VIRUDHUNAGAR: It’s another Sunday. However, unlike the other weekends, it’s grief that took centre stage at this small village of Meenampatti in Sivakasi Taluk this time. Reason: The female superstar of Bollywood, Sridevi, a native of the village, is no more.Hailing from a family with political and agricultural background, it was Bhaaratiraaja’s debut film Pathinaru Vayadhinile, in which she played a village beauty Mayil, that catapulted Sridevi into stardom.
After the news about the death of the 54-year-old veteran actress, who was in Dubai to attend a family marriage function spread, the villagers placed Sridevi’s childhood pictures in front of her ancestral house and offered floral tributes as a mark of paying their final respects.Speaking to Express, Srinivasan, who is a close friend of Sridevi’s family, said that he had lived with the actress’ family members for around 30 years in Chennai.
Srinivasan added said that even though Sridevi’s family settled in Chennai when she was very young, the villagers admire her work and her achievements in the film industry. “The news of her sudden demise came as a shock to us. She will live long in the hearts of the villagers,” said Srinivasan, who is currently settled in the village.
Talking about the actress’ family, he said that Sridevi’s grandfather Ponnusamy was a well-known and respected person in Meenampatti village and he had two sons, Ayyapan and Ramasamy, and Sridevi was the daughter of the former. The family of the actress is close to former chief minister K Kamaraj who also hails from Virudhunagar district.
“In 1989, Ayyapan contested in the assembly election from Sivakasi constituency as a Congress candidate. Sridevi came to the village for a few days to campaign for her father. That was the last time she came to the village. However, Ayyapan lost the election,” noted Srinivasan.