I belong to the generation that grew up watching a lot of movies starring Sridevi. She was a popular culture icon and many of us used to mouth her dialogues from the films we loved. I was one of those fans who would grudge the ones who couldn’t appreciate her talent. So while writing Tumhari Sulu, where the lead character is from my generation, I found it only natural to bring in references of Sridevi and her films. They made her character real and relatable and allowed the Sridevi fans in Vidya and me to pay an ode to her.
It’s also why we didn’t remake Hawa hawai, and chose to use the original song. However, what makes the memory special is that Sridevi not only acknowledged but also appreciated our tribute. At Tumhari Sulu’s preview in Worli, she travelled all the way just to congratulate Vidya and wish her luck. It wasn’t something she needed to do,but she made the effort, and that goes to show her warmth.
That day, I met her for the first time and my heart actually skipped a beat. I am a fan but Sridevi’s untimely passing is a loss to me also as a filmmaker. She was the kind of actor one would give an arm and a leg to write for. But with her not among us anymore, many of us will have that one film we will never be able to make. —Suresh Triveni director, Tumhari Sulu
Sridevi and I first met in 1990 when she was already a superstar and I was beginning my career. Working with an icon I always called her Ma’am. We have seen each other grow professionally and personally – it was amazing to see the roles she blossomed into, her passion for painting, and the doting wife and mother she was. I met Sridevi very recently in Dubai and we just had so much to share. I will always cherish the precious memories of a friend who was an iconic superstar. —Manish Malhotra Fashion designer
My most precious memory of Sridevi is the time she said to me ‘Sridevi is nothing without Saroj Khan’, to which I told her ‘Saroj Khan is nothing without Sridevi’. God had given her everything she needed to be a wonderful dancer — she had the height, grace and she could make the right expressions. She learned everything I taught her very quickly and she would never turn up on the sets without having fully rehearsed her steps. —Saroj Khan Choreographer
For us, living in Pakistan, she was the heroine who ruled the screen like a queen. She was as loved in Pakistan as she was in India. At present, I’m in Dubai and, last night, I met Boney-saab (Boney Kapoor). He was crying like a baby. The entire nation must be so sad. For Sajal Ali (Pakistan based co-actor in Mom), Sridevi sahiba was like a mother. Sajal’s mother passed away during the filming of Mom. Sridevi consoled her saying: ‘I’m like your mother’. During the shoot, she took care of Sajal like her baby. Four days ago, I was at the wedding of Mohit Marwah. My flight landed at 12 in the night. I assumed I would be late. When I reached, she said: ‘Itni der kardi aapne aane mein.’ Those words are still ringing in my mind. Maybe that was her last goodbye. — Adnan Siddiqui actor and co-star in Mom