Veteran actress Sridevi, 54, passed away in Dubai, plunging the entire country into a pall of gloom as her fans and admirers expressed shock and disbelief.
The actress breathed her last on Saturday night at around 11 p.m. She was rushed to the nearby Rashid Hospital but pronounced dead on admission.
Her body is expected to be flown to Mumbai via a specially chartered flight on Sunday evening for the last rites but the timings were not confirmed yet, according to official sources.
Sridevi was in Dubai to attend the marriage function of actress Sonam Kapoor’s cousin Mohit Marwah, along with husband Boney Kapoor and younger daughter Khushi.
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Confirming the news of her death, Sridevi’s brother-in-law and actor Sanjay Kapoor, told IANS: “Yes, it is true.”
The Indian Embassy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Indian Consulate in Dubai were assisting the family to expedite the process to bring her body to India as soon as possible.
Apparently having a premonition, Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan and Sridevi’s co-star in half a dozen films, including “Khuda Gawah” had tweeted at 1.15 am on Sunday:
T 2625 – न जाने क्यूँ , एक अजीब सी घबराहट हो रही है !!
— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) February 24, 2018
The untimely death of the veteran actress has left the country shocked. President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi mourned her demise.
Shocked to hear of passing of movie star Sridevi. She has left millions of fans heartbroken. Her performances in films such as Moondram Pirai, Lamhe and English Vinglish remain an inspiration for other actors. My condolences to her family and close associates #PresidentKovind
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) February 25, 2018
Modi also took to Twitter, saying:
Saddened by the untimely demise of noted actor Sridevi. She was a veteran of the film industry, whose long career included diverse roles and memorable performances. My thoughts are with her family and admirers in this hour of grief. May her soul rest in peace: PM @narendramodi
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) February 25, 2018
Southern movie stars and politicians Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan also expressed disbelief.
I’m shocked and very disturbed. I’ve lost a dear friend and the industry has lost a true legend. My heart goes out to her family and friends. I feel the pain with them #RIPSridev … you will be missed.
— Rajinikanth (@superstarrajini) February 25, 2018
Kamal Haasan, her co-star from “Sadma” — one of her most evocative performances — tweeted:
Have witnessed Sridevi’s life from an adolescent teenager to the magnificeint lady she became. Her stardom was well deserved. Many happy moments with her flash through my mind including the last time I met her. Sadma’s lullaby haunts me now. We’ll miss her
— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) February 25, 2018
Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, who has sung for Sridevi in 20 films including “Chaand Kaa Tukdaa”, “Khuda Gawah”, “Lamhe”, “Chandni”, “Nazrana” and “Himmatwala”, had no words to express her shock.
Yaqeen nahi ho raha ki itni choti umr mein Sridevi chali gayi.Kya kahu’n kuch samajh mein nahi aaraha hai.Boney Kapoor aur unki do betiyo’n ke dukh mein main shamil hun.
— Lata Mangeshkar (@mangeshkarlata) February 25, 2018
Her “Mom” co-star Nawazuddin Siddiqui wrote: “It’s a heartbreaking news, can’t even imagine in the worst of my dreams – World losses the best performer.”
Superstar Aamir Khan was “saddened by the untimely and tragic passing away of Srideviji”. He said he has “always been an admirer of the grace and dignity with which she conducted herself”.
While veteran filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt was “jolted” by the news of her sudden death, Sunny Deol, who has worked with her in films like “Sultanat”, “ChaalBaaz” and “Ram-Avtar”, said he is “going to miss her”.
Showbiz queen Ekta Kapoor tweeted: “The strongest women have the weakest hearts sometimes.”
Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur said, “with Sridevi gone an era is over”.
“Like life turning a new chapter. A beautiful story just ended. An amazing spirit just vanished leaving us with amazing love, memories, and incredible grief,” he tweeted. (IANS)