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Sridevi Cremated With State Honours As India Says Farewell To its First Female Superstar

News18.com | February 28, 2018, 6:21 PM IST
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Live updates:After much heartache and sorrow, and a universal outpouring of grief, the cremation for Sridevi has finally taken place, after her husband Boney Kapoor performed the last rites. The veteran actor's final journey ended with a decorated truck carrying the iconic actor's mortal remains to the Vile Parle crematorium, where it reached at 3:30 pm. Stars of today's celluloid as well as those from before like Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Jeetendra, Rekha, Hema Malini, Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Akshay Khanna, Sonam Kapoor, Tabu, Jacqueline Fernandez and many more had earlier arrived for the prayer meeting being held at the Celebration Sports Club in Lokhandwala. Anil Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor and Mohit Marwah are among family members who had already visited Boney Kapoor's residence earlier this morning to pay their respects. The Kapoors had announced that well-wishers can visit the Celebration Club near Sridevi's home, where a prayer meeting will be held between 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. The prayer hall has since opened its doors to allow the grieving public to pay their last respects to the late actor. Sridevi, monikered Indian cinema's first woman superstar, is survived by her husband Boney Kapoor and their two daughters Jahnvi and Khushi. The family said media can also pay their respects "provided camera, recording devices etc. are left outside the venue".

As it happened:
Feb 28, 2018 6:03 pm (IST)

Bollywood diva Sridevi was today cremated with full state honours, mourned by millions of fans, at the Vile Parle crematorium. Sridevi's filmmaker husband Boney Kapoor performed the last rites at the  ceremony. The couple's daughters, Jahnvi and Khushi, were by his side, said sources close to the family. The actor's body was brought to the crematorium in an open, flower-bedecked hearse. Sridevi's untimely death at the age of 54 in Dubai on Saturday had stunned the nation. 

Feb 28, 2018 5:52 pm (IST)

Jeetendra arrives at the crematorium

Feb 28, 2018 5:24 pm (IST)


People from all over India, and indeed many other parts of the world, are still reeling from the sudden and tragic demise of Sridevi, who died in a freak accident last week in Dubai, where she was attending the wedding of her nephew Mohit Marwah, along with husband Boney Kapoor, and the younger of her two daughters, Khushi. What began as an already closely-followed happy family celebration ended in grief and increased scrutiny. The news first spread as celebrities, civil servants and civilians all came together on social media to express their sorrow and perhaps process their grief. Regarded as the country’s first female superstar, Sridevi’s 54-year old's long and lustrous career, spanned close to five decades with roots in all the various woods of Bolly, Tolly, Molly as well as Tamil and Kannada language cinema. Perhaps self-ironically then, after a 15 year-long hiatus from acting, she marked her return to cinema with the critically acclaimed English Vinglish (2012) in which she magnificently portrayed an Indian housewife, unable to speak or understand a single word of English, who goes to attend a wedding with her family in New York. Despite her absence from the screens, Sridevi had never faded from public memory, having etched a special place for herself in the cinemas of languages across the country. During her heyday of the '80s and '90s she was the most incandescent pan-Indian film star in the world, adept at both comedy and drama, delivering nuanced performances in each of her films, whatever the language. Her comic timing was impeccable and she was equally versed in both romanticism and gravitas. With the passing of such a luminescent star then, it's perhaps no wonder that the grieving is universal.

Feb 28, 2018 5:08 pm (IST)

Katrina Kaif, Arjun Rampal, Anupam Kher and others have reached the crematorium at Vile Parle to pay their respects to Sridevi. The news of Sridevi's death was confirmed by brother-in-law Sanjay Kapoor late on Saturday (February 24) and ever since then the entire nation and the film fraternity has not stopped mourning. 

