I was never a fan of Sridevi. In our younger years there used to be two groups among friends (after 1988)- Madhuri fans and Sridevi fans. And I was a proud Madhurian always ready to fight it out with Sridevians to prove Madhuri’s superiority.
I woke up on 25th February 2018 with a shock (from the early morning Whatsapp message of a friend and Sridevi admirer) like millions of Indians all over the world, that Sridevi was no more. It still didn’t really disturb me though I was sad. I started recalling movies that best remind me of her. And then it happened! Her thought consumed that Sunday and days thereafter. I kept on sharing and approving posts about her in my Facebook cinema group We the Audience which I otherwise wouldn’t perhaps have done. The aura of India’s first female superstar finally overpowered me!
Miles of content have already been written about her life and career. So, here I would like to recall vignettes of her work resonating deep inside my mind even though she never captured my senses as an ardent admirer. And that explains the aura which overpowered me a day after she passed away in Dubai.
This post will appear in instalments. Starting with one of her career-defining dance numbers.
Why particularly this song of Mr India? Because I truly feel it demonstrates the sheer magic she created on screen. A heady mix of glamour, charm, dancing prowess and terrific comic skill on her part makes this song ageless.
Though the words of the lyric underline an enchanting lady (Main khwabon ki shehzadi/ Main hoon har dil pe chhayi), the song had a strong comic orientation with a lot of gibberish thrown in which made its choreography an arduous task. While Kavita Krishnamurthy pulled it off greatly in the recording studio, Laxmikant-Pyayrelal set it to foot-tapping tune and Saroj Khan was at her imaginative best to create the moves for one of the biggest challenges of her career (She has recently admitted in an interview to Anandabazar Patrika that it was a make-or-break situation for her), it was left to Sridevi to take this ensemble of work to another level that could create magic on screen. So, one can understand the pressure on the actress. Great dancing skill was not enough to do justice to the composition. This is when her comic timing came into play and became her trump card! The melange of uninhibited fluid comic expressions that Sri gave this song is not only unparalleled to date, but it also acted as a pivotal force that catapulted it to a cult status and gave the actress a loving nickname ‘Hawa Hawai’.
You have to watch the song once (or once again) to witness the power of her comical acumen in pushing the envelope and own this unforgettable dance number.
#Sridevi #HawaHawai #HindiCinema #IndianCinema #FemaleSuperstar
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