The shock is not wearing off. And perhaps it never will. Last night (February 24, 2018), news trickled in that the legendary Sridevi had passed away in Dubai following a cardiac arrest. Initially, the stories were met with disbelief as hoax reports about celebrities’ death keep doing the rounds of social media (Hollywood superstar Sylvester Stallone had to debunk the news of his death recently!). There were speculations on Twitter but no confirmations. Gradually, the chatter around the death started increasing with senior journalists from India tweeting about it. It wasn’t long before our worst fears were proved true – Sridevi, the beautiful, versatile actress who launched a thousand dreams and appeared in a million fantasies – was no more.
So what exactly happened? Sridevi, 54, was in the UAE with her husband Boney Kapoor and daughter Khushi Kapoor for the wedding of Mohith Marwah, Boney’s sister Reena’s son. The wedding saw the who’s who of Dubai including Manish Malhotra, Karan Johar, Abhishek Bachchan, Shweta Bachchan and of course, the entire Kapoor khandaan in attendance. The pictures from Waldorf Astoria, Ras Al Khaimah – the venue for the big ceremony – lit up twitter and Instagram. A beaming Sridevi was there in most of them, dressed to perfection in Manish Malhotra’s gowns along with a happy and stunning Khushi and Boney. Elder daughter Jhanvi couldn’t make it because she was shooting for her debut film with Ishan Khattar.
After the wedding festivities were over, most guests left but Sridevi and family stayed back. A Dubai industrialist who is extremely close to the family said, “She was deeply involved with Jhanvi’s debut film. She extended her holiday to shop for her daughter.” The Kapoors were allegedly staying at Jumeirah Emirates Towers after they left Ras Al Khaimah.
However, Boney who usually never leaves his wife’s side, had to urgently go back to India, to Lucknow in particular for some urgent work. Sri was here and the aforementioned family friend lent his car and driver to take her around. The story goes that the Mom actress had not been keeping well for the last couple of days. Boney, however managed to return last evening (24th February) and was with her. While some stories did the rounds that Sridevi was alone during her last moments our sources insist that her husband was thankfully by her side as was her maid. Boney was planning to take her out for dinner.
Around late in the night, Sridevi allegedly collapsed in the bathroom. She was rushed to Rashid hospital but could not be saved. The authorities too took over the case immediately and provided the required assistance for the formalities. The aforementioned friend was with them throughout the night. “I returned only at 4 am but couldn’t sleep. It’s been a huge shock,” he said. Apparently, Pakistani actor Adnan Siddiqui (her co-star in Mom) was there too.
Incidentally, Sanjay Kapoor stayed back in Dubai too and attended a Pakistan Super League (PSL) match before going back to India. He had apparently landed in India when he got a call from Boney informing him about the tragedy. Both, Sanjay and wife Maheep rushed back to Dubai.
Friends as well as the Indian embassy officials are helping through the formalities and legalities. Sources also say that millionaire industrialist Anil Ambani has sent his private plane on standby for the remains to be flown back home. Her body was kept at Al Qusais police station morgue. The Indian Consulate has been making all arrangements for the body to be handed over to the family so that it can be taken to Mumbai.
Friends and family are evidently rallying around the Kapoors but Boney is inconsolable. It’s a huge tragedy and it will take a long while for the family and indeed, the country to come to terms with it.