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Sridevi’s Demise leaves a Void in Our Hearts, which can Never be Filled

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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao
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Sridevi 3rd death anniversary, Switzerland Sridevi Statue

Actor Sridevi’s demise last night, has left behind a massive void ,both in the film industry and in the hearts of her fans. A talented actor who began working as a child artist, and then went on to become one of the biggest names in Bollywood.

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But for me, like many of those who grew up in and around nineties, she will always be the mischievous eyed amazing dancer with gorgeous big smile.

 

Memories of an actor who went on to become more than a Bollywood Heroine.

Sridevi started out in Bollywood as the quintessential Bollywood heroine, who showed signs of genius even in the early part of her career.

In 1983 Sridevi starred as the heartless and arrogant daughter of the village strongman, in Himmatwala. The film with its chartbusting songs, made Sridevi a craze among youth.  But in the same year she starred in Sadma. In this film Sridevi played the character of a girl who regresses into childhood due to a head injury. Not only was her equation with Kamal Haasan endearing, Sridevi gave one of the best performances in her career. So while many don’t remember the then superhit Himmatwala, which cemented her position in Bollywood, her performance in Sadma still remains with us.

She was also one of the first female lead actors with impeccable coming timing. For us she will always remain Miss Hawa Hawaai, eating off fruits from her fruit hat in Mr. India, while casually talking to villains. (One of my favourite scenes from childhood.) or the bold and rowdy Manju; dominant of the two separated twins in Chaalbaaz, who made ‘Balma’ a catchphrase.

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Even in the eighties and early nineties, decades which are infamous for objectification of women, Sridevi gave us strong female characters, which struggled against the social norms.

She played a working independent woman in Chandni, and a girl in love with a man almost twice her age in Lamhe.

After taking a break from acting, Sridevi returned to silver screen in 2012, with the movie English Vinglish. This very film epitomises Sridevi’s entire professional career. She moved us to tears, giving deapth to the character of Shashi, who despite being a home entrepreneur, is made to feel inferior by her own family, for not being able to communicate in English. The film was both a superhit and gave us back the Sridevi we had adored and loved. She followed it up with MOM, a suspense thriller about a mother out to avenge her daughter.

It is sad that her second innings in cinema was cut short so abruptly.

A Diva in Every Sense

Sridevi was not just an actor or a superstar, she was a diva. She was one of the best dancers in Indian Film Industry, giving us dance numbers like Mere Haathon Mein Nau Nau Chudiyan (Chandni), Naino Mein Sapna (Himmatwala), Hawa Hawai (Mr. India), Morni Baga Ma Bole (Lamhe).

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Her performance on Main Teri Dushman (Nagina), is still known to most of us as Nagin Dance.

She also had an amazing dressing sense. From the monochrome chiffon sarees, she wore in Yash Chopra films, to the lehengas and iconic mini she wore in Himmatwala. Or her transparent rain coat in a song sequence in Chaalbaaz. Sridevi was a trendsetter. Even offscreen her fashion game was on point, and she was very popular on Instagram.

Sridevi was a persona who led her life on her own terms. She embodied strength, independence and feminism. Showing how a female superstar was as capable of drawing people to film theaters as her male counterparts.  She chose when she wanted a break from the films, and she chose when she wanted to come back. For women across India, Sridevi led the path of free will and determination both through her body of work and her personal choices. The void she leaves behind, can never be filled.

You will be missed so much Sri.

Also Read : Iconic actor Sridevi dead at 54, leaves film industry and fans shocked

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own 

sridevi dead 54 RIP Sridevi Sridevi
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