Feb 28, 2018 5:03 pm (IST)

Farhan Akhtar, Dia Mirza, and Vidya Balan along with her husband have arrived for the last rites and funeral of Sridevi at the Vile Parle Crematorium. Sridevi's body was handed over to her family on Tuesday by the Dubai Police authorities after conducting an investigation into her death. The same evening, her body was flown back to Mumbai and her funeral is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Feb 28, 2018 4:06 pm (IST)

Shah Rukh Khan, Prasoon Joshi, members of the Prithviraj Kapoor family and a host of other celebrities have arrived at the Vile Parle crematorium to pay their respects at the last rites of Sridevi 

Feb 28, 2018 3:59 pm (IST)

With flowers in their hands and a prayer for their screen idol on their lips, thousands of fans today joined Sridevi's family and friends to pay their last respects at a hall where her body was placed ahead of the funeral. The body of the late actor, who died in Dubai on Saturday, was kept at the Celebration Sports Club, minutes away from her residence Green Acres in Lokhandwala. A prayer was performed at the hall before taking the actor's body for the last rites. A giant photograph of the much loved actor edged with white flowers was put up outside the club, which was covered with white lilies, mogra and red roses. Sridevi's body was brought to the venue at 9 am by her family members..  Inside the hall, her family, including film-maker husband Boney Kapoor, actors Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Kapoor, Harshvardhan Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor and Rhea Kapoor, stood in a corner, their eyes wet with tears. Sridevi's daughters Jahnvi and Khushi were standing a little behind them. The actor's mortal remains were draped in a red kanjivaram sari with a bindi on her forehead. After travelling down streets lined with mourners, the funeral procession reached its final destination. The cremation will take place very shortly.

Feb 28, 2018 3:40 pm (IST)

Ram Gopal Varma, who has been constantly posting about Sridevi, since the news of the actor's demise first broke just put up a picture that puts the nation's mourning at the passing of India's first female superstar in perspective: 

Feb 28, 2018 3:11 pm (IST)

While most of the film fraternity came to pay their respects at Sridevi's prayer meeting held earlier in Lokhandwala, several Bollywood celebrities were out of the country and unable to say a last farewell to India's first female superstar. One such celebrity was Preity Zinta who is currently abroad. Nonetheless, the Kya Kehna actress put out an emotional post on Instagram. She wrote: "Almost everyone I know has gone to say goodbye to her in Mumbai. I’m on the other side of the globe, it’s midnight & I cannot sleep. Right now a part of my childhood, burns Into ashes & dust. Sridevi my icon is gone. I close my eyes & see Hawa Hawai smiling at me. She will always be in my heart. I wish her peace & freedom. I’m so sad I did not get to say goodbye. I’m upset & angry to see people stoop so low and the media circus. Everyone wants to gain from her departure. As her fan I hate it & I hate them. How dare they try to take her dignity in death? I will not let this happen. Sridevi is and always will be the Brightest Star. A powerhouse of talent, spontaneity & sensuality. She will always will be my Hawa Hawaii. Thank you for being so gracious & sweet & most of all thank you for making me fall in love with cinema. I love you." 

Almost everyone I know has gone to say goodbye to her in Mumbai. I’m on the other side of the globe, it’s midnight & I cannot sleep. Right now a part of my childhood, burns Into ashes & dust. Sridevi my icon is gone. I close my eyes & see Hawa Hawai smiling at me. She will always be in my heart. I wish her peace & freedom. I’m so sad I did not get to say goodbye. I’m upset & angry to see people stoop so low and the media circus. Everyone wants to gain from her departure. As her fan I hate it & I hate them. How dare they try to take her dignity in death? I will not let this happen. Sridevi is and always will be the Brightest Star. A powerhouse of talent, spontaneity & sensuality. She will always will be my Hawa Hawaii 💃 Thank you for always Brightening up my life & for making me cry. Thank you for being so gracious & sweet & most of all thank you 🙏 for making me fall in love with cinema. I love you #Sridevi #RIP #Letherrestinpeace #legend #gonetoosoon #Sridevifan #childhood

A post shared by Preity Zinta (@realpz) on

Feb 28, 2018 2:50 pm (IST)

Thousands gathered to pay their last respects to Sridevi at the prayer meeting held for her at Celebration Club, while thousands more gathered outside the crematorium where her last rites will take place. However, the situation is deteriorating as people have lined up the streets through which her funeral cortege is passing and the police is finding it increasingly difficult to maintain an ordely procession. According to some media reports, police officers were forced to do a lathi charge as the funeral procession was leaving the Club due to fans not making way, determined as they were to catch a glimpse of their heroine. 

