Sunday, 19 June 2011

Sridevi at Siddhivinayak Temple

Sridevi visits Siddhivinayak Temple with husband Boney Kapoor

Mark Manuel, TNN Sep 2, 2009, 12.00am IST

Monday evening before the 4.30 aarti, before the Siddhivinayak Temple at Prabhadevi proudly carried off its hugely popular Ganpati idol (a replica of the main presiding deity) for immersion to the Dadar Chowpatty, the shrine had its most famous celebrity bhakt of this Ganeshotsav as part of the Times of India Utsav Moorti Sanman.

The lovely and demure actress Sridevi — Chennai's gift to Mumbai, to Bollywood, and to producer husband Boney Kapoor, who (in gratitude, probably) had gallantly accompanied her to Prabhadevi. She's been off screen, away from the makeup, lights and camera for a long while now, but Sridevi still looks like she's ready and waiting for a director to yell, "Action!"

She entered the temple familiarly, walking barefoot from their car, and not surprising... because Boney said she's here every Tuesday — often walking all the way from home in Versova. "Not every Tuesday," Sridevi gently corrected him, "but I try to come every Tuesday I am in Mumbai. Sometimes I am travelling and not able to make it..." And she's been doing this for 13 years. "Ever since we got married and I came to settle down in Mumbai," she added. "I feel something in this temple that's difficult to explain... I feel good, I'm so relaxed when I'm here."

Does that make her a Ganesh bhakt? "Absolutely, and an ardent devotee," she admitted. All her years in Bollywood, she used to return home in Chennai after shooting, so there was never a chance for Sridevi to visit Siddhivinayak. "I used to go to the Balaji temple in Tirupati then," the actress said simply. When she's in Chennai, where there is still family, she makes it a point to visit the Ganesh temple in that southern city. "Ganeshji is everywhere..." she trailed off.

The Chennai family keeps a Ganpati at home during the Ganeshotsav, they perform the various religious obligations associated with the festival, and then immerse the idol. But Sridevi has never been there for this. Unfortunately, she's never been for a visarjan in Mumbai as well.

But the artist in her – yes, she's said to paint beautifully, is longing to do a Ganpati canvas, "I've been painting so many years; now – seriously, earlier just to destress when I got home from shooting; but strangely... I've never painted Lord Ganesh. I will, I must definitely... I'd love to," she said excited at the thought.

Meanwhile, it was time for the couple to have their darshan of Lord Ganesh. Sridevi says her prayers in Telugu. She's not a Tamilian, and has only been brought up in Tamil Nadu. "But Ganeshji understands Telugu," she softly said, "he must, he's God after all."

Her prayers are simple and always the same. A wish that her husband's films are successful. "Any wife would do that," she said almost defensively. And grateful thanks for all that she's been blessed with. So it was this time, like it is every Tuesday when Sridevi is in Mumbai and visits the Siddhivinayak Temple. Then they were gone, she walking backwards, unwilling to turn her back to the Ganpati, or take her eyes off the Lord.

From The Times of India

Also see earlier post with more pics of Sridevi at the temple.

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