Veteran Bollywood actor Sridevi passed away in Dubai. She was
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
While some of the
family had already returned to Mumbai after the wedding, Sridevi,
her husband Boney Kapoor and younger daughter Khushi had stayed
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
delightfully cheeky in her impersonations and tributes—be it
Nargis or Michael Jackson, but her individuality stood out and
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
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
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.
combination of ada (style) and adakari (skill), her marvelous
zing and free impulses captured myriad feelings and the minutest
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
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
So many of my
columns are barely concealed love songs to her dedication and
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
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
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
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
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
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.
beloved child, I’ll remember you as the face of joy forever.
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