Isn’t it the year 2018? It should have been at least 2048 for us to say rest in peace to our ebullient superstar Sridevi. However, sadly our effervescent, exuberant, buoyant, sunny and cheerful Sridevi, at only 54 has left us, to move on. Her passing away is one of the most shocking and untimely news of recent memory.
Sridevi’s life has been a constant journey, a travel from one “role” to another. Let us go through some of the different destinations this fascinating explorer visited and discover some little-known trivia about her.
Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu is synonymous with fireworks. It is only appropriate that Sridevi who is a fire-cracker among stars was born there. Born as Shree Amma Yanger Ayappan, she entered Tamil movies in the devotional Thunaivan when she was only 4. Sridevi’s mom was Tamilian and father was Telugu and maybe this helped her effortlessly act in movies of different languages. She acted with both superstars Kamal Haasan and Rajnikanth and quickly became the no.1 in both Telugu and Tamil movie industry.
To be No.1 was her destiny in Hindi movies too. Amitabh Bachchan was the reigning superstar of Hindi movies but it was Sridevi who became the industry’s 1st female superstar. Both of them acted together in several movies such as Khuda Gawah, Aakhree Raasta, and Inquilaab. Eerily, less than 2 hours before Sridevi passed away, Amitabh tweeted that he is having an unusual fear. Was it a premonition?
During the course of the journey, she made a hit pair with Jeetendra and later on Anil Kapoor. Her Himmatwala with Jeetu Ji was heavily criticised but over the years it has become a cult movie and was remade recently starring Ajay Devgn and Tamannah. Sreedevi and Jeetu Ji were associated with as many as 18 movies together with Justice Chaudhury, Mawaali and Tohfa being some of them.
Sridevi and Anil Kapoor made a hit pair too. Lamhe, Mr India, Laadla, Jaanbaaz, and Judaai are all memorable movies which showcase her versatility and fearless experimentation. Her famous blue sari song ( Kaate nahin kat-tii ye din ye raat- I love you) dancing along with an “invisible” Anil Kapoor was shot in 1 take by the great director Shekhar Kapur who applauded her sense of dance and timing. Sridevi went on to marry the producer of the movie, Anil’s brother, Boney Kapoor.
A eulogy of Sridevi will be incomplete without a mention of Chaalbaaz and English Vinglish. Chaalbaaz was a remake of Seeta Aur Geeta and her incredible performance reduced her redoubtable heroes in the movie, Rajnikant and Sunny Deol to supporting actors. English Vinglish which had both critical acclaim and huge commercial success saw her make a remarkable comeback after 15 years in an unusual role of a mother trying to learn English after being moved by family. For this movie in which Amitabh Bachchan had an inspirational cameo, Sridevi was hailed as India’s Meryl Streep.
Rest in peace Sridevi. Would like to always remember you for your effortless dancing such as the dance number from Chaalbaaz, “Na Jaane Kahan se aayi hai”.