“She was an amazingly sensitive, supremely intuitive, loving, caring, funny, childlike superstar, but she was my very own Shashi” – that’s how director Gauri Shinde described Sridevi, as she struggled to choose words that could define the superstar. “It is very difficult to describe a person, an actor like Sridevi, in a few words,” added Gauri, who was speaking at a session at Times LitFest, which saw the unveiling of the book ‘Sridevi: The Eternal Screen Goddess’ by Satyarth Nayak. Gauri was a part of the session on Sridevi, which was also attended by Boney Kapoor with Deepika Padukone joining them on stage towards the end of the conversation.
Meeting Sridevi for the first time was like going on a blind date: Gauri Shinde
Reminiscing about her first meeting with Sridevi, Gauri said that it was like going on a blind date. She shared with the audience, “My meeting with Sridevi for the first time was like going on a blind date as I had never met her before. I was nervous and I looked at myself in the mirror to check whether I was looking decent. When I met her, I was strangely at ease. There was something so warm about her. She was just so normal, lovely and something connected immediately. I had this positive feeling that this date might go well. When I started narrating her the script, throughout the narration, she was so instinctive, genuine and everything that I would have liked her to be. By the end of that first date, I had a feeling that both of us would want to go on our second date. There was instant chemistry, instant love and it is rare and it was too special.”
Talking about the time when she was shooting ‘English Vinglish’, the movie in which Sridevi played the lead character of Shashi, Gauri said she fell in love with the way the actress would transform when in front of a camera. “I enjoyed the whole process of working with her. We got along so well, we understood each other so well. I think what connected us was our ability to express ourselves through anything but work. She had such a great sense of humour, which was why she could be so funny on screen. Through the working of this film, we had so many amusing moments that we laughed like little girls and when it was time for work, she would change so effortlessly and she was in her character. So it was so fascinating to watch someone just transform in a few minutes from this smiling person in private to this diva on screen.”
‘I was planning to make another film with Sridevi’
When Gauri was asked about her favourite Sridevi film, she said that it would definitely be ‘English Vinglish’. “At the risk of sounding selfish, I would say that my favourite will always be Shashi from ‘English Vinglish’… for me that role has been special. Before that there have been so many of her films that I have liked, but when I miss her, I miss Shashi,” she said, adding, that she has been a huge fan of her movies like ‘Sadma’, ‘Lamhe’, ‘Chandni’, ‘ChaalBaaz’ and ‘Mr India’. “She was the only female superstar and it makes me so happy that I could work with a woman who was a superstar,” said Gauri.
The filmmaker also said that she was planning another film with Sridevi. “I would have loved to make a film with her every month or every year, if it was possible, but for someone like her, you had to have an amazing subject, you had to do justice to a star that she was. Yes, I was planning something with her. In my head, she was always like a parallel track and I was always thinking what can I do with her and there was a plan, but before I could say pack up, she left and that’s unfortunate,” she said.
‘When Sridevi entered a film set, she’d touch the ground’
Author Satyarth Nayak said, “Sridevi started acting when she was only four. The actress said in an interview that before every act, the director of her first film, would break a coconut and do aarti because she was playing Lord Murugan in it. So that stayed with her, the fact that the ground was like a temple, very sacred. So when Sridevi would enter a film set, she would touch the ground.”
Source: Time of India