Veteran Bollywood actress Sridevi, the iconic lady of Bollywood, passed away in Dubai after suffering a massive cardiac arrest. Sridevi was reported in Dubai with her entire family to attend her nephew Mohit Marwah's wedding. Her sudden death has not only brought the murk to her family or the newly wedded couple, but to the entire film industry and the nation.
‘She will never return’ surely disheartens us because this time the almighty won’t permit the miracle. But I remember when in 1997 she went on a sabbatical, how rumours yelled out ‘she will never return’. Definitely film industry was dejected by noting seeing Sri around for a long stint. However, surprising to all, Sridevi announced her come back after 15 years in 2011 with the same dazzling persona of hers. Although the entire nation was eager to blow whistles on ever-popular Sridevi, yet her comeback after a long-long hiatus was questionable because until then, no comeback was successful
Sridevi’s comeback vehicle – English Vinglish – directed by Gauri Shinde revolved around a middle class women, famous for making ‘laddu’ (Indian sweet), but not good with speaking English. To feel acceped by her family, Sri learns English. This, not-so-glimmer- role but still a nuanced naïve performance marked a successful return. She played her age smartly and pulled it off with a great success, claiming her won accolades. The film was undoubtedly a commercial success. With the worldwide triumph of English Vinglish, Sridevi became the only actress in Bollywood to make a successful return as a leading lady after marriage and long hiatus. In fact, some international media outlets hailed Sri as the Meryl Streep of India.
Bollywood has been a tricky terrain for superstars who go for long breaks and try to return after decades have past. The ride is even tougher for ladies who are once married and have two kids walking besides. Comebacks have been a tough call for number of loved-once divas like Juhi Chawla and Karishma Kapoor, who tried to return but were unsuccessful. Even Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai, queens of millions of hearts could do a little to indicate a mass-driven encore.
But Sri took the challenge bravely. From actor to housewife to mom and to actor again, Sridevi proved to be an idol, a diva for ever. It brings me no wonder why she was ranked amongst the highest paid actors in the 1990s and regarded as first female ‘Superstar’ and ‘Chandani’ of film industry.
Her sudden death has made us loose an iconic figure but her personality will remain engraved in hearts of all.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)