MUMBAI: Some holding flowers, some weeping, some climbing trees to catch a glimpse of what's happening inside the house to police officers trying to keep a check on the frenzy -- there was an an eerie commotion outside the residence of actress Sridevi -- whose sudden demise shocked the nation.
As the news of Sridevi's death came out, fans of Bollywood's "Hawa hawai" flocked to her residence here to express their grief.
The actress -- who gave Hindi cinema lovers songs like "Mere haathon mein", "Chudiyan khanak gayeen", "Chandni", "Na jaane kahan se aayi hai" and "Hawa hawai" and films like "Judaai", "Mr. India" and "Nagina" -- breathed her last on Saturday night in Dubai.
She had gone to Dubai to attend the marriage function of actress Sonam Kapoor's cousin Mohit Marwah, along with husband Boney Kapoor and younger daughter Khushi. Janhvi stayed back reportedly due to her work commitment towards her debut film "Dhadak".
Shashank Khaitan, who is directing "Dhadak", was also spotted entering the premises.
There was heavy security outside her home, but that didn't deter the fans from gathering for their "Chandni".
"It was a shock for all of us. We have been watching her since she was a child actor. Some of her Telugu films opposite Chiranjeevi are my favourites. Out of 'Mom' and 'English Vinglish', I loved 'English Vinglish'. I couldn't sleep at night. I will stay back here till end," one of her fans, Laxmi, told IANS.
The Indian Embassy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Indian Consulate in Dubai were assisting the family to expedite the process to bringing her body to India as soon as possible. Her mortal remains are expected to be flown to Mumbai on a special chartered flight on Sunday evening for the last rites.
A 50-year-old woman, who felt that she had lost a family member, was visibly emotional when she told IANS that she grew up "watching and dancing to 'Mere haathon pe nau nau churiya'".
"In fact there was a phase where I thought I would become a dancer. I loved her in 'Nagina' and 'Mr. India' is my favourite."
The crowd comprised not just of male admirers, but also female fans as well as children. Some of them even stood with flowers to pay tribute when their star's body arrives.
The Padma Shri recipient took a long break of 15 years for her family, and made a comeback to Bollywood in 2012 with "English Vinglish". She floored one and all with her staggering performance.
In "English Vinglish", she essays a woman living abroad but with low English speaking skills -- it hit home for many mothers in reality as well.
With tears in her eyes, an old Marathi lady, said: "'English Vinglish' is my favourite. I can't speak in English and my sons live in the UK. Somewhere they always made fun of me. That film touched my heart... I can't believe she is no more. I saw her pictures in TV with her daughter. She also looks like her... I want to see her once. I just hope they give us a chance to see her."
Another female fan added: "I am 45 and of course like many young guys that time my favourite of Sridevi song was 'Kaate nehi kat te' her sari, her moves, her beauty... I know I won't be able to see her but I can't believe it."
It was not just the fans but also the police officials on duty there who said they were in "shock".
"We are doing our duty but the news also came to us as a shock," said a policeman on duty.