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State Honours For Sridevi’s Funeral, Procession Is Among Largest Recorded In Mumbai

Maharashtra government accorded full state honors for the funeral of Sridevi

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Sridevi
The other big funerals of non-political personalities in Mumbai included those of Raj Kapoor (June 1988) and Vinod Khanna (April 2017). IANS
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Several lakhs turned up to join a long procession — among the largest in recent times — to mark the final journey of actress Sridevi which started near her residence to a crematorium in Vile Parle on Wednesday afternoon.

A tall, open truck, fully decorated with white flowers — her favorite color — carried her body which was first draped in the national tricolor and then loaded in a glass casket, as cries of �Sridevi Amar Rahe’ rent the air among her fans.

Maharashtra government accorded full state honors for the funeral of Sridevi — who was conferred a Padma Shri in 2013, which included draping her body in the national tricolor, elaborate arrangements by the Mumbai Police and a gun salute before the cremation.

ALSO READ: Dubai Police: Famous Bollywood Actress Sridevi Died from Drowning

Sridevi
Her grieving family members including husband Boney Kapoor, her step-son Arjun Kapoor and brothers-in-law Anil Kapoor and Sanjay Kapoor were among those who traveled in the truck with the body. Wikimedia Commons

Inside the truck was Sridevi lying serenely with full make-up, a large south Indian style vermillion and wearing a ceremonial gold and maroon colored Kanjeevaram sari. A heavy, large necklace adorned her since she died an �suhaagan’ (still married), giving the appearance of a resplendent �devi’ (Goddess) in deep slumber.

The truck slowly negotiated the approximately six km passing through some of the poshest areas of Andheri and Vile Parle suburbs, with a massive portrait of Sridevi visible from a distance.

Several lakhs of people including students, office-goers, and others accompanied or waited on both side of the roads, looked on from buildings and bungalow terraces. Many climbed on signals and lamp posts for the last glimpse of their beloved heroine.

In terms of sheer numbers, Sridevi’s funeral is estimated to have attracted the highest number of mourners, ranking on par with the previous biggest funeral processions of the legendary singer Mohammed Rafi (July 1980: around a million mourners), and India’s first superstar Rajesh Khanna (July 2012: a little less than a million mourners).

Sridevi
The procession was led by several family members, close relatives, friends and even neighbors of the Green Acres society where the family lived in Lokhandwala Complex. Wikimedia Commons

ALSO READ: Sridevi’s daughter Jhanvi Kapoor all set to debut in Bollywood

Among the prominent personalities who attended the funeral in Vile Parle were Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Randhir Kapoor and others who came to bid a final goodbye to Sridevi.

Sridevi’s daughters Janhvi and Khushi Kapoor performed the final rituals before the body was consigned to the flames with husband Boney standing nearby.

Earlier, since dawn, thousands of teary-eyed fans and admirers of the late actress, many carrying flowers, had queued up outside the Celebration Sports Club at Lokhandwala Complex for a final �darshan’ of their idol.

After the flower-bedecked body was brought to the club premises a steady stream of celebrities came in their vehicles and was whisked inside to pay their last respects.

Among the early callers seen were Rekha, Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan, Arbaaz Khan, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Akshaye Khanna, Tabu, Farah Khan, Nitin Mukesh, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Vidya Balan, Sushmita Sen, Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar, Madhur Bhandarkar, Deepika Padukone, Sanjay Leela Bhandsali, Jackie Shroff, Farhan Akhtar, Hema Malini, Jaya Bachchan, John Abraham, Ajay Devgn and Kajol, Anupam Kher and Sulabha Arya, among others.

Sridevi
In the past four days since her demise, the Kapoor household had witnessed a steady stream of visitors including Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Krishna Raj Kapoor. Wikimedia Commons

ALSO READ: Janhvi’s Onscreen Mom Worried About Sridevi’s Daughters

Most of the visitors on Wednesday were sporting dark sunglasses to ward off the harsh early-summer glare, carrying flowers or small bouquets, embraced and consoled the bereaved family members, entering from the main entrance and leaving quickly from the other side as fans tried to catch a glimpse.

Sridevi’s body was flown to Mumbai from Dubai where she passed away following an accidental drowning in a bathtub in her hotel room around 11 pm on February 24, and from the airport was taken to the Kapoor residence in Green Acres.

Meanwhile, Green Acres housing society on Wednesday canceled Holi celebrations as a mark of respect for Sridevi.

For the final journey, at the club and the crematorium, the Mumbai Police implemented elaborate security arrangements at various venues and arranged special traffic and crowd management measures. (IANS)

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Living up to professional demands: Amitabh Bachchan

I am a very proud father and I am delighted that the legacy of my father continues

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Amitabh Bachchan
Amitabh Bachchan Is Living up to professional demands.

Stunts can be risky at 75, but that’s not stopping Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan from doing any of it. He says there’s always an effort to meet professional demands.

The actor, who will next be seen in “102 Not Out”, has performed stunts for his other film “Thugs of Hindostan”.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q. You’ve been off interview for quite some time now. What prompted you to stay away from interviews?

Amitabh Bachchan
Amitabh Bachchan will be in two films releasing soon.

Interviews mean being questioned by one, and the need for an answer by the other! I have had nothing to say, so what is the need for an interview. Now, there is a film on release and protocol and obligations towards media and interviews are the need of the hour for promoting what we have created, for the audience. And so here I am, selfishly, presenting myself for questioning.

Q. How has life been treating you during the past months? There were sporadic reports of ill health and injury. Has the body repaired and are you, as usual, infused with inspirational energy?

A. I have had some injuries during my work recently, which persist. These are related to some old action injuries of the past, catching up as the body ages. Treatments are on and to expect the body at this age to repair completely is wishful thinking.

Q. So one stumbles along “102 Not Out” which is your new release. Tell us what was it like like playing a 100-plus man?

The script and character analysis that was narrated to me by the director Umesh Shukla and the Writer Saumya Doshi, was to play a youthful 102. An attempt has been made!

Q. I feel your beard and white hair makes you look uncannily like painter M.F. Hussain.

A. Never thought about that. But since you say so I shall go with it.

Q. The film reunites you with Rishi Kapoor after decades. What was it like shooting with him after all these years?

A. It was as glorious, as it was all those past years and the historic films we did together. It’s not like we were separated at birth and were meeting after 27 years.
“102 Not Out” addresses itself to the question of mortality and longevity.

Also Read: At this age and time of my life, I seek peace and freedom from prominence: Amitabh Bachchan

Q. Did you have discussions on these themes with the director and your co-star?

A. I do not possess the intellectualism to delve into such deep philosophies. But yes I do know that we are born to perish someday and how wonderful if we can live that life with the fulfilment the joys and the happiness that life brings.

Q. I believe you are doing some audacious stunts in “Thugs Of Hindostan”. Aren’t these risks not worth taking at the cost of your health and well being?

A. They are audacious and they are a risk. But then, I could well slip on a banana peel and head to Thy Kingdom Come. So… we try to live up to the professional demands required of us and proceed subsequently with adequate precaution.

Q. Your daughter Shweta has turned into a novelist. Your comments on that?

I am a very proud father and I am delighted that the legacy of my father continues. IANS