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Coastweek -- Sridevi the queen of expressions seen [from left] The Mr India star can’t keep a straight face as she babbles gibberish I-see-Lucy-You-see-Lucy. Nor can we, Chaplin would have surely doffed his hat at this performance in her imitation of the actor in Mr India, Even the late Amrish Puri had to bow down to a formidable foe like Sri’s raging snake woman in Nagina, Though Lamhe didn’t work, Sridevi’s performance was hailed. How droll is her version of Nargis  to Ghar Aaya Mera Pardesi?
Bollywood Icon Sridevi Passes Away

 Veteran Bollywood actor Sridevi passed away in Dubai. She was 54.

According to sources in the family, the actor reportedly died due to cardiac arrest late on the night of February 24 in Dubai, where she had gone, along with her family, to attend her nephew Mohit Marwah’s wedding.

While some of the family had already returned to Mumbai after the wedding, Sridevi, her husband Boney Kapoor and younger daughter Khushi had stayed back.

Reports said that the family members in Mumbai had rushed to be with Sridevi and Boney Kapoor’s elder daughter Janhvi Kapoor, who was in Mumbai because of her shooting commitments for her debut film Dhadak.

Fans and the media gathered outside the actress’ home in Lokhandwala complex, Andheri, North West, Mumbai while celebrities saluted Sridevi’s memory on social media.


Coastweek -- The whole world danced to Chandni’s festive tune, Mere hathon main nau nau churiyan.

Shree Amma Yanger Ayyapan, professionally known as Sridevi had an illustrious career spanning over four decades.

She began her career in films at age 4 in the Tamil film Thunaivan and continued to act throughout her childhood in South Indian films.

She even made her Bollywood debut as a child artist in the hit Julie (1975).

Sridevi made her Bollywood debut as a heroine in the 1978 film Solva Sawan, but she truly found her feet as a star in the Jeetendra-starrer Himmatwala (1983).

Her powerful screen presence and acting prowess soon made her one of the most sought-after artistes in the Hindi film industry.

While films like Mawaali (1983), Tohfa (1984), Mr India (1987) and Chandni (1989) kept her at the top in the box-office game, movies like Sadma (1983), ChaalBaaz (1989), Lamhe (1991), and Gumrah (1993) earned her critical acclaim.

She went on a hiatus for 15 years—during which she had two daughters—after starring in Judaai.


  Coastweek -- Her glorious return after more than a decade in English Vinglish reiterated how few can bare themselves before the camera like Sri does.

Sridevi made a comeback in Gauri Shinde’s English Vinglish in 2012 in a nuanced performance that charmed critics as well as the box-office.

She followed it up with the Tamil film Puli in 2015 and the Hindi film Mom in 2017.

She shot for a special appearance in superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s upcoming film Zero, which releases in December.

Sukanya Verma remembers the iconic Sridevi.

Losing Sridevi feels personal and I just cannot process it. My head is dizzy in denial and exploding with memories.

In 1986, I was a starry-eyed school kid wowed by her spirited snake dance in Nagina’s Main Teri Dushman.

I loved how her eyes swelled up in rage yet her body moved gracefully in a pristine white lehenga.

When I saw Mr India, a year later, I was as old as some of the kids in it.

And I felt as reached out to as they did when she offers the famished lot snacks and pastries.

I cried at her gentle gesture just as much as I chuckled at her flair to club Honolulu, Mombasa and King Kong in one breath as the impish Ms Hawa Hawaai.

Add to that a comic ode to Charlie Chaplin and chiffon-clad passions in Kaate Nahi Katte, it’s all too likely Sridevi’s all-rounder prowess and not the wonder watch that turned Mr India invisible.

But it was her beer-glugging enthusiasm and super sass in tackling the boys, baddies and buffoons of Chaalbaaz whilst asserting her independence as a woman living on her own terms in a ‘mardon-ki-banayi duniya’ (male dominated world) in one role and a stuttering, sympathy-evoking mouse in another that made me realise something important about the actress.

