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After a whirlwind year that folded in both a blockbuster Hollywood debut and heartache back home over new film Padmaavat, Deepika Padukone took a restorative birthday break and is back looking and feeling like a million bucks.

When Deepika Padukone blew out the candles for her 32nd birthday on January 5 in the Maldives, surrounded by family and beau Ranveer Singh, she had three wishes ready: peace, happiness and fulfillment. Upon her return to Mumbai on January 7 after the somewhat quiet celebrations, her sister Anisha accompanied her to their Prabhadevi home. The actor had gone through a tense time through November and December as the release date for her film Padmaavat neared and was then deferred. Fringe Rajput groups demanded a ban on the film and issued death threats to her and the film’s director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali. At the time of going to press Padmaavat was cleared by Censor Board of Film Certification for it to release on January 25, just four days after the actor’s birthday, and understandably she was thrilled.

A source close to the actor told Femina, “She is relieved. Padmaavat is a film that took up all her time and effort last year, and for it to not release in December was a dampener.” When we caught up with the actor in June, Padukone had told Femina, “I believe that things will always happen in a way that they’re meant to. As a professional, I give my full commitment to the film I’m working on and will never worry about what might not happen.”

No surprises, then, that she kept a dignified silence throughout the crisis and sought comfort in her family and work. One of the more exciting projects on the horizon is Vishal Bhardwaj’s new film opposite her Piku co-star Irrfan Khan. “I wrote the script of that film one to two years ago, but now I am directing it. So I am looking forward to work with Deepika because I like her body of work,” Bhardwaj told IANS. “She is a beautiful actress and I feel the camera loves her.” No arguments there ■

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