Thousands of fans and Indian cinema world celebrities today bade a tearful farewell to Bollywood icon Sridevi, who was cremated in Mumbai with full state honours.
Amidst an outpour of grief across the country, Sridevi's filmmaker-husband Boney Kapoor performed the last rites at the crematorium in Ville Parle, a suburb of Mumbai. The couple's daughters, Jahnvi, who is also an actress, and Khushi, were by Boney Kapoor’s side during the last rites.
The body of the 54-year-old actor, who died due to “accidental drowning in Dubai on Saturday, was draped in her favourite red and yellow ‘kanjivaram’ saree, and a ‘bindi’ fixed on her forehead, at the Celebration Sports Club, minutes away from her residence Green Acres in Lokhandwala ahead of the funeral.
A prayer was performed at the hall before taking the actor's body for the last rites.
Holding flowers in their hands and a prayer on the lips, hundreds of fans of Bollywood’s first female super star, many of them weeping, joined her family members and friends to pay their last respects at the hall.
Later as the truck carrying the glass casket containing the body of the actor meandered through the streets, thousands of fans thronged the entire funeral route to have a final glimpse of her. The vehicle, wrapped in a white cloth, was covered by white daisies and a number of photos of Sridevi.
Top Bollywood actors and other cinema personalities and teary-eyed fans walked along as superstar Sridevi's body was being taken out in a procession towards the crematorium this afternoon.
The mourners, holding flowers and photos of the late star, stood along the five km funeral route from the Lokhandwala club to the crematorium in Vile Parle.
The body of Sridevi was flown back to Mumbai from Dubai late on Tuesday night by a chartered aircraft provided by a company belonging to Anil Ambani. It was brought at the Celebration Sports Club at 09:00 am by her family members.
Inside the hall, her family, including Boney Kapoor, actors Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Kapoor, Harshvardhan Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor and Rhea Kapoor, stood in a corner, their eyes wet with tears. Sridevi's daughters Jahnvi and Khushi stood a little behind them.
Fashion designer Manish Malhotra broke down and was consoled by film-maker Karan Johar, who was also unable to control his grief. Actress Rani Mukerji sat near the body, and was consoling Sonam Kapoor, Sridevi’s niece.
The gates of the club opened after 10:00am for the general public. People from as far as Karnataka and Chennai queued up to pay their last respects to the "Chandni" star since 06:00am in the morning outside the venue.
The security guards, who were inside the hall in large numbers, made sure that fans did not click any pictures of the late actor while offering their condolences.
Many other Bollywood celebrities like Shah Rukh Khan Deepika Padukone, Jaya Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Shweta Bachchan, director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Sonam Kapoor's friend Anand Ahuja, actress Madhuri Dixit and her husband Sriram Nene paid their last respect to the actor.
Jaya Prada, Hema Malini along with her daughter Esha Deol, Arbaaz Khan, Nimrat Kaur, Manish Paul, Tabu, Subhash Ghai, Neelima Azmi, Sushmita Sen, politician Sanjay Nirupam also turned up to pay their respects.
Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Shabana Azmi and her husband Javed Akhtar, Randhir Kapoor and other celebs, who could not make it to Sridevi’s residence this morning, went directly to the funeral.
Shah Rukh Khan and Sridevi co-starred in the film Army and Sridevi also shot for a cameo appearance in Khan’s forthcoming movie Zero to be released in December this year.
Sridevi, who appeared in 300 films in several Indian languages in a career spanning 50 years, died on Saturday in Dubai. A post-mortem report stated that she died due to accidentally drowning in the bathtub of the hotel she was staying in.