February 26th, 2018 | Updated on March 6th, 2018
The legendary Sridevi inspired an entire generation of actors with memorable performances in films like Sadma, Lamhe and Mr. India.
One of them is Smriti Irani, the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting. In a heartfelt farewell to her favourite actor, Mrs. Irani shares her last living image of the iconic star.
On the sudden demise of the actor, who died late at Saturday night reportedly due to cardiac arrest in Dubai, Irani wrote an emotional letter remembering her “favourite star who defined joy in my childhood”.
1.”I pay homage to an actor who through her body of work ascertained that a female actress’ place in a commercial Hindi movie is not only to compliment her male counterparts,” Irani wrote in a letter published by News18.
2. As I thanked her for her gracious presence in this celebration of cinema, she said something that would stay with me forever — “where else would I be if not here?” That was Sridevi, the epitome of grace and a legend who conducted herself with humility. When I saw the legend up close at work at IFFI, I held her in awe not only for her capacity as an actor but also the discipline with which she approached her craft. Sridevi never demanded protocol — no entourage, no frills.
3. My memories of Sridevi are built through my journey from being a fan girl to an actor and then my role as a politician. I have had opportunities to meet Sridevi in public engagements and industry events, and each time I went back knowing a little more about her.
4. She was a woman who knew her mind and despite the challenges that came her way, she approached life with a lot of dignity. The actor in me was influenced by her work in movies like Chalbaaz, Chandni, Sadma and the effortless performance in Lamhe.
5. Described as the first female superstar of the Indian film industry, she shouldered many ’90s blockbusters alone. That her male co-stars had to depend on her magic for their box office success was an ode to her calibre.
6. It was not just her dance move that dazzled many, her comic timing is worth a study. The versatility with which she could oscillate between making her audience cry and laugh spoke volumes of her strength as an actor.
As I bid farewell to my favourite star who defined joy in my childhood, I pay homage to an actor who through her body of work ascertained that a female actor’s place in a commercial Hindi movie is not only to compliment her male counterpart. It’s farewell to a star whose last words to me will ring true forever — ‘where else would I be if not here’.