WTF: What the Fiction?!
Here's the thing about Sridevi, even when there's no news, Sridevi makes news. As the abdicated queen of B'wood, the grand empress of Indian cinema (not just in Hindi films but the regional films she conquered), Sridevi (née Aiyappan, now Kapoor), has been kept alive online and on cable TV, thanks to the proliferation of channels on the idiot-box and laptop loafers on the world wide web.
Thanks to the uncensored, unfiltered web of fiction that's often concocted online to fill cyberspace, 'news' on Sridevi appears on suspect sites and blogs that somehow makes it on air via cable TV, reported by reporters desperate to fill air time with their air-head comments. Without an editor in sight or a fact-checker on site, type any damn thing online and see the bit of goss fly.
Over the past 14 years, so much cyber-dust has collected with newsbytes on Sri, we've decided to keep this page alive and well on all the false reports that have found air-space courtesy of the over-active imaginations of those with a minor relationship with the truth. Let's not get a thing like 'fact' get in the way of a good news story.
The most popular Sri-fiction over the past decade include:
- News on Sridevi's comeback in a behemoth Tamil or Telegu film cast opposite either Rajnikant or Kamal Haasan. Or that Sridevi would appear in a Mani Ratnam film. Just google search and be amazed at what pops up. Fact is, Sridevi did some brilliant cinema with the two (and never worked with Mani!) superstars of the south. None of the news items on her comeback via the regional route are true, but that sure hasn't killed those pages.
- Sridevi to appear on Koffee with Karan; as much as her fans would have loved to see K Jo blow air-kisses to his professed "favourite actress of all time", there wasn't even the slightest indication from the Devi camp (or camp Karan - no pun intended) that the erstwhile No:1 star (or as Stardust used to call her, No:1 superstarni) would shoot the breeze with the chatty man. No rapid-fire rounds, no coffee hampers for Sri, no comments on her rivalry between Madhuri, Rekha, Jaya Prada, Radha, Bhanupriya... etc etc.
- News that Sridevi would appear in Shahrukh Khan's Om Shanti Om. Well, truth is, Sridevi was approached by Farah/Shah Rukh Khan to appear in the title song with the rest of the cavalcade of stars but according to reports, Sri wanted to appear with Boney Kapoor but the Khans wanted her to appear with Jeetendra. It was a deal-breaker so finally Tushar appeared with his father Jeetendra instead. Pity. But for the longest time online, 'Sridevi's comeback with Shahrukh' made the loop.
- News about Sridevi's eldest daughter Janhavi staring in a Telegu film was pure fiction made up on some idiotic blog, but the news was carried on various news channels in the South and North! The funny thing is, Janhavi's debut in a South film made the ticker-tape when she was all of 10-years-old. True, Sridevi was already a heroine at that age way back when, but beta, times have changed. Child-labour laws for one. Sridevi didn't dignify the news with any comment but thank God Boney Kapoor quickly put an end to the rumour that his under-age daughter would be on-screen with... was it Najarjuna's son or Chiranjeevi's? One forgets. Mercifully.
- Amitabh Bachchan would star opposite Sri in her comeback vehicle. Really? Big B eclipsed by Chandni? Thank God for twitter when Amitabh Bachchan himself shot the rumours down with a simple, yet highly efficient, denial. Trouble is, with Anil Kapoor being her brother-in-law, the current lot acting with model-turned-non-actresses, there really isn't a hero/actor worthy of Sri's caliber out there. Big B is scheduled to appear in Sridevi's comeback film English Vinglish, but only as a guest-star, not co-star.
- The latest bit of pure fluff, Sridevi acting as Rekha (her predecessor and contemporary of sorts) in a Rekha bio-flick. When hell freezes over. This will not happen. Ever. Never.
