Sridevi: A life in contrasts

Her hair was carelessly tied in a big bun on top of her head and she was wearing pointy glasses. For all the latest Entertainment News, download Indian Express App
Get assembly election result LIVE updates from each constituency in Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya When I asked what had kept her busy all these years, she was prompt to mention her two daughters, Janhvi and Khushi. Even as the actor addressed Janhvi’s concerns (that’s what it sounded like to me), she kept on affectionately calling her daughter “Raja”. She always appeared happy chatting about her husband, daughters and the time they spent together. With her trademark nonchalance, she said: “If I am going to be the same (in front of the camera), they would pack my bags and say: ‘Aap ghar baitho (you sit at home)’.”
Though she was very casual about it, all through her career her co-actors and directors have expressed deep admiration over the way she metamorphosed herself — became Hawa Hawai, Nagin, bad-ass Manju or housewife Shashi Godbole. Or, the unsavoury curiosity that would surround such a tragedy? “In front of camera and behind the camera, there are two Sridevis. Yet, had she ever prepared her daughters for a personal setback that her going away would cause? As a journalist, I kept hoping for more detailed answers — in-depth ones that would give me an insight into the superstar who had just acted in her 300th movie, Mom. This time, I got the opportunity to have a lengthier conversation with the actor, who was called “the first female superstar” of Hindi cinema. Behind the camera she is very unassuming…In front of the camera she’s like fire, an electric power would pass.”

Our conversation was interrupted by a call from Janhvi. During the interview, she patiently responded to all my questions, with a friendly smile. But I was curious to know how she managed to completely transform herself once the camera was switched on. Her reputation of being a fiercely private person, stopped me from probing her too much. There was an unbelievable innocence about her. Related News
Delhi confidential: Mobile ShowcaseDistorted ImagesDubai hands over body, Sridevi funeral todayAs part of the pre-release promotions of English Vinglish (2012), Sridevi dropped in at our office and led to overcrowding in the conference hall. When I asked her about the advice she would give to Janhvi, she replied: “All I wish to say is that once she joins this profession, she should be able to handle both success and failure.”
Also read | MOM actor Sridevi: I feel like a newcomer every time, and I learnt a lot while doing this film
By now, Janhvi’s debut film, Dhadak, has already been announced with much fanfare by Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions. Having entered the industry at the age of 4 as a child actor and witnessing a fair deal of ups, downs, accolades and criticisms during her career that spanned 50 years, Sridevi must have told her daughters about how to cope with failure. True to her reputation, her answers were brief even though she chatted happily. That, somehow, made her appear vulnerable. 2018-02-27T22:32:19+00:00″>
Updated: February 27, 2018 10:32 pm

Motherhood came as a welcome break to Sridevi and she embraced it. Emotional after her demise, Rajinikanth, her long-time friend, spoke effusively about this. Sridevi’s last film before English Vinglish was Judaai (1997). Motherhood came as a welcome break and she embraced it. Flanked by director Gauri Shinde and producer R Balki, she talked about staging a big screen comeback after 15 years, wearing cotton saris for the film and making laddoos. Quite unlike her glamorous screen outings or her stylish appearances at fashion and entertainment shows, she was in track pants and flip-flops as anyone lounging at home would. It was apparent that after ruling the big screen in the 80s and 90s, she was enjoying her life away from the spotlight and public scrutiny. When prodded to talk about her life beyond the domestic bliss, she mentioned her love for “travelling” and dabbling in painting. No wonder, she has been referred to as “child-woman” during her early years in the industry. She always appeared happy chatting about her husband, daughters and the time they spent together. Currently, its shooting is underway, and the first look of the movie looks promising. The beaming mother assured me that when the right times comes they would share the news. After Janhvi hung up, I wanted to confirm the news of her impending debut. Next, I met her last June at her residence, ahead of Mom’s release.