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Tale Of Two Timeless Tamilian Tigresses



Tale Of Two Timeless Tamilian Tigresses 4

Vyjanthimala and Sridevi. The two names instantly conjure  up images of  imperishable  beauty and  talent. Uncannily  both  the screen queens were  born on  the same day.Subhash  K Jha  examines the  eerie  similarities between the two  deathless divas.

1.     Both  Vyjanthimala and Sridevi are Tamilians who started  young. Sridevi  did  herfirst film when she  was  only 4.Vyjanthimala started at age  13 when she played  the leading lady. They soon gravitated  to Hindi cinema, Vyjanthimala with Bahaar in 1951  which  was  a remake  of  the Tamil hit Vaazhkai. Sridevi  also made her Hindi debut in Solva Sawan  with a remake  of  a Tamil film 16 Vayathinile.

2.     Both the divas’ careers  stretched  from  Chennai to Mumbai and  they were guided strictly by a matriarchal  figure. If it was  Mummy for Sridevi it  was  Grandmummy for Vyjanthimala.

3.     They  both  quickly  came to be recognized for  their versatility and dancing prowess.  For  Vyjanthimala it  was  Nagin  in  1953.  For Sridevi it  was  Nagina  in 1985 which turn them  into  dancing  queens of  Bollywood.Both  Nagin and Nagina  were saanp-operas   about the heroine’s  close  affinity to serpents.

4.     Vyjanthimala’s  most iconic dance number  hands-down is Hothon pe aisi baat main dabaa ke chali aayee in Jewel Thief. For Sridevi it  was Hawa hawaai  in Mr India. The two  song-and-dance  numbers separated  by 20 years were elaborately choreographed  songs of  more than 8 minutes’ duration that set  new standards   for choreography   in Hindi cinema.

5.     Both  Vyjanthimala  and  Sridevi  married at  the peak of their career. Both Tamilian screen  goddesses married Punjabi men. Vyjanthimala  never  looked back after marriage. Sridevi returned to acting with English Vinglish and Mom before death snatched her away from us.

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