Mumbai, Feb 28: The story of a visually-challenged man from Uttar Pradesh waiting outside the Mumbai residence of late Sridevi to pay his tribute to the legendary deceased actress will move you to tears for sure. Since Sridevi's demise in Dubai on Saturday the nation is shocked, as she died pretty early leaving behind a legion of fans. The Padma Shri-winning actress was only 54. According to the forensic report, she died due to "accidental drowning in a bathtub" at her hotel room in Dubai.
A steady stream of visitors, mostly fans and well-wishers of Sridevi, were seen gathering outside her Andheri residence in Mumbai since Sunday morning. They came to have a last glimpse of the actress who gave them so much joy and happiness with her several memorable screen avatars in films like Mr India, Chaalbaaz and English Vinglish, among others.
Unfortunately, as Sridevi died in a foreign country, medical and legal procedures took long before authorities allowed to take back her mortal remains to Mumbai on Tuesday evening. The last rites of the superstar, who had given stellar performances in various south Indian and Bollywood films, will take place in the city on Wednesday.
As the shocked nation was mourning the untimely death of the Bollywood icon, a visually-impaired man from Uttar Pradesh was spotted outside the residence of Sridevi. He told journalists on Tuesday evening that he had been waiting outside her house for two days.
The man, who identified himself as Jatin Valmiki, told ANI that Sridevi once financially helped him. He added that the popular actress paid Rs 1 lakh for the operation of his brother. Valmiki, who expressed his inability to return her favour, said he came to mourn her death.
"Sridevi ji had helped us during the brain tumour operation of my brother. She paid me Rs 1 lakh for the operation. She also helped us in getting Rs 1 lakh fee waiver from the hospital. (Sridevi ji mere bhai ke brain tumour ke operation ke liye help ki thi. Uss samay unhone mujhe 1 lakh ki madad ki & hospital se 1 lakh maaf bhi karwaaye)," Valmiki was quoted as saying by ANI.
Sridevi ji mere bhai ke brain tumour ke operation ke liye help ki thi. Uss samay unhone mujhe 1 lakh ki madad ki & hospital se 1 lakh maaf bhi karwaaye: Jatin Valmiki, a visually impaired man from Uttar Pradesh who has been waiting outside #Sridevi's house since last two days. pic.twitter.com/VkYGEx7PrB— ANI (@ANI) February 28, 2018
"My brother is alive only because of Sridevi. I can't do anything for her. At least, I can join her in her last journey by taking part in her funeral. (Unki wajah se mera bhai aaj zinda hai. Main kuch nahi kar sakta unke (Sridevi) liye, lekin main kam se kam unki antim yatra mein toh shaamil ho hi sakta hoon)," a sobbing Valmiki added.
Unki wajah se mera bhai aaj zinda hai. Main kuch nahi kar sakta unke (Sridevi) liye, lekin main kam se kam unki antim yatra mein toh shaamil ho hi sakta hoon: Jatin Valmiki, a visually impaired man from Uttar Pradesh who has been waiting outside #Sridevi's house. pic.twitter.com/uXnU74B6Bn— ANI (@ANI) February 28, 2018
While we all know how the powerful and beautiful actor and dancer Sridevi was, little is known about her benevolence as revealed by Valmiki. In spite of his disability, Valmiki paid the best tribute to the legendary actor by simply waiting for her mortal remains to arrive in Mumbai, unlike the rumour mongers spreading canards over the delay in the funeral of Sridevi.
It is true that Sridevi was one of the finest actresses of India; it is equally true that it is because of fans like Valmiki, film stars are worshipped like gods in the country.