Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Shobhaa De; Spare a thought for Sridevi

"I didn’t know Mona Kapoor. Even though, as a young girl, she lived in the same South Mumbai complex as I do, and in which her mother, the formidable Sattee Shourie owned a flat. I was away in Muscat when Mona died, and got to hear of it through mutual friends who had attended her funeral. Later, I scanned media coverage of the multiple functions that followed Mona’s passing away, and found one person missing from the images. Sridevi.

The other mourners in impeccable designer whites may or may not have been Mona’s close friends. Nearly every celeb covered by the media was present for someone else, not for Mona. They were there as acquaintances of the Kapoor clan. Some were Anil Kapoor’s old associates, others, part of Boney’s (Mona’s husband) or Sanjay’s circle. Then there was the younger lot, cousins and buddies of Mona and Boney’s two children. There were no pictures of Jahnavi and Khushi, Sridevi and Boney’s daughters. And my heart went out to Sridevi.

What a position to be in, after spending so many years of her life living with Boney (since June ’96), and giving birth to two daughters. Yet, when tragedy struck, there was no place or position for ‘the other woman’ in that very public space in which Boney was featured as a grieving widower.

Clearly, Mona was a much adored and popular person, judging from the outpouring of love for her even from virtual friends who knew her from just from her Twitter handle and frequent tweets, including the rather grim final one in which she bravely confronted her condition and imminent death. Mona must have been an extraordinarily courageous, dignified and strong woman. May her soul find peace. In terms of timing, it’s sad that she didn’t live to see her son’s movie debut. And that his first media exposure happened under tragic circumstances at his beloved mother’s funeral. What now?

Sridevi will be seen in her major comeback film fairly soon, an ambitious and risky project that her countless devoted fans are looking forward to. Boney has also landed himself a cushy job with Sahara. And yet, Bollywood watchers are still in a bit of a quandary wondering how to respond to Sridevi once the rituals and mourning period for Mona are over. Should they offer condolences? Make no reference to the unfortunate death in the family? Pretend nothing has happened?

What will Boney do? Make it legal and officially marry Sridevi, the lady he has shared his life with for 16 years?? Will Sridev’s long cherished dream of being recognized by all, family included, as “Mrs. Boney Kapoor”, finally come true? Sure, it’s complicated. But these are just a few realities of modern life, not restricted to Bollywood. There are several similar situations in urban society. It is just that for Boney and Sridevi, being Bollywood personalities, the spotlight and speculation are hard to avoid. There are no road maps in delicate scenarios like this one. What should Sri have done? Stayed away or turned up? What was going through her mind and heart as she and her young daughters followed the coverage (assuming they watched it?). How will she deal with the public scrutiny and intrusive questions when she does step out with Boney next? Tough.

Mona has left for a better place. But Sridevi is very much around. A little sensitivity directed her way, wouldn’t hurt.

Moderator: Please see Shobhaa De's blog here.
Sri feature:

From Bombay Times

No comments:

Post a Comment