Mumbai: Shocked celebrities and fans of Bollywood diva Sridevi flocked to the residence of her brother-in-law Anil Kapoor, as they tried to come to grips with the sudden death of the versatile actor who had ruled over hearts and Bollywood for decades.
Mourners gathered at the Kapoor bungalow, where Sridevi and her husband Boney Kapoor’s daughters, Khushi and Jhanvi, have been staying since Sunday. Anil Kapoor is Boney Kapoor’s younger brother.
Among those who visited the Kapoors to express their grief were filmmakers Farah Khan, Karan Johar, Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani and others such as Resul Pookutty, Saroj Khan and Honey Irani. Shekhar Kapur, who directed Sridevi in the mega-hit, Mr India, was also present, as were actors Tabu, Ritesh Deshmukh, Genelia Deshmukh, Akshara, Shruti Haasan, Ameesha Patel, Divya Dutta and Sara Ali Khan. Actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada and former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh were among the visitors.
Sridevi, who had cast a spell on filmgoers with her mesmerizing performances in films such as Himmatwala, Mr India, Chandni, Sadma, Nagina and Chaalbaaz, died in Dubai on Saturday night. The Dubai government said on Monday she died of “accidental drowning".
Sridevi was 54. Her body was yet to be brought back to Mumbai.
“She went too soon. It is heartbreaking. I am just waiting to see her one last time," said a 40-year-old fan, Satish Kumar, who said he had travelled all the way from Bikaner in Rajasthan for a final glimpse of the actor. “She was so beautiful. She used to look magical on screen... I remember watching her in Nagina and going mad over how gorgeous she looked and how well she acted," he added.
Kumar said he reached Mumbai last night and is following the news of the body being brought back to ensure that he doesn’t miss her “when she comes". Pallavi Ghatge, a 24-year-old fan from Mumbai, said she was introduced to Sridevi when she saw Mr India. “I have been here with my mom since the morning and won’t go back until we see her," she said. Ghatge added that Sridevi was her father’s favourite actress. “So I started watching all her films and began to realise why she is considered the greatest," she said.
Police officials present at Anil Kapoor’s bungalow said about 150 people from Karnataka arrived in Mumbai early Monday to pay homage to the much-loved actress, who also starred in scores of southern Indian films. Fans had also come from Telangana but were now stationed outside Sridevi’s Lokhandwala residence.
Actor Arjun Kapoor, Boney Kapoor’s son by his first wife, and stars such as Rekha, Rani Mukerji and Shilpa Shetty had called on the Kapoors last night, as had Karan Johar, Manish Malhotra, Nikhil Dwivedi, Anupam Kher and Ishaan Khatter, co-star of Jhanvi’s debut film Dhadak.
The police have beefed up security around the Kapoors’ bungalow and cordoned off the area for the fans pouring in to bid their last farewell.