I was on the sets with Shekhar Kapur when he was briefing her just before shooting the ‘I love you’ song in Mr. India. Shekhar explained the scene and what he expected from her in the dance. She listened to him blankly and repeated the same to her sister Srilatha who stood beside her. Later I asked Shekhar what was her motive for explaining the scene to her sister and Shekhar reflected for a moment and said, “I don’t know but maybe that is her way of processing.” When the camera turned on, Sridevi was magical, an absolute joy to watch her sway without abandon, her Blue chiffon flying in the air.
The 80s introduced two heroines from down South, Sridevi, and Jaya Prada and for a while, it seemed that Jaya Prada would become the bigger star because of her conventional beauty but Sridevi surpassed all her rivals to the number one position. The Tamil and the Telegu film industry never really forgave Mumbai for stealing their brightest star and for a long time they were in serious mourning but they were happy that Sridevi made a place for herself in Hindi films and did it on her merit.
To be continued…