Bollywood's love affair continues: Aishwarya Rai shocks and dazzles in 2012

But, no one can ignore this diva

She has been away from the big screen for the past two years. Her last appearance in 'Guzaarish' (2008) didn't do anything great to her movie career; the movie practically flopped.

Indian actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been named the Celebrity in the News for 2012. So what is that keeps Ash always in news?

Besides the fact that she gave birth to daughter Aaradhya Bachchan in 2012, she practically did nothing as an actress in the last one-and-a-half years.

Well, strictly speaking she did a TV commercial for a jewelry brand.

What's shocking is the fact that Ash is one actress who has been away from the camera and still hogged all the limelight, sometimes stealing it from the more deserving ones.

Unlike other heroines on sabbatical who slowly fade away from people's memory, Ash remained embedded in the psyche of her fans as if she has just delivered a blockbuster.

Almost adamantly she held her super-stardom.

Right from the time her father-in-law announced her pregnancy, till her delivery she maintained a stoic silence creating an enigma around her.

Not uttering a single word, not addressing the press, trying to dodge media; somehow it made the journos more edgy and they started tracking down her every move.

This mysterious aura that was created, either by her efficient PR team or the lady herself, worked fantastically.

Interestingly, Aishwarya Rai's post pregnancy weight gain fueled a hefty share of internet gossip. Surely she didn't enjoy the whole flabby Ash bashing but even that kept her alive in the tabloids.

Post pregnancy she was not picture perfect, like the petite Miss World of 1994 and she refused to step out. She cited mommy duty as the reason for this hide and seek.

She made her first public appearance at the Dubai World Cup as the brand ambassador of Longines. Her flab was visible to everyone.

But just when you thought you've cornered her with bullying, she pulled out a masterstroke.

It was Cannes International Film Festival and Aishwarya's appearance was being watched and tracked more than some of the movies at the festival.

She oozed confidence as she posed in her ethnic outfit designed by duo Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla.

Ash saved the boldest for the red carpet, choosing a fitted and shimmery Elie Saab gown; thanks to the dress we saw the undesirable bulge.

But she was out there to make a statement - that she didn't care two hoots about all the criticism she faced for her weight.

We heard you.

Then another shocker - ravishing pictures of Ash surfaced in her new jewelry ad with perfectly chiseled face.

Wow! Aishwarya Rai is back! But wait, are these pictures photoshopped?

When she appeared for the launch of the jewelry brand her face was bloated, a far cry from the bridal ads.

But now Ash did not shy away from the starry spotlight and flashed her pearly whites on every possible event, even Bollywood and private parties.

She turned deaf to her critics so the focus shifted to her daughter Aaradhya. The Bachchan family did their best to keep her name a secret until a so called  'investigative journalist' spied through the government papers and discovered her name.

Now that the name was revealed it was time to see her face and the mother did her best to hide her baby from the world for almost a year.

Kudos!

While traveling Ash would bring in all possible miscellaneous to hid Aaradhya's face - a file, a shawl, a jacket, woolen cap.

Shocking!

But one fine day Aaradhya wriggled her way out from the mother's tight grip and 100 cameras went flashing. Next day's headline -- "Revealed!".

On Ash's birthday Aaradhya was presented to the world. With no files, shawl, jackets for protection, officially media was allowed to click her picture.

Now Aishwarya is ready for a comeback; she is reading scripts but taking her time to decide.

After so many shocks off-screen will her return be another shocker in terms to hit or flop only time will tell.

In the meantime the charismatic Aishwarya Rai Bachchan or the news-maker of 2012 will continue to take our print space and entertain us off-screen.

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