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Sridevi Given State Honours; Fans, Celebrities Pay Their Last Respects

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Thousands thronged to Mumbai’s Celebrations Sports Club to pay their last respects to legendary actress Sridevi. The iconic actress was also accorded state honours by the Maharashtra government, with her mortal remains wrapped in the tricolour and a gun salute by the Mumbai police. Fans also joined the massive serpentine procession to the crematorium in Vile Parle this afternoon.

Actors, politicians including Rekha, Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit, Akshaye Khanna, Tabu, Farah Khan, Vidya Balan, Sushmita Sen, Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar, Madhur Bhandarkar, Deepika Padukone, Sanjay Leela Bhandsali, Jackie Shroff, Farhan Akhtar, Hema Malini, Chiranjeevi, John Abraham, Ajay Devgn and Kajol, Anupam Kher, were at the prayer hall to give their last respects.

Sridevi’s mortal remains arrived in Mumbai on Tuesday night 72 hours after her death was reported in Dubai. Amid tight security, her body was taken to her Lokhandwala residence.

On February 24, around 11 PM UAE time, the actor died in a hotel room in Dubai. The original reports out of the UAE attributed the death to cardiac arrest, and from initial reports, it was unclear who was with the 54-year-old actor at the time of her death.

Sridevi, accompanied by her husband Boney Kapoor and younger daughter Khushi Kapoor, had been in Dubai for a family wedding on February 20. Her daughter and husband had returned to Mumbai, but she stayed back. The Khaleej Times reported that Boney Kapoor returned from India to Dubai to surprise his wife, and went up to her room at around 5:30 PM.

Sridevi went into the bathroom, and when she did not come back on time, a worried Boney Kapoor entered the bathroom with the hotel staff, where he found his wife unconscious.

On Monday around mid-day, the Dubai Police released an official statement via Twitter that stating the cause of death as accidental drowning. At that time, another UAE based daily, The Gulf News, reported that traces of alcohol were found in Sridevi’s blood, and speculated that the actor might have fallen into the bathtub in a state of inebriation, fainted and died due to drowning.

The UAE-based outlets insisted that the process that was followed was routine and mandated by the UAE law and ruled out any foul play, but that did not stop television and print outlets in India from theorising on the cause of death. Theories floated around on social media speculating that Sridevi’s alleged plastic surgeries and her efforts to look young were the cause of her death. Several media channels started debating on Sridevi’s drinking habits as well.

Indian television channels, trying to one-up each other in their fight to grab maximum eyeballs, shamelessly sensationalised the news of her death. While one channel ran a headline stating ‘Maut ka Bathtub’ (Death in a bathtub), other channels widely speculated her last new minutes in the washroom.

For more than 40 years, beginning the time Sridevi made her debut as a child star, the actress had spun her brand of magic around audiences, charming them with her histrionics, amazing brand of humour and her lively dancing. She was often called the first female superstar of Indian cinema, and rightly so. She picked a range of roles and stood her own even in hero-centric movies.

 Known to be fiercely private, the actress opened up to interviewers if she felt comfortable enough. She is survived by her husband Boney Kapoor, and children Jhanvi and Khushi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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