“Boney Just Can’t Stop Crying,” Says Satish Kaushik 

As He Reminisces Over His Time With the Wonderful Sridevi

“When I heard  of M’aam(Sridevi)’s  death I couldn’t believe it. Boney and I are friends for 30 years. I called him up. He wept inconsolably. The  more we spoke the  more he wept. He just couldn’t stop crying.I hung up…I’ve know  M’aam(Sridevi) from before she became a superstar in Hindi cinema…Warm, loving, vivacious  and acomplete actor…I don’t know of anyone who could transform so much once she had makeup on. And I don’t mean just for the camera.

She could dress up for a wedding and she’d look like a  different person…And now  to see her lying there  still and unmoving in that casket..It was heartbreaking.  Boney and I go back a long way. I was serving as  an assistant on Shekhar Kapoor’s Joshilay which Boney produced .This was  way back in 1988. I saw Sridevi in Himmatwala and  I  was stunned by her screen presence. Javed Akhtar Saab recommended  her very strongly.She was signed  for the female lead  ofJoshilay along with Anil Kapoor, Sunny Deol and Meenakshi Sheshadri.Sridevi played a village belle, a circus owner’s daughter and her comic  timing was impeccable even back then. After that again I got a chance  to work closely with her when  she did Mr India where I assisted Shekhar again. Who but Sridevi could do the  Charlie Chaplin  act or the Hawa hawaai song? I was there to see how  quickly she grasped the requirements  of  these  scenes. I don’t know of anyone as  natural-born an actor as Sridevi. She was in my opinion a complete actress. By the time I got a  chance to direct her in Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja she was at  the peak of her power. We spent many many months working together and it was  an experience I will never forget. I remember during one song  Chai mein  chini Sridevi had  to keep on her Chinese makeup for hours. It was  very painful since her eyes had been narrowed  and there were pins all over her head. But she  kept the makeup on without any complaint. In  the climax song Dushman dil ka jo hai mera Sridevi had to come speedily down a flight of steep stairs singing and dancing. It is human instinct to look down when negotiating steps. She swam down those stairs without a single  glance at  her steps. When she was  in front of the camera she forgot who she was or that she could cause herself hurt while doing a  shot. Perfection was her only pursuit on camera. When she chose a role she embraced it wholeheartedly. In her later years she  chose the real-life role of a mother to Jahanvi and Khushi. That was her favourite role and the one that she played oblivious to the fact that there was no camera. I’ve seen what a   good mother she was to the two girls.

And now to see Jahanvi and Khushi looking so  lost without her…When my daughter was  born after many years  without children, M’aam came home with a  gift. She was  so warm  so sincere so  real. She told me. ‘I am so happy for you.’ And  I could see  the happiness in her eyes. She never faked  an emotion. That sincerity is what  made her who she was. I’ve never seen so many people at anyone’s  condolence meet or funeral. There was  not a dry eye to be seen. Her going away has affected everyone, even those who had  never met her. The nation is in grief. And then to  have a section of the media reduce her death to a cheap melodrama with a bath tub and a bottle on the screen.Makes me  ashamed to see our media stooping so  low.Kuch toh sharm karo. There should be respect and privacy for any dead person. And  this is Sridevi, yaar!”

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