building in Patna.
Vidya Malavade was shattered by the death of her husband, but her parents supported her whole-heartedly. In an interview, Vidya had even mentioned that there was a phase in her life when she felt suicidal.
'I was so desperate that I had decided to commit suicide. I managed to stick on only because of my parents whose tears mattered a lot to me. They begged of me to live for their sake,' said Vidya.
Vidya Malavade coped with her husband's death and moved on. In 2009, Vidya Malavade got married to Sanjay Dayma at the MIG Club, Bandra. It was an intimate affair! Sanjay Dayma has worked with Ashutosh Gowariker on the Oscar-nominated Lagaan as the film's Screenplay Writer and Associate Director.
On the acting front, Vidya Malavade started her career in Bollywood with Vikram Bhatt's Inteha (2003). Vidya Malavade received a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut for her debut film Inteha.
The film marked Ashmit Patel and Vidya Malavade's Bollywood debut along with Nauheed Cyrusi as the female lead. Inteha was inspired by the Hollywood film Fear but flopped at the Box Office.
In 2005, Vidya Malavade starred in two films - Mashooka and U, Bomsi n Me. Both the films bombed at the Box Office.
However, with Chak De! India's (2007) success, Vidya Malavade's dooming career got little hopes! She truly gained recognition after acting in the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer.
But her career has not had the graph one would have assumed considering Chak De! India's' success! After Chak De! India, she starred in Kidnap (2008) starring Sanjay Dutt, Imran Khan and Minissha Lamba.
Vidya Malavade played Minissha Lamba's on-screen mother in the film, and raised eyebrows of one and all since Minissha is 12 years younger than Vidya. However, much to Vidya's disappointment, Kidnap too flopped at the Box office.
After Kidnap, Vidya Malavade appeared in films such as Tum Milo Toh Sahi, No Problem, Dus Tola, Striker, Chakradhaar - all flopped at the Box Office.
Vidya Malavade has also acted in 1920: Evil Returns and Once Upon Ay Time in Mumbai Dobaara!, among others.
She also tried her hands on Television. In 2008, Vidya Malavade participated in the reality show Fear Factor - Khatron Ke Khiladi. The season was hosted by Akshay Kumar and Vidya got evicted in the second week itself.
In 2013, Vidya Malavade auditioned for the role of an IPS officer in the TV show Diya Aur Baati Hum but the part was bagged by Manini Mishra as the makers felt she was too soft for the character requirements.
Apart from acting in Bollywood films and TV shows, Vidya Malavade has also worked in several TV commercials.
Vidya Malavade is now a Yoga instructor and is successfully inspiring millions of her Instagram followers!
Here's wishing a very happy birthday to Vidya Malavade!