Sridevi’s demise has not affected me alone; it has caused a collective grief. She celebrated life in her performances and we forever celebrate her. She will never be forgotten, no matter what. For us, living in Pakistan, she was a heroine who ruled the screen like a queen. She was as loved in Pakistan as she was in India. Sajal Ali and I (both were Sridevi’s co-actors in her last movie, Mom) were the ones from Pakistan who knew her and the family well.
It’s such a mixed feeling for me. I feel honoured that I shared the screen with her in her last film. At the same time, I’m sad that she is no more. 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. So are people in Pakistan. Just imagine: People from everywhere, Pakistan, America, the UK and other parts, have been sending me condolence messages.
For Sajal, 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. Today, I’m saddened for her daughters, Janhvi and Khushi. Sridevi was excited about Janhvi’s debut and putting in a lot of effort to support her.
I have been thinking about all the support she extended to us in India. Both, she and her husband were great hosts. When I first got introduced to her, she stood up from her seat. In spite of being a legend who was doing her 300th movie, she was very humble.
Four days ago, I was at the wedding of Mohit Marwah (nephew of Boney Kapoor and Sridevi). She was looking gorgeous. And who could believe that she would be no more in four days. I would really want to visit India for her funeral. But the unfortunate scenario between the two nations would not let us share the sorrow with each other, forget about happiness.
On the day of the wedding, my flight landed at 12 in the night. I assumed I would be late for it. When called Boney-sahab, he insisted that I should go for the wedding. He added that Sridevi had not met me after the movie and was waiting for me. Even as she greeted me warmly and later introduced me to her family, she said: “Itni der kardi aapne aane mein (You are so late).” Those words are still ringing my mind. Maybe that was her last goodbye.
(As told to Alaka Sahani)