Feb 28, 2018 2:40 pm (IST)

ALSO READ | Sridevi's Legacy Lies in Making us Re-think Our 'Perception of English'

English is thrust at us from all directions and the worst is: one cannot blame it either! We need it. After all, it has become a ladder for progress in today’s globalised world. It is a compulsion, not a choice. But while the aspiration is reasonable, the taunts often inflicted on those who are unable or struggling to reach the Society-designated level of proficiency can be counter-productive. Non-English speakers are treated as illiterates in an often boorish manner. The 2012 Indian film English Vinglish starring Sridevi offers a fantastic case. It shows the relationship between Sridevi, a person not proficient in the language, and her husband, who is. At home in Pune, umpteen taunts were inflicted by the husband (and their English-proficient daughter) on the wife which she bears silently. When she visits her sister in New York for her niece’s marriage, she gets a chance to get free from that environment of constant admonishment. Apart from the wedding planning, she takes some classes at a local English-speaking institute. There she meets several people who are also struggling with the language and facing their own variants of bias in their neck-of-the-woods. 

Of all the legacies she leaves behind, Sridevi's strongest one will probably be about how she diverted our disproportionate bias for English into making us appreciate our fellow-beings for their wider knowledge, understanding, maturity and skills.

Feb 28, 2018 2:38 pm (IST)

Sridevi's funeral cortege is en route to the crematorium. The cremation is scheduled to take place at 3:30 pm, marking the end of an incredible epoch in Indian cinema. With the passing of Sridevi, not just the film industry, but the entire nation has lost one of it's brightest stars. Despite her absence from the screens, Sridevi had never faded from public memory, having etched a special place for herself in the cinemas of languages across the country. During her heyday of the '80s and '90s she was the most incandescent pan-Indian film star in the world, adept at both comedy and drama, delivering nuanced performances in each of her films, whatever the language. Her comic timing was impeccable and she was equally versed in both romanticism and gravitas. With the passing of such a luminescent star then, it's perhaps no wonder that the grieving is universal.

Feb 28, 2018 2:15 pm (IST)

As per the schedule announced by representatives of the Kapoor familly earlier, Sridevi's mortal remains are being transported for the cremation, in what will be the last journey of an Indian icon. Thousands of fans gathered outside the prayer hall during the darshan being held at the Celebration Sports Club in Lokhandwala, some of whom had been waiting since 6 am to pay their respects to their heroine. The body is now en route to Vile Parle's Seva Samaj Crematorium, where the final rites and cremation will be performed.

Feb 28, 2018 2:03 pm (IST)

Away from the cameras' flash and the eyes of her millions of fans in India, the actress Sridevi's body made its way to a simple mortuary in the United Arab Emirates, where one man helped sign out her remains to return home. Listed only as "ASHRAF" on the official paperwork in Dubai is Ashraf "Sherry" Thamarassery, a 44-year-old Indian from Kerala who has become a ferryman of sorts for those who die here in the UAE. From indebted labourers to the moneyed elite, Thamarassery has helped repatriate 4,700 bodies to 38 countries across the world. He views it as a noble responsibility in this desert sheikhdom that draws so many far from their homes, chief among them his compatriots. The 54-year-old Sridevi died February 24 in Dubai while in the UAE for a wedding. Police and prosecutors say she drowned in a hotel bathtub after losing consciousness, calling her death accidental. While Indian officials quickly cancelled her passport and prepared the other documents, Thamarassery said a needed police clearance slowed Sridevi's repatriation. He received hundreds of calls from journalists, officials and others in the interim.

(As reported by Associated Press)

Feb 28, 2018 1:59 pm (IST)

Soon after arriving back from the prayer meet, Hema took to Twitter to share how the entire industry was mourning the loss of one of film industry's most loved actor whose craft spans languages across Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada apart from Hindi. Paid my last respects to Sridevi. The entire industry was there grieving, some on the verge of breakdown. Such was her aura & magic in films. She lay there, beautiful in a red saree, serene in death & totally at peace," she wrote. 

