The loss of Sridevi had (has*) the world reeling. Like a pillar came crashing down. Whether you identified as a fan or not, her brilliance was inescapable. We always knew she was iconic, but after her death it truly came to surface just how colossal her impact was. She was a cornerstone of cinema throughout the country, a true Pan-Indian superstar - a rare feat. Through the garish, misogynistic '80s and '90s, she quietly built herself a throne adding hit after hit to her crown. She turned rain, choodiyaan, mountains, braids, lip gloss, white clothes, fog, sarees and big brown eyes into poetry. She wasn't part of an era, she trailblazed an era. With her death that era comes to a heartbreaking close.
She didn't just play characters, she became them. Something about her artistry compelled us to suspend reality and embrace them. They entered our lives, grew with us and nestled into our hearts. She gifted us Reshmi's endearing antics (Sadma), Manju's hilarious but fierce independence (Chaalbaaz), Pooja's vivacious personality (Lamhe), Chandni's captivating charm (Chandni) and so so many more. And just as those women began to collect dust, she gave us Shashi's anxious entrepreneurial spirit (English Vinglish) and Devki's fiery conviction (Mom) reminding us of her longstanding place in our hearts.
It's mind boggling that such a quiet, introverted woman had the ability to deliver these explosive, colorful characters. I read somewhere that Saroj Khan called her "light bulb" because she could switch on, dazzle and shut right off as soon as the job was done. The editor of Filmfare once wrote, "If acting is magic without props, then Sridevi has mastered the art." It's like we were unknowingly chasing an enigma, patiently waiting for her to crack and share with us the method to her madness. True to her craft, she never broke character leaving our queries forever unanswered.
It is so ironic that she kept her life so guarded while her death was anything but. I've been mulling over why this seems to feel personal almost universally. I think it's because we never realized just how deeply we treasured the magic she so seamlessly weaved into our lives for decades. There was so much of her left to celebrate.
In honor of celebrating, below is a slew of super random scenes I've always harbored in my little Bollywood heart. (I had no idea I cherished so many)
*Disclaimer* This isn't a list of her iconic scenes, but just random things about her that I appreciate and want to share with you.