Bollywood is a difficult industry to break into. And it is even difficult to sustain your spot. Add to it the unwarranted pressure of being the fairer sex and the ticking age bomb and Bollywood can retire you like old horses in the army! However, the dynamics of the industry have changed considerably over the past decade for the better. In today’s exciting times, when scripts are being written for characters and not vice versa, marriage or having kids is no more the end of road for an actress in Bollywood!

Here are 10 leading ladies of Bollywood who bowed out of Bollywood, only to make much-talked about comebacks:

1. Madhuri Dixit

The biggest diva to make a comeback ever, Madhuri Dixit flew down to where she always belonged all the way from Denver, USA, after taking a long sabbatical to raise her kids. Though her comeback vehicle Aaja Nachle proved to be a dampener, the dancing diva covered lost ground with a stellar performance in Dedh Ishqiya and got everyone hooked to her million dollar smile with a stint at a popular dance reality show.


2. Sridevi

Very few people bow out when they’re at the top of the game. ’90s superstar Sridevi took a long break after her super-hit film Judaai in 1997. 15 years later and with no significant signs of ageing, the charismatic actress made a comeback in the form of English Vinglish . Audience loved the elegance and innocence of Sridevi’s portrayal of a housewife struggling at English and welcomed the diva’s return to cinema with open arms.


3. Kajol

While Kajol has always tried to strike the perfect balance between work and family life by doing films at significant gaps, it was about time the talented actress returned to the silver screen owing to popular demand. 5 years post the release of We Are Family and My Name Is Khan, Kajol couldn’t have asked for a bigger comeback as she is set to sizzle on the silver screen once again with none-other-than the king of romance and her favourite co-star Shah Rukh Khan in Dilwale.


4. Tabu

Tabu is an actress-par-excellence who has aced commercial and parallel cinema like no one else in the industry. As age and new talent caught up, the powerhouse performer also rehashed her choice of cinema and became choosy about scripts. While purists would say Tabu never really took a break, she made a comeback of sorts in the space of commercial cinema with a much-acclaimed performance in 2014 blockbuster Haider. Backing her performance with another stellar cop act in this year’s suspense thriller Drishyam, Tabu proved that she’s an actress for all ages.


5. Rani Mukerji

Romance, drama and comedy, Rani Mukerji did it all in her prime during the early 2000s and emerged as one of the biggest actresses of Bollywood. More recently, Rani’s affair with film maker Aditya Chopra culminated into marriage last year and work took a backseat. However, Rani returned to the silver screen yet again and how! Rani’s tough and rowdy cop act in the 2014 hit movie Mardaani got her back into the game, proving once again that marital status has got nothing to do with one’s acting career.


6. Raveena Tandon

The ravishing Raveena Tandon is known as the quintessential masala queen of the ’90s. However, when it was her turn to settle down and start a family with businessman Anil Thadani, Tandon was happy to hang her sandals! While the Ankhiyon se goli maare actress was never out of sight with regular TV commercials in her kitty, it was Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet which created a lot of buzz around Raveena Tandon. Raveena played the role of a jazz singer in the movie and looked every bit ravishing. While the actress doesn’t like calling it her comeback, we just hope the actress takes up more such interesting roles!


7. Juhi Chawla

The bubbly actress tied the knot in 2001 with businessman Jay Mehta and subsequently got busy with managing her family and their IPL franchise. However, it was her full-fledged comeback in a negative avatar in Gulaab Gang in 2013 that earned her rave reviews. The actress shed her girl-next-door image and played a corrupt politician in the movie alongside Madhuri Dixit and marked her comeback with much aplomb.


8. Lara Dutta

The last time Lara Dutta hit the headlines was when she married tennis ace Mahesh Bhupathi in 2011. However, the lanky beauty is all fresh and raring to go after a long sabbatical and in fact has a slew of films ready for release. The former model will be seen in Singh Is Bling with Akshay Kumar this year and in an ensemble cast in No Entry Mein Entry in 2016.


9. Karisma Kapoor

With the looks and personality to put a 20-year-old debutante to shame, Karisma Kapoor kept her presence limited to social gatherings, page 3 parties and TV commercials post her marriage to Delhi businessman Sanjay Kapur. However, once her marriage hit rock bottom, she found solace in returning to what she loved the most i.e. acting in films. Although her comeback film Dangerous Ishq tanked, her looks won hearts and imagination of one and all.


10. Aishwarya Rai

Be it her high profile appearances with daughter Aaradhya or her red carpet endeavours in the West, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan never keeps out of the news. However, the former Miss World is racking up media glare once again and this time for her much-anticipated comeback thriller, Jazbaa opposite Irrfan Khan. The trailer of the courtroom drama just got out and was very well received by the audiences and has upped the expectations even more. And from the looks of it, we already feel a successful comeback is in the offing!


Welcome back, ladies!