Feb 28, 2018 1:46 pm (IST)

Shekhar Kapur calls out the invasive public scrutiny surrounding the death of Sridevi and her last rites. The Mr India director wrote: as Sridevi takes her last journey tomorrow from her home to the cremation ground , all the ugliness created by speculators will be burnt to ashes too. One day we will look back ourselves and ask, why are we so ghoulish? Were these really fans that loved her?

Feb 28, 2018 1:27 pm (IST)

Sridevi will be cremated with full state honours in Mumbai today. Her mortal remains arrived at Celebration Sports Club in Lokhandwala, Mumbai, where her industry peers and admirers paid their last respects to the iconic actor. A Mumbai Police band in full dress uniform arrived at the Celebration Sports Club before the actor's final journey, which will begin at 2 pm when her body will be transported to the cremation grounds.  The cremation will take place at 3:30 pm in Vile Parle's  Seva Samaj Crematorium.

Feb 28, 2018 1:23 pm (IST)

Deepika Padukone, Siddharth Malhotra and Aditya Roy Kapur at the prayer meeting:

Feb 28, 2018 1:10 pm (IST)

Sridevi's Body will reportedly be transported in this decorated truck.

Feb 28, 2018 12:50 pm (IST)

Having starred in hundreds of films during her career, Sridevi acted opposite many of Indian cinema's leading men. Here are her top heroes:

Feb 28, 2018 12:45 pm (IST)

As a mark of respect to Sridevi, the Green Acres Co-op housing society -- where the late actor shared a home with husband Boney Kapoor and their two daughters -- have canceled their Holi celebrations. The announcement was put up on their notice board today morning, and stated that "There will be no music, rain, dance, colored water exchanges or the usual community lunch." As the ambulance carrying the mortal remains of the Bollywood icon entered her residence in suburban Andheri last night, a large number of fans jostled for a glimpse of their favorite actor. Both sides of the road leading to Sridevi's home were crowded with her fans, with some even climbing the trees to have a clear view. The ambulance, escorted by three police vehicles, brought the body home from the airport at around 10:30 PM soon after it arrived from Dubai where she died three days ago at the age of 54.

Feb 28, 2018 12:11 pm (IST)

Here are some of Sridevi's most memorable songs:

Feb 28, 2018 12:01 pm (IST)
 

Long queues of fans holding flowers in their hands and chanting prayers were seen as the body of the actor was brought to the venue at 9 am along with an entourage of family members. Nearly 200 policemen were present at the venue to keep the crowd in check. While the gates for the general public opened after 10 am,fans from across the country started queuing up to pay their last respects to the Chandni star since 6 in the morning. People have come from as far as Karnataka and Chennai to catch the last glimpse of their screen idol.Film-maker Karan Johar was the first among prominent personalities to arrive at the venue, followed by others like Arbaaz Khan and Farah Khan. Since then, practically every Bollywood celebrity has come to the prayer meeting to pay their respects.

Feb 28, 2018 11:26 am (IST)

Joining the continuously growing throng of mourners gathered at Celebration Sports Club in Lokhandwala, Madhuri Dixit, Akshay Khanna, Sonam Kapoor, Tabu, Jacqueline Fernandez and many more are among the latest to have arrived for the prayer meeting. The news of Sridevi's death was first reported at around 3 am IST on Sunday, sent shock waves across India with those who knew her at a loss to explain how the star, who was present at a family wedding in Dubai last week, could suddenly breathe her last. 

Feb 28, 2018 10:59 am (IST)

Watch Priya Prakash Varrier's emotional tribute to Sridevi.

Feb 28, 2018 10:56 am (IST)

Joining the continuously growing crowds of mourners gathered at Lokhandwala's Celebration Sports Club, where the prayer meeting for Sridevi is currently taking place, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Sushmita Sen have come to pay their respects. Sridevi's body was handed over to her family on Tuesday by the Dubai Police authorities after conducting an investigation into her death. The same evening, her body was flown back to Mumbai and her funeral is scheduled for today afternoon.

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