An artist par excellence.

An artist par excellence.

English Vinglish

 

I was never a  great fan of Sridevi, or Madhuri Dixit, for that matter, or any other actress of that era. I mean, the 80s and the  90s. Back then, watching movies in the theatre was a strict no-no for us kids. Yes, we did go for the rare film along with either mom, or dad, but that, too, after a lot of cajoling. Cajoling our parents to allow us one  movie!

That’s the reason, I haven’t seen many of Sridevi’s  films. I did admire  her varied performances in Sadma,  Lamhe, Chalbaaz, Mr. India and Chandni, to name a few, but, that’s it. However, It was only her last two films after she returned to the silver screen, that really caught my eye.

The first being English Vinglish, and the second, Mom.

What struck me about English Vinglish was the similarity between Shashi Godbole’s story and mine.

A modest homemaker, she runs a  laddoo making business from home.  However, being a simpleton, her achievements find her no admirers in her husband, or her daughter. Instead, she gets ridiculed for her lack of English- speaking skills, and disrespected for  her unsophistication.

This story  so resembled mine, as well as that of  countless women out there whose life revolves around their family. Simple, modest homemakers who give a major chunk of their time to their families and the remaining tiny part to  the little dreams they dare to follow.

Sridevi brought alive the simplicity, the unsophisticatedness of so many of us homemakers, who lose their identities in the mad rush of Life, get taken for granted for all that they do for their families and achieve nothing but disrespect.

Some of us strive to carve an identity for ourselves through a small business, or a blog (like yours truly!), but rarely do we receive the appreciation, the admiration or the respect we so yearn. Well, it’s just too insignificant an activity, after all! Be it a  laddoo making business,  or a petty  blog, we aren’t part of the corporate sector making a few lakhs a month, are we?

And, oh, how we lose our confidence thanks to the lives we lead!

That scene at the cafeteria, where Shashi gets ticked off at the counter – that could have been me, or someone like me! I fell in love with Sridevi in that one scene, when she rushes out of the cafe, tears streaming down her cheeks, her hands trembling, her face a crumpled mass of pain and hurt!

I am not very well versed about her filmography from her first innings, but she did choose the best movie to ride back into the hearts of her legions of fans. Those almond eyes that speak volumes, that face which transforms itself in a blink of an eye, and that little jig she regales her son with in the movie.

Sridevi was Shashi Godbole!

Today, she is no more. And, there are a lot of discussions going on about the hows and the whys of her end. So many of us have passed judgements about her life from the high pedestals we place ourselves on!

Well, how she was in her personal life is (was) her business. How she may have lived her life, how she may have been insecure about her career. …well, frankly, it’s really none of our business either dissecting it or commenting on it.

Do we live perfect lives, ourselves? Are we perfect?

The bitter  truth is, she is gone, suddenly, unexpectedly, leaving behind a shattered family and  heartbroken admirers. My heart goes out to her daughters – little girls who are at an age when their mom should have been by their side, guiding them, supporting them. I wonder how those girls will take this loss, how they will survive without their most important support system!?

Let’s all just pray for her soul to find the peace it deserves, and for strength to her family in their time of crisis. God knows how much support and prayers they all need right now!

Let’s also just remember this great artist, who lit up the screen with her dazzling performance and swept us all off our feet!

May her soul rest in peace.

P.S.

I will keep revisiting English Vinglish for the  inspiration and the encouragement it gives me. God knows how much I yearn for that one look of respect in my spouse’s eyes, the kind Shashi  elicits in her spouse at the end of the film!

 

My first movie memory #TadkaTuesday.

My first movie memory #TadkaTuesday.

Year: 1990

Theatre: Eros, Mumbai.

Movie: Pretty Woman. 

Aged seventeen then, with youth and its vigour  inundating me with dreams that sparkled like the countless twinkling stars in the night sky, I was raring to explore the world, learn about things I had only heard of. And, in the midst of it all, a movie like Pretty Woman gets released.  Like the proverbial cherry on the cake, if I can call it so!

A movie that boasts of having at its helm the most charming, breathtakingly handsome, uber-sexy Richard Gere and the sizzling hot  fire cracker, Julia Roberts. I hadn’t seen any “adult” movie until then, but heard a lot about those from friends. Well, what else do we discuss in college, if not films?! And, Pretty Woman being the latest release, it was the talk of the town, the hottest topic of discussion. So, of course, I was interested in watching it!

I and my best friend, Priya, decided to go see it at Eros. It’s one of the most famous cinema halls in Mumbai – a place we are extremely proud of. Although, now, I am not sure about its status; haven’t been there in decades! Sigh.

So, we decided to go watch it, after seeking permission from our respective parents, of course. You see, we belonged to the era when children “lived life” with prior permission from parents. “Lived life” as in had fun, socialised or partied. I would rather not blabber about the kind of socialising and partying we indulged in, lest we get ridiculed and mocked at!

I begged my father to buy the tickets for us, for it was a place we had never been to, ever. And, dad, who was pretty chilled out by then and become a buddy, agreed to do it for us. We were thrilled, to say the least! Dad was also thrilled, for on the day he was to buy the tickets, he returned home with a sad, guilty look on his face. He feigned memory loss and apologised profusely for not having bought the tickets! But, the next moment, on seeing my droopy face, burst out laughing and showed me the tickets, teasing me no end! Dad! You are the best!

Fast forward to the theatre,  there we were, two young girls waiting eagerly to get in and watch the first ever movie without our parents in tow! My heart beat had doubled up as I entered the hall, took my seat and waited with bated breath for the movie to begin. I remember our nervous giggles, our anxiety and our curiosity as we awaited  the entry of The Man, Mr. Gere. And, whoa! He sure didn’t let us down!

The story took us far away, to another land – a land where the handsome, charming and caring hero, sweeps the heroine off her feet in one swift move. Everything is all hunky dory, until the arrival of the bad guy. But, our hero – the  knight in shining armour – has aces up his sleeve as he knocks the villain out of the picture in quick seconds and saves his lady love, like a true gentleman! Ah! I am swooning just thinking about it all!

I may have seen the movie many a time over the  years, but it failed to up my heartbeat the way it did the very first time! Oh, and I admit, it also gave me ideas about the kind of man I would want to meet in life! The magic of the movie and the actors was such, it still makes me go dreamy-eyed! The peppy title song still makes me want to dance to its tune and Julia Roberts’ uproarious laughter and devil-may-care attitude does rub off of me, but I stop short of emulating her for fear of falling on my face with a loud thud! None could have carried off the role so perfectly as she did.

And, Richard Gere, ah, they don’t make men like him anymore, do they? His was the first movie I saw as a young adult, and again, it was another movie starring him (Shall we dance?) that I saw as a forty year old, and fell in love all over again! Fell in love with Richard Gere, I mean!  Psst…he figures on top of the ‘Best looking men EVER’ list, and chances of him being replaced by  anyone are rare.

So, that’s my very first movie memory –  I did watch many movies before that, but this one figures on top for reasons I raved about throughout this post!

 Which was the first ever movie you remember watching and for what reasons? Do share with me… I would love to hear all about it!

P. S. 
 In case you are thinking of talking about Richard Gere, then let me warn you, he belongs to ME! So, kindly keep your emotions in check, or else….! 
 Don’t say you weren’t warned!

Hahaha! Just kidding!
*wink wink*



 With Love

SHILPA…

*This post has been written for #TadkaTuesday.

 

#TadkaTuesday