Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra has penned an emotional tribute to the iconic Sridevi.
The Bollywood superstar accidentally drowned in a Dubai hotel bathtub late Saturday night sending shockwaves across the world. As several celebrities recalled their interactions with the actor, Chopra too paid tribute to her.
“She was born for the silver screen. As an artist who found her calling at the age of 4, she swapped playgrounds for movie sets and friends for directors, and made 70-mm film her canvas. By her own admission, she would have it no other way. Born as Shree Amma Yanger Ayyapan, she changed the course of Indian cinema when she became Sridevi,” Chopra wrote in Time Magazine.
Crediting Sridevi for being “India’s first female superstar”, Chopra recalled the former’s work in different languages and how she conquered hearts. “Sridevi was India’s first female superstar and at the time of her passing, on Feb. 24 at 54, had starred in close to 300 movies over five decades. She enthralled audiences across the globe in a variety of Indian languages (Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi). She owned every frame of every film she was in—without the need of a male co-star, bringing in audiences and setting the box office alight, firmly on her own shoulders,” she added.
“Everyone wanted her and wanted to be like her. She could be childlike, grown up, funny, serious, beguiling, sexy—she was the ultimate actor. Sridevi leaves behind a legacy that will live beyond us all, a legacy built on the foundation of pure dedication, talent, hard work and a sprinkle of fairy dust that was showered on her by the Gods!,” Chopra further said.
The former Miss World said Sridevi was one of the “big reasons” she became an actor. “She was my childhood, and one of the big reasons I became an actor. To refer to all of us as mere fans would be a disservice to her. When the news first broke of her passing, I was immobilized. All I could do then was listen to songs from her films, revisit her interviews and watch her iconic scenes over and over again. I knew I was not alone; millions were feeling that exact emotion of shock and loss. Her connection with the audience was so strong that that each one of us has special memories linked to her.”
Recalling her last memory of her, Chopra said, “She left us too soon. My last memory of her is a red-carpet moment last December. In the frenzy of flashbulbs and whirring cameras, she pulled me into a tight hug and spoke lovingly and excitedly about her two daughters, Jhanvi and Khushi. Her family was her life. She left me feeling warm and fuzzy, and with a promise to meet again.”
“Thank you for the magic, Sri ma’am. Forever your fan,” she concluded.
Sridevi, 54, was cremated with full state honours. She died in Dubai where she was attending a family wedding. Police said her death on Saturday night had been “due to accidental drowning following loss of consciousness”. It had earlier been reported she died of cardiac arrest.