In fact, back in the early '90s there were rumours published in various film rags (oh those pre-internet days) that a 'desi' version of All About Eve with Rekha and Sridevi was being planned by Rahul Rawail. Never happened. There was once news that Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit would act together in Saroj Khan's directorial debut. Also never happened (Oh but one can dream! Imagine the dances! The costume wars! The jugulbandi! The reams of press on their cold war on set! Who would out-thumka the other?! What wicked fun!).
Notoriously shy and wary of the press and media en masse, it sure as heck wasn't Sridevi blowing hot-air to the rumour mills so who fills reporters ears with so much gibberish?
Just days after posting the above, more tid-bits have hit the net and the idiot-box, a festival of fabricated sound and e-bytes. Its amusing for us as, there's more juice for our fake-news cocktail!
- Janhavi to do a film under the baton of Mani Ratnam. This bit of forged and enforced news comes from some random bs site that was linked on the Sridevi fanclub on Facebook. Nope, not for love nor Mani, is Janhavi doing a film... at the moment. She certainly has the looks and grace to be a star-of-the-future and has the blessings of erstwhile No:1 actress Vyjanthimala (who said at the Reddy wedding that Janhavi will be the next superstar), but for now, let the media leave Sridevi's first-born alone. See the denial of all the movie reports of Janhavi from Janhavi herself right here.
- Sridevi's going to do a 'Sheila ki jawani' type 'item number' in her upcoming film. This from a Telegu news channel. Sure, Sri was a dancing queen of the marquee but for a film like 'English Vinghlish', it does seem highly, highly unlikely that a middle-aged housewife will break into a jig while wrapped in pink satin bed-sheets. Though, mind you, if anyone can, Sridevi can. But it goes very much against the grain of the sensible script.
- The 'news' on Boney's bankruptcy. If any journalist had done a very simple google search, all the alarm bells would have rung. This 'news' item has a familiar ring to it because back in 2005, there were similar stories of the supposed financial troubles the Kapoors were under. Film business is alarmingly like the economic principle of 'opm' (ie other people's money) and, to a certain extent, its like monopoly money... there's a lot of play money floating up and down. We don't know how a movie's financed - God knows Mumbai's movie mavericks have made film financing a nebulous befuddlement. What goes on behind the scenes is a mystery and quite frankly, if anyone does try and explain it, it'll be a turgid read and about as much fun.
If Boney Kapoor has been hired by some company that its a reason to celebrate the news as the Kapoors are probably rolling in corporate cash. Good for them. Sridevi and Co are fine and the Kapoors are certainly not starving on the streets of Mumbai. (If they can survive the debacle of Roop Ki Rani... they can survive anything.) I mean look at Boney, does it look like the man's ever missed a meal a day in his life?
We wish the Kapoors continued success and they, as should we, are probably ignoring this persistent - and loud - news.
PS: If Sridevi's really spending 25-lakhs a month on herself, then its the best value for money at any exchange rate - 'cause she still looks like a million bucks!
- Sridevi to star as an alien queen in an upcoming sci-fi flick. Not even worth mentioning on this blog but some duffer has posted this on imbd.com and there isn't a modicum of truth to it.
- Sridevi to appear in an 'item song' for Ajith's film in response to his special appearance in Anglam Vanglam (the Tamil version of English Vinglish). As Sridevi has said often, she has no interest in doing either non-consequential roles nor song. Again, fetid tweeters went a little cray-cray with this one!
- Sridevi to star in R Balki's upcoming film with Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan. The mere thought of it makes the collective billions of fans salivate - yet this technicolour dream will not be satiated. Balki, SRK and Bachchan Snr have denied this rumour. Thank God for Twitter - at least these baseless hoodwinked reports can be snuffed out almost immediately.
- Sridevi to host a TV show. As much as we'd love to see Sri on a daily, weekly basis, this is just wishful thinking at best. Sridevi has gently indicated how she didn't enjoy the rigamarole of a daily show - the overwhelming schedule of Malini Iyer that took her away from the great love of her life; her children.