Sridevi — the full story

A photographer remembers Sridevi, the true professional

Actor Sridevi.   | Photo Credit: A. V. Bhaskar

Photographer A.V Bhaskar recounts to The Hindu his experience working with Sridevi when she ruled the Tamil film industry

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Sridevi was the diva ruling the entire film industry in the 1980s. She was also a true professional who respected fellow professionals. After any photo shoot, she would always ask if she could leave. That was how humble she was.

I have photographed almost all south Indian artists from the 1980s to the present generation. But the maximum number of my pictures published on magazine covers are that of Sridevi. In fact, I have photographed Sridevi so much that my wife teases me saying that I am the self-appointed president of the Sridevi Fan Club.

Actor Sridevi.

Actor Sridevi.   | Photo Credit: A. V. Bhaskar

 

I can vividly recall two specific instances of Sridevi's humility. Once she had asked a few of us to wait till the shot was over, saying she would pose for us after that. But after the shot, she got into her car and proceeded to leave, much to our chagrin. But something made her glance out of the window. She immediately stopped the car, literally ran out and apologised to all of us profusely, saying she had something on her mind and missed posing for us. She went out of her way that day and ensured that we had clicked enough pictures of her. After the photo session, she was so contrite and kept apologising and though we reassured her that it was ok, she felt unhappy.

I met her again after a couple of days and she still kept apologising. That was how sincere she was about her career and about other people’s jobs.

Actor Sridevi.

Actor Sridevi.   | Photo Credit: A. V. Bhaskar

 

I worked as a photographer for the film Guru, which starred her and Kamal Haasan in the lead roles. Watching both these professionals was a treat. In those days, photography was a different art. We had to deal with slow speed films, and indoor lighting was a major challenge on a film set while taking action pictures.

But both Sridevi and Kamal Haasan understood that and would hold their positions even after the shot was over for a few extra seconds so that we would get the shot.

On a personal front, I still remember an image of her listening to the song ‘Yeh kahan aa gaye hum' from the movie Silsila on the loop. She was mesmerised by Amitabh Bachchan’s voice. “What a voice he has…” she used to say repeatedly.

We have lost a talented, beautiful artist too soon. She was a powerhouse of talent combined with beauty and grace. That is how I will always remember her.


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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 7:34:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/a-photographer-remembers-sridevi-the-true-professional/article22849799.ece

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