Those special 25 minutes that I spent with Sridevi
Sunday morning was not a normal one for all those who are related to Bollywood, especially for a journalist like me. It was 9:30 am I was fast asleep, I received a call from my sister, and she asked me, ‘Do you know Sridevi passed away?’ My reaction was like, ‘Arey, it will just be a death hoax, let me sleep’. I mean who could believe that Sridevi ji passed away, just a couple of days ago I saw her Instagram posts where she was beautifully dressed and was enjoying a family wedding.
My sister replied, ‘Please switch on the TV and see.’ I woke up and before switching on the TV I saw my phone which had some 247 WhatsApp messages, and as soon as I opened it, there were messages in my office group where since 3 am they were chatting about the veteran actress’ death. I didn’t know how to react because just a few months ago, I had met this very humble and charming woman to interview her for her movie ‘MOM’, and today my phone was flooded with the messages of her demise.
I sat numb for the next ten minutes and was recollecting my meeting with her, those 25 minutes that I had spent were surely one of the best moments of my life. There was nothing great that we interacted about or nothing special happened in that interview, but for a guy who had spent his childhood watching Sridevi on the big screen and television it was a big deal to at least get an opportunity to sit next to her.
It was a rainy Sunday (July 2nd 2017), along with me other journalists were waiting to interview Sridevi ji. She had gone somewhere and was running late, like almost around one and a half hour to two hours late. But, as soon as she came, the first thing she did was, she came and said SORRY to all of us for being late. She then went on to say that she’d come back in just ten minutes, after freshening up. And yes, she was back in exact ten minutes and we got the interview started. While there are many celebs who come in late, but no one ever thought to apologise. But Sridevi, this gorgeous woman was cut of another element altogether.
Mostly in group print interviews (where around 6-7 journalists sit together to take the interview), every journalist tries to ask the question first or at least in the starting few minutes of the interview, so that their question is not asked by someone else and then the celeb at least answers their question. But, in the interview with Sridevi that didn’t happen. When we all went inside the room and comfortably sat on the chairs, there was a silence for few seconds as everyone was just stunned to see her.
After a few seconds, a senior journalist asked her the first question and the interview started. She very calmly answered all the questions without being hesitant in the slightest. She spoke to us about her movie, her kids and what not. When a journalist asked her about not doing ‘Baahubali’, the PR person interrupted and stopped him from asking the question, but even during that moment Sridevi ji was smiling and looking at the journalist without even being annoyed or angry.
I remember asking her as to which would be her next movie after ‘MOM’ to which she had replied, “Well, you all will come to know. But, definitely it won’t take four years this time that much I can promise you.” Sadly, she is no more with us to fulfil the promise.
Mostly after every interview, journalists click pictures with the celeb. But here the PR person had told us Sridevi ji won’t be doing any pictures. However, when we asked her for pictures, she happily posed with each and every journalist.
While writing this piece today, I still can’t believe that Sridevi ji is no more with us. Those 25 minutes will surely be special for me. Just like her song’s words, “Yeh Lamhe Yeh Pal Hum Barso Yaad Karenge…”