Still believe she is around and would call me in evening: R Balki on Sridevi

File photo of Sridevi. Photograph:( Twitter )

PTI Mumbai, Maharashtra, India Mar 06, 2018, 03.28 PM (IST)

Director R Balki, who had produced Sridevi's comeback film "English Vinglish", today said he is unable to accept the fact that the superstar is no more.

The 54-year-old actor died of accidental drowning on February 24 at a Dubai hotel.

The 2012 film, which was the directorial debut of Balki's wife Gauri Shinde, saw Sridevi play a housewife who enrols in an English-speaking course after feeling left out in her family.

"I cannot talk about her as I have not accepted it yet. I still believe she is around me, and call us in the evening. I cannot accept it. It is too much of a shock for all of us. For me, to pay any kind of tributes would mean I have accepted it. I am not able to accept it," Balki told PTI.

The director also expressed his displeasure and shock over the sensational coverage of Sridevi's death on TV channels.

He was talking on the sidelines of 'Masterclass with R Balki' session at FICCI Frames here.

In the session, Balki shared his journey as a filmmaker - from his advertising days to the making of his first feature film "Cheeni Kum" and his latest directorial "Padman".

The film based on the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a Tamil Nadu-based social activist who revolutionised the concept of menstrual hygiene in rural India by creating a low-cost sanitary napkins machine, released last month to positive response.

Balki says the team of "Padman" wanted to drive the message home and the cause is continuing even after the release of the film.

"We are making sure the film reaches more and more people. Along with World Bank and Gates Foundation, we are taking the film to villages for free screenings. It is the best way to start a conversation. We are going to continue this and reach out to people, not just in India, but abroad as well.

"This is one film where box office is one percent of what the film is supposed to do. Of course, it has to recover the money, but you do not make a film on menstrual hygiene every day. You can't compare it to a 'Housefull' or Rowdy Rathore'. There is a lot of responsibility with this film on all of us than just making money."