‘Sadmaa’ of ‘Judaai’ of the ‘Chandni’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 26 Feb 2018 08:52:07


By Kartik Lokhande,

CAN someone’s eyes well up for an unrelated person? Yes, if that person has created a space in the collective emotional universe. As the Sunday morning came with the shocking news of untimely demise of Sridevi, one’s eyes welled up instantly. One could not come to terms with the fact that the legendary actress, dancer, and a superfine human being characterised by honesty of heart and genuineness of personality was no more…

What a life it had been! Sridevi! That name brought before one’s eyes images of an ever cheerful, bubbly, chirpy young lady with her beauty adding charm to every which the expression she gave in front of camera. At the same time, her contemplative face from movies like ‘Lamhe’, ‘English Vinglish’, ‘Mom’ and so on flashed before one’s eyes. The double-role of Anju and Manju from ‘Chaalbaaz’, hypnotic yet sharp glances of a snake-woman from ‘Nagina’ and ‘Nigaahen’, childish innocence from ‘Sadmaa’, arousing dance moves from the song ‘Kaate nahin katate yeh din yeh raat…’ from ‘Mr. India’… Oh, memories swell the heart and mind both.

The actress, who started her career at the age of just four years, worked in 257 movies leaving behind her indelible mark on not only Hindi film industry but also Southern movie-scape. During her highly illustrious career in movies, she appeared opposite all the leading stars of time including the legends like mega-star Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth, Kamal Hassan, Anil Kapoor. But, never did she allow herself to disappear in their shadows. In fact, she was one of the rare actresses who emerged equally taller and spectacular in each of her performances. Apart from the big actors, people remember most of her movies for her… yes, her… performances. That’s why she is a legend. But, beyond an actor, Sridevi was a wonderful human being. One could feel the genuineness in her personality whenever her images at various programmes appeared in the media. Very decently and neatly dressed, carrying a soothing persona, she looked shy in the most beautiful way.

Whenever she spoke, she moved her eyes as if she was still searching for something more sublime all the time. Whenever she laughed, she spread the sparkle that could be matched only with the melody spilling out of the sitar strings when struck gently. Whenever she acted, she displayed her versatility and filled myriad colours in the character she was portraying. Happiness and positivity were her in-built traits.

As far as personal life is concerned, Sridevi proved to be strength of her family. That prompted her husband Boney Kapoor to speak highly of her when he was passing through a tough phase in life. She was a good home-maker, and a doting mother too. Probably, she picked up finer nuances of a personality from her life’s experiences, and utilised those in her splendid performances on screen. Within a few years of marriage, she was back on television screen with ‘Malini Iyer’. Her evolution was well visible to all.

Of course, the sensitive film-makers could not miss Sridevi’s evolution. That is why, the roles were written for her. If one has to talk of recent ones, both the roles in her latest movies – ‘English Vinglish’ and ‘Mom’ – were written specially for her. And, what a fine job did she do! One sympathised with her character of a simple housewife and also clapped in her support when she spoke in English in the climax of the movie ‘English Vinglish’. One felt like helping her avenge the gang-rape of her daughter and add more ferociousness to her calm yet firm character in the movie ‘Mom’.

One can go on and on and on remembering Sridevi, the legend of Indian cinema. Right from ‘Solvaa Sawan’ to ‘Ram Avtar’, ‘Khuda Gawaah’, ‘Judaai’, ‘Gumraah’, ‘Roop Ki Rani Choron ka Raja’, to ‘Army’ and the list is pretty long. It would never suffice to sing paeans for an actress who was simply magic personified. That’s why one cannot forget her radiant eyes peeping from the space between her two bangle-overwhelmed hands covering her face horizontally, from the movie ‘Chandni’.

For these and many other unspoken reasons, one feels that God has been unfair in giving her fans the ‘Sadmaa’ of Sridevi’s untimely demise at the age of just 54 years. One dips the pen in tears and soaks the paper in sorrow while writing about this sad moment. But, then, a bright image of hers flashes in front of one’s eyes, and one cannot stop that smile coming on to lips involuntarily even when the cheeks are flooded with tears rolling down.

That combination of smile and emotion… is Sridevi, the legend, the Queen of Hearts.