Only Sridevi can outshine Sridevi.

Her breathtaking embodiment of Yash Chopra’s most cherished theories of romance in and as Chandni heralded the era of the female superstar, a sentiment Bollywood patronisingly acknowledged by addressing her as the female Amitabh Bachchan.

Sridevi was delightfully cheeky in her impersonations and tributes—be it Nargis or Michael Jackson, but her individuality stood out and loomed larger-than-life.

It particularly resonates in the last scene of Lamhe, my favourite from Sridevi’s oeuvre, when Anil Kapoor tells her, ‘Tum kisi ki tasveer nahi. Tum, tum ho, sirf tum.’

In the years that followed, pre and post-sabbatical, be it her poignant anticipation and resentment as mother and daughter in Khuda Gawah, horrible boss overdose in Laadla, terror-stricken convict in Gumraah, husband trading gold digger in Judaai, undermined everyday mommy in English Vinglish or vengeance-seeking stepmother of an ungracious teen in Mom, Sridevi never ceased to impress.

Any kid growing up in the 1980s will be familiar to her invincibility.

I enjoyed that about her. She giggled without abandon.

She was the queen of expressions

Sridevi went through so many expressions in her career, and we love all of them!

She burned the dance floor as seductress and snake. She made more faces before I’d even heard of Jim Carrey.

Every time Sridevi appeared on screen, it was hard to look at anything else.

A spellbinding combination of ada (style) and adakari (skill), her marvelous zing and free impulses captured myriad feelings and the minutest nuances.

If making a face was an art form, Sridevi had mastered it to perfection.

With a mere biting of lips, twitching of nose, glistening of eyes or flashing that rapturous smile, she could transform an ordinary shot into an outstanding one.

She could be a diva, a devi or Daffy Duck channeling the endless rhythm in her being.

But I began to appreciate and miss Indian cinema’s most gritty, glamorous and goofy leading ladies only after she disappeared from the scene to concentrate on her personal life.

Sridevi holds an unmistakable influence on an entire generation of actresses including her own. I am often awestruck by her consistency and charisma.

So many of my columns are barely concealed love songs to her dedication and intensity.

You’ll never find any instance of Sridevi being lazy in front of the camera. She practically grew up in front of it.

No matter how ridiculous or monotonous a scenario, she’d give it a one hundred per cent.

Look at some of the biggest bombs of her career—Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja, Chand Ka Tukda or Chandramukhi... abysmal stuff—but Sridevi gives it her all.

She never really became THE Sridevi. She always was.

Ever since I saw her in Sadma, where she evokes protective instincts even of a child, some-where subconsciously I became aware of what it is to respect art.

In the Aakhri Raasta, where Rekha dubbed her voice, she offsets some of the dramatic tension caused by Amitabh Bachchan’s revenge-thirsty protagonist by creating believable seconds of humour and humanity.

Her exuberance could not be caged in arm candy parts and she made sure to break through.

Before she found her calling in meaty, central roles; Sridevi played her share of the vacuous eye candy opposite Hindi film stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Jeetendra and Rajesh Khanna.

The initial phase of her career, where she was shamed for her ‘thunder thighs’ and subjected to objectification in films like Himmatwala and Masterji, is uncomplimentary and embarr-assing in front of the glory she went on to gain.

Sridevi may have kept away from all the noise with her famously ice demeanour but all through her reign as numero uno, her off-screen existence was plagued by negative narratives—link-ups with co-stars, rumours of cosmetic surgery, the ‘other woman’ tag that religiously fuelled the gossip industry.

Except the enormous respect she was showered as an artist kept the wagging tongues at bay.

In recent years, she became more prolific in her social appearances and dazzled with her sartorial elegance and promise of more.

Her versatility made me wish to see her in roles that would reveal exciting new facets of her enigmatic personality. Sadly, that’s all it’ll stay now, a wish.

Silver screen’s beloved child, I’ll remember you as the face of joy forever.


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