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A personal account of how Sridevi influenced this author and made her passionate about dancing. The diva will remain immortal in many such hearts.
I woke up to the disturbing and heart-breaking news. I broke down into copious tears. My 3-year-old could not fathom why her mumma was crying, so I went into the washroom to pour out the well of emotions from within me.
The news of anyone’s death is always sad. But, I never thought that the death of someone not related to me could deeply impact me. Sridevi was not a family member; she was not my friend. Yet, her sudden and untimely demise came as a rude shock and I felt overpowered by a sense of personal loss and grief.
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She was an actor par excellence and perhaps, one of the most versatile of all the actors ever in Bollywood. My elder brother was a huge fan of Sridevi, so much so, that he used to watch even her South-Indian movies even though he didn’t understand the language. We used to mock him about this and it was always a fun topic of discussion at our home.
I remember having numerous conversations with my mother about how she was one of the very few actors who took brave decisions when it came to the choice of movies. Be it Chaalbaaz or Lamhe, Mr. India or Khuda Gawah, Chandni or the more recent English Vinglish, her roles always had meat and gave us something new, something fresh and something to rave about.
But, for me personally, she was a great influence when it came to dancing. Those who know me, know what dancing means to me. And we all know what Sridevi means to dancing. When I read about her death in a news article, the first image that flashed in front of my eyes was of a little girl, trying hard to copy the steps of “Morni baaga mein” and then realizing that she can copy every move but cannot copy that style, grace and those mind-blowing expressions.
Yes, that little girl was me and it will not be an exaggeration to say that most of what I have learnt about dancing during those days is from Sridevi, and of course also from Madhuri Dixit. They were the ones who made me identify my zeal and passion for dancing in me which is my identity today.
It is strange how death is the only thing in life we know is bound to happen. Yet, it is the only thing which is most difficult to accept and come to terms with. It is not easy – “is” becomes “was”, moments become memories and we unexpectedly get reminded of the uncertainty and unpredictability of life.
It is true that legends never die. But, the thought that a person of her stature will not be able to give us more movies to cherish is heart-rending and tragic. Through the sheer brilliance of her craft, she has made us cry, she has made us laugh, she has made us gyrate to her groovy songs, and she has made us fall in love. The magnitude of her talent and dedication was always inspiring and her humility was endearing. A career spanning decades has come to an end but she will continue to rule hearts forever.
It cannot be a coincidence that only yesterday I began to choreograph the song “Navrai Maajhi” for a Sangeet event. R.I.P Sridevi – a part of you will always be in me.
“Yeh lamhe, Yeh pal hum, Barso yaad karenge,
Yeh mausam chale gaye to, Hum fariyaad karenge.”
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I did my engineering in computer Science and went on to do MBA in systems
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