The ‘Roop Ki Rani’ who stole a million hearts  

The 54-year-old Sridevi will always be remembered as the most alluring and equally talented superstar of Bollywood who redefined Hindi cinema. The untimely demise of Shree Amma Yanger Ayyapan alias Sridevi was a shock to millions of her fans across the globe as well as for the whole film fraternity. The iconic ‘Chandni’ will no more grace the silver screens or will make the hearts stop at the next red carpet events.

Sridevi with Ram Gopal Varma

No one can describe the loss better than the famous film director Ram Gopal Varma, who directed Sridevi in two movies Kshanam Kshanam and Govinda Govinda. The grief-struck director in his ‘Love letter to fans of Sridevi’ wrote: “Though God so cruelly took away a Goddess like Sridevi from amongst us, we still have her permanently etched on our screens. I hate God for taking her away from us forever, but I love Louis Lumiere for creating the movie camera for her beauty to stay with us forever.” He further wrote: “YES like millions of you, I too believed that she was the most beautiful and desirable woman ever and we all know that she was the biggest superstar of the country and ruled the silver screen as the main heroine for more than 20 years. But that’s just a part of the story. However shocked and sad I feel about Sridevi’s death, it’s finally, once again a rude reminder about how unpredictable, cruel, fragile and mysterious that both life and death are.”

Sridevi with Kamla Haasan

Born to a Tamil father and a Telugu mother in Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu Sridevi started working as a child artist just at the tender age of four when her father got her a role in Tamil film Thunaivam. Her remarkable performance soon got her work in various films and in different languages, including Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Tamil. She played her first adult role in Tamil movie Moondru Mudichu in 1976 and soon established herself as of one of the leading female stars in Tollywood and Mollywood as well.

Though her debut film in Hindi cinema was as a child artist in the film Julie in 1975, her first official entry into Bollywood was marked with the film Solva Sawan which did not do well in the box office but gained her the required attention to stay in the Bollywood. It was Himmatwala starring Jeetendra that got her real admiration and the rest is history. It was purely by her talent and passion that she was able to create a place for herself in the male dominant film industry and got films that rode on her shoulder. With her feet, firm on the floors and eyes focussed to the cameras, she gave some electrifying performances that changed the face of Hindi cinema. She gave her audience a chance to see her in all the avatars – drama, action, dance, comedy, thriller and emotions, there was nothing the actor wasn’t proficient at. Despite the language barrier (she could barely talk in Hindi) she went on to show her acting prowess in films Chaalbaaz, Sadma, Mr India, Chandni, Lamhe and Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja and landed herself in top position in the industry. The audience went gaga over her innocent face, Kohl-rimmed rolling eyes and chirpy voice.

 

The Bollywood filmmakers showed immense confidence in her, so much so that when she returned after a hiatus of 15 years in 2012 she was again offered a film with a lead role. Her role in the movie English Vinglish once again proved that she was a star that did not fade with time. An international media hailed her as ‘Meryl Streep’ of India. Her role in the latest film Mom also won her several accolades. It was just when she was about to establish herself in her second inning, came the cruel climax, the sad news of her demise which appears like an abrupt final ‘Cut’. Hope her fans can assimilate the harsh reality and let her ‘rest in peace’ in her fantasy world.