Remembering a legend

Last Updated 04 March 2018, 18:50 IST
This picture was taken in 2016 in Hyderabad at the wedding of Jayapradha's nephew. Seen in the picture are Sridevi, Boney Kapoor, Ambareesh and myself. It was taken when we met at a common friend's house for dinner.
I have known Sridevi for a long time. My debut film in Telugu was with her. She was the lead in that film. We later worked together again in Hindi film called 'Jawab Hum Denge' where I played her sister. I have worked with her only in these two films. Our meetings later on were only at weddings and award functions.

Sridevi was already a big star when I started my acting career. And actors of my generation were in awe of her and I was no exception. She was a very reserved person and wouldn't talk much unless you spoke to her.

We got to spend some quality time together on the sets of 'Jawab Hum Denge'. I still remember that I would admire the way she wore her makeup. She was always conscious about presenting herself well. Unlike the other actors who would chat during breaks on the set, Sridevi would be touching her makeup. She was very dedicated to her profession.

On the first day of shooting for 'Jawab Hum Denge', I was given a very lengthy dialogue and I got it right in the first take itself. Sridevi walked up to me and complimented me saying that she was impressed how well I spoke my lines and praised me for doing it in the first take itself. I felt honoured and knew that she was genuinely paying me a compliment. She was a reserved person and many misunderstood it for arrogance. But I knew that she was indeed a very shy person and would interact much.
I haven't interacted with Boney Kapoor much to be able to talk about him. 

All that I can say from his body language is that he was a very caring husband and was indeed very protective about her.

When I heard about Sridevi's sudden demise, I was heartbroken. I can't imagine cinema without Sridevi. Had she been with us today she would have stunned us all with her stunning performances just like she did in 'English Vinglish' and 'Mom'. She was capable of coming up with more exciting work because she had the potential of being able to carry a film on her shoulder without a big hero.

She was an inspiration to us all. Now it just doesn't feel right to say that she is no more. Most members of the film fraternity are still in shock and are yet to come to terms with the loss. We lost her too soon.

Sumalatha Ambareesh 
(As told to Nina C George)
(Published 04 March 2018, 12:26 IST)

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