It was 4 in the morning. My mother and I had just finished watching a late night movie and I was just scrolling through my feed. That’s when I read the shocking news regarding the demise of the veteran actress Sridevi. I shared the heartbreaking news with my mother and her mother. The instant grief felt by three generations of women in that room unanimously is a testament of the millions of hearts touched by this superstar.
Born Shree Amma Yanger Ayyapan in Sivakasi district of Tamil Nadu, Sridevi stepped into the world of cinema as a child artist at the tender age of four and continued to do so in various Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada films. She made her Bollywood debut in Julie. In the consecutive year she played her first role as an adult in the Tamil film Moondru Mudichu. The succeeding years saw her establish herself a firm place in the Tamil and Telugu industry.
She played many memorable roles in the South Indian industry with her lead stars being Kamal Hassan and Rajnikanth. Her touching performance as young girl suffering from amnesia in the 1982 Kamal Hassan starer Moondram Pirai won her the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actress.
“Have witnessed Sridevi’s life from an adolescent teenager to the magnificent lady she became. Her stardom was well deserved… Sadma’s lullaby haunts me now. We’ll miss her,” said the Kamal, who has been her co-star in total 21 movies.
This charming lady made her presence felt in the Bollywood starting with Solva Sawan and then Himmatwala. The years following were glory days for Sridevi. Her movies continued to do exceptionally well at the box office and she was on a journey to paint herself an illustrious career.
Mr. India, Chandni, Sadma, Nagina, Lamhe, Laadla and Judaai are just a few of the many movies that comes rushing to any person of the 80s and 90s. These were movies in which we lived with Sridevi not just watch her. We felt her raw emotions reflecting on us. The movies were loaded with heartwhelming songs that still makes us sway. Regarded as Indian cinema’s first “female superstar” she ranked amonst the highest-paid actors in the 1980s and 1990s.
She took a lengthy break of 15 years from the glamorous world until 2012 when she returned with the comedy-drama English Vinglish. The reception of the movie couldn’t be better. With an average rating of 4/5 the film was easily one among the best releases that year. This made Sridevi the only actress to make a successful comeback into Bollywood after years of absence. to 2017 saw her acting 300th film role in the thriller Mom. Both her films did well and were also appreciated by the critics.
In 2013, she was awarded the Padma Shri, the country’s fourth highest civilian accolade for her contributions to the entertainment industry. Honorary awards were also conferred on her by the state governments of Tamilnadu ,Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. She also had the chance to be voted ‘India’s Greatest Actress in 100 Years’ in a CNN-IBN national poll conducted in 2013.
Not just an actress Sridevi has also proved to be a talented artist. In March 2010, her paintings were sold by an international art auction house. Every penny of the money raised was donated for causes.Her personality is one to be admired. Hailed as the “Meryl Streep of India” her fame was well deserved. Sridevi has successfully overcome every obstacle in her path an rose to fame. Her life is a beautiful, eventful movie in itself.
The superstar passed away on 24th February 2018. Her untimely death was a shock to all her loyal fans and family. She succumbed to cardiac arrest while attending a family wedding at Dubai with her husband Boney Kapoor and younger daughter Khushi. Her elder daughter was all set to make her Bollywood debut next month with the Karan Johar movie “Dhadak”. Sridevi had played a pivotal role in the career of her children and it’s extremely sad that she couldn’t witness their progress following her footsteps.
Her life was indeed a colorful one. From a gifted, chubby 4 year old to a successful, elegant lady of 54, we have seen her breathtaking transformation.She was a sight to behold. With endless titles and countless awards, Sridevi needs no words of description. Her life speaks for itself. It is at least consoling to know that even death couldn’t steal charm. She lived beautiful and died the same too.Her time tested roles will continue to enthrall us.