The gorgeous Sridevi was recently awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in India, and she seems delighted by the honour.
“It’s my good fortune that people still love me and want me on screen. The Padma Shri came as a very pleasant surprise. I am deeply honoured. I don’t know what I did to deserve it but I must have done something right to be honoured by our government,” she says.
There had been much disappointment for the actress, when she missed out on the popular awards for her stellar performance in English Vinglish.
But these snubs appear minor when weighed against the Padma Shri.
Incidentally, the weekend saw a double win for her -- besides the Padma Shri recognition, she also bagged a Best Actress award for English Vinglish at the Stardust awards.
“At this stage in my life and career, I don’t hanker for awards," she says. "But the Padma Shri is special. It shows that the government has recognised my work, and that feels good. Acknowledgement and recognition from authoritative quarters are important to every artiste.”
Though Sridevi says she is not going to go out of her way to seek acting assignments at this stage, she is still enthusiastic about her career.
“I started (acting) young, when I was six," she says. "But I don’t feel I’ve been acting for so many years. I still approach every film and role like it’s my first. Though English Vinglish was my director Gauri Shinde’s debut film, I felt like a newcomer as much as she did. It is very important for an artiste to be excited about her work in every phase of her career. If a tiredness seeps into one’s attitude, it will show in the quality of one’s work. I think my honesty towards my work is being acknowledged by the Padma Shri. That I’ve managed to go so far in my life is due to the support of my fans and well-wishers and my husband Boney (Kapoor).”
Sridevi's older daughter Jhanvi is rumoured to be poised for a movie career but the actress just laughs it off.
“Jhanvi is just 16," Sridevi trills. "She needs time to see the world and understand herself and her interests. At the moment, the two of us are busy together sharing a girl camaraderie. We’re friends before being mother and daughter. We go shopping, go for movies. I never had a chance to do all the normal girlie things, I was busy working.”
Sridevi, whose career as Hindi film heroine took off with a bang in 1983 with the big hit Himmatwala, says she’s open to more acting offers. “But it has to be something that appeals to me as an actress, like English Vinglish. At this juncture of my life, I am not hankering to face the camera. I’ve done every kind of role. It’s the real-life mom’s role that I enjoy the most,” she signs off.