Designer Neeta Lulla reveals the person behind the actor Sridevi
The Star As I Know Her
The professionalI first met Sridevi for a magazine shoot. I was in my early 20s. Coming from a technical background, for me a photo-shoot was all about cheating and making the portion you shoot look stunning. I reached there with a small bag of clothes and not a battalion of costumes as is done usually. Sridevi looked at me with a quizzical expression and asked, "Where are the clothes?" I pointed to the bag and she exclaimed 'Oh!" She had curlers in her hair and asked me what hair style I had thought for her. I replied, "Just let your curlers be!" That startled her all the more. I draped a golden fabric around her head and made her wear long earrings. I suggested gold make-up. Once the camera went on, the change in her mood was mind-blowing. She was magical. We wrapped-up the shoot quickly. Incidentally, this Rakesh Shrestha picture made it to the Hall of Fame in London.
|Sridevi on the sets of Lamhe|
The personShe came across as a very soft-spoken person even then. You couldn't interact much with her as she had a barrier around her. But once she gets comfortable with you, she is fun-loving. Midway through the making of Chandni she told Yashji (Chopra) that she wanted me in. Then she insisted that I do her costumes for Lamhe. Yashji was apprehensive as I had not proved myself yet. She, an established star, had the best designers at her disposal. But she stood by me.
The synergyEventually I began to think like her while designing her clothes. She would suggest the most unusual colour schemes - lime green, peach and silver grey - shades nobody thought of wearing then. She would pick up a dry leaf and say, "I want this colour." When I would show her the sketches, she would suggest, "But wouldn't this make my body look slimmer?" That was my learning process. She initiated me into colours and detail. She has a fantastic ability to get into character.
The unknown starShe is child-like and warm to those close to her. She is focused, be it as a star or a mother. She is caring too. She keeps in mind your preferences in food or otherwise. Today, she has fewer inhibitions as a person. I met her recently at a wedding and she said to somebody, "She is my favourite and the best designer I know." I was touched because she has worked with the best and yet she chose to say so. She once said: "If you are convinced about something go ahead." I agree.
As told to Farhana Farook