Saturday, 14 April 2012


Unlike her contemporaries who worked their archetypal looks (the sati-savitri or the kotha-girl or the vamp or villain's moll or the tear-stained bhabhi and so on), Sridevi's doll-like demeanor meant she willingly tried various looks and avatars according to the fads and fashion of the time. She was in her early 20s when she hit Mumbai's movies and worked in various films her contemporaries were scared to broach.

As she had no expectation of making it big in B'wood after the initial failure of Solva Saawan, Sridevi tried every role that came her way with zest and pizzazz  By sheer volume of work, she broke into the scene - there were as many as nine to a dozen releases in the early '80s as every few weeks, a Sridevi film hit the marquee. The good, the bad and the noisy, she did 'em all. And the law of averages caught up and Sri became the rage - leaving her contemporaries in the wake of her hostile box-office takeover. Dimple Kapadia (gorgeous but fickle), Meenakshi Sheshadiri (pretty but hammy), Rekha (Diva, and deluded), Bhanupriya (from the word-go she was a poor-man's Sridevi!), Radha (who?!), Jaya Prada (ah, the arch-rival) and the like, just didn't command the position of Sridevi.

Eventually, Sridevi changed her tune as well; at first she was rather nonchalant about making it in Hindi cinema, never fully trusting the scenario. She had said in the early days that Madras (Chennai now!) was home, Mumbai was an alien city. And she hated it! She never committed to moving to Mumbai and famously stayed at expensive hotels for a good decade. The enormous work ethic and massive success followed and Sridevi moved bag and baggage to Mumbai, albeit reluctantly.

Meanwhile, here are some remnants of Sridevi in the early days, working a short-cut. Sri's around 24-25 here. Cute.

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