Very few remember that Sridevi also made her presence felt on the small screen as the protagonist in the television show Malini Iyer, that aired on Sahara One. Long back in 2004, when TV was not seen as huge medium, Sridevi dared to experiment. Produced by Boney Kapoor and directed by Satish Kaushik, Malini Iyer, an entertaining story of a south-Indian woman married to a Punjabi was much loved. Popular face Mahesh Thakur played her husband, and as the world grieves the loss of the superstar, Mahesh, in an exclusive conversation with indianexpress.com reminisced about the co-actor, who he was initially scared to share screen space with.
“Who wouldn’t be scared of rubbing shoulders with her? And while people would be apprehensive of entering the set when she was around, here was the star approaching you to rehearse the lines. She was a dedicated artist and on camera, she was magical. Since they were also producing the show, Sridevi would be on her toes to check the technicalities and as an actor; she was on her professional best. Not just me, but she made everyone associated with the show at home. It was sheer pleasure to have worked with her,” shared Mahesh in an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com.
He further shared, “At that time there were only two stars- Amitabh Bachchan and Sridevi. She was one of the few female actors, who could carry a film on her shoulder. And here I was getting to romance her. Since we had a lot of romantic scenes, we really gelled up well. Also with Satish ji at the helm, it was stressful for any actor to be performing there. But, I think the sense of comfort that Sridevi brought with her; it made things really easy. I remember Prabhudeva had been signed to shoot some initial dance scenes and he too was in awe of her. While we were petrified, she was as welcoming as ever.”
Stating that he is still to come in terms with her death, the Ishqbaaaz actor shared “It’s unbelievable and yet to sink in. She was just 54, how can she go so soon. Be it her, or even Reema Laggoo’s death, it comes as a jolt and just shakes you up. I have constantly worked with Sridevi for two years at a stretch, and we extensively shot together and it’s impossible to accept that she is no more. I had recently met her at an event and we discussed that we should have tea soon together as it’s long we caught up. That day will never come now. I am in a state of shock and loss of words.”
Mahesh shared that there are a lot of memories that he has of the star and he sharing a couple of them with us, “We were one of the first shows to shoot abroad. In Canada, where we had put up, Sridevi’s daughter Janhvi and my son Aryan used to play together in the play zone in the hotel. My wife is a fan of her and while we were shooting, once Sridevi overhead her fantasizing that she wants Sridevi to wish her on her birthday. You won’t believe, Sridevi ji actually called up on my mobile on her birthday, and asked me to hand over the phone to my wife. She was overjoyed that day. She had no need to do it but you can comprehend how humane she was and thought so much about other people’s happiness.”
Among the plethora of amazing work of Sridevi, Mahesh has his favourite sorted. “I loved her in Lamhe. People talk about how great she was in Chandni but I think she was pure magic in Lamhe.
Malini Iyer also starred Vinay Pathak, Tanushree Kaushal, Kamlesh Oza among more. It was even dubbed in Telugu and aired on Vanitha TV.