Chennai, Feb 28: Away from the prying cameras, residents of Sivakasi are mourning the death of Sridevi, who hails from Meenampatti, a small village in Tamil Nadu's fireworks industry hub.
The legendary Bollywood and south Indian film icon Sridevi died at the age of 54 in Dubai on Saturday evening. Her funeral will take place in Mumbai on Wednesday. Since the time the news of Sridevi's death has come to light, the entire nation is mourning. A pall of gloom has descended on Sivakasi as the people simply could not believe that their "most famous daughter" is no more.
Born Shree Amma Yanger Ayappan on August 13, 1963, Sridevi lived in her native village for a short period of time. On Wednesday, students of a primary school, owned by the family of Sridevi, paid tribute to the actress in Sivakasi. The memorial service was unique as young kids in front of a black and white picture of "little" Sridevi, when she was around four years old, prayed for the departed soul.
In fact, Sridevi, who had worked in some of the most iconic Bollywood and south Indian movies, started her career as a child artist at the age of four with the Tamil film, Thunaivan. In a career spanning five decades, Sridevi had worked in more than 250 Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada movies.
Residents of the native village of the legendary actress told ANI that they "cannot believe Sridevi has passed away".
Sridevi's family left their village and settled in Chennai after she joined the Tamil film industry. The Padma Shri-winning actress last visited her village in 1989 to campaign for her father Ayyappa Naidu who contested the assembly election from Sivakasi constituency as a Congress candidate.
"She stayed for 10 days and campaigned for her father. During her stay, she interacted with the locals freely. It left an everlasting impression on them," Duraisamy from Meenampatti was quoted as saying by DNA.