'Sridevi's ENTIRE JOURNEY Is In My Book': Author Satyarth Nayak Gets Candid About India's First Female Superstar- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW

All about Sridevi's life from author Satyarth Nayak, who launched his first non-fiction book Sridevi- The Eternal Screen Goddess on India’s First Female Superstar in Mumbai on Sunday. READ and SEE the interview

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'Sridevi's ENTIRE JOURNEY Is In My Book': Author Satyarth Nayak Gets Candid About India's First Female Superstar- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW
Author Satyarth Nayak launched his first non-fiction book Sridevi- The Eternal Screen Goddess on India’s First Female Superstar, Sridevi in Mumbai on Sunday. 

We sat down for an interview with the man to know about his experience of penning the book, his conversations with her family that went in as inputs, and in the process, discovered some unknown facets of her life.

Your book Sridevi- The Eternal Screen Goddess is the talk of the town. Did you know Sridevi well before you sat down to chronicle her? I mean, had you met her?
I met Sridevi once in 2012 when she had come to Delhi to promote English Vinglish. It was a very brief meeting--- but that was enough for me. After that, I had this thought that a book should be written on her iconic life journey of 5 decades 

I feel I was destined to write it. So in 2017, that journey crystallised when I shifted from Delhi to Mumbai. The same year, her film MOM had released which was her 300th film. I felt that was the right time, as all the stars were aligning in the right place. Then, I met Boney Kapoor and he was also pretty excited. He even spoke to Sridevi about it. But, at that time, her focus was on her daughter Janhvi's debut film, Dhadak. So, she said that she would talk about the book post the release of Dhadak.

Where were you when the tragedy happened on Feb 24, 2018?
I was in Bombay when the news came. Late in the night, I got a message from a friend who informed me about it. I was shattered.

I thought to myself that how can I write this book without her. But later, one of my friends told me that I should write it as a tribute to Sridevi and the only difference is that the book would have a last chapter.

I earned support from Penguin and even Boney Kapoor. I met him again and he wanted to know that in her absence what route I would now take. So I told him that the idea was to meet the people who she worked with. Boneyji helped me a lot in arranging those meetings. The foreword by Kajol in the book is also because of him. He has been a solid support. WATCH VIDEO BELOW:

Whom did you meet from the film industry to research?
I met about 60-70 people from Bollywood and South which included Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Nagarjuna, Chiranjeevi, Anil Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Jeetendra. Even directors like Gauri Shinde, Balki, Pankaj Parashar, Satisk Kaushik, Mahesh Bhatt. I also met veterans like Lata Mangeshkar, Waheeda Rehman, Javed Akhtar. Then, I put it all together.

So while you were putting it together, were you in touch with Boney or did he just read the final draft?
Of course, I was in touch with Boneyji! In fact, every time that the interview used to happen, I would send a picture to him. When I went down South, he was very keen that I interview almost all the directors.


Did you meet Janhvi and Khushi?
I wanted to meet them because the book is on their mother's story but Boney sir had told me from Day 1 that it will be emotionally very overwhelming and taxing for them. I respected that. I didn't intrude into that space.

Have you been a fan of Sridevi which made you come up with the idea of penning a book?
Absolutely! With every movie, my fandom kept increasing.


Which performance of her do you think was the best?
While it's difficult to choose one, I would pick Lamhe. Her character of Pooja especially in the second-half was amazing. The movie was way ahead of its times. It is my all-time favourite.

Any film that you felt she shouldn't have done?
There are many films in the 80s where I feel that her choice of movies backfired, for instance- Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja for one. And then, even Gurudev in the 90s.

Anil Kapoor

Whom did you interact with apart from Boney Kapoor in the family?
Only Anil Kapoor.

Who gave you the maximum inputs?
From Bollywood--- Vidya Balan, Karan Johar, Manish Malhotra, Javed Akhtar. From South--- Chiranjeevi, Nagarjuna.

Give us 1-2 unknown incidents in her life that are in the book and you think they've made a big difference in your output?
Actually, there are many such incidents. I recollect one wherein her hair-stylist Noorie told me that she had joined Sridevi on sets of Army. Noorie used to dress up in very simple clothes with no makeup, so one day Sridevi asked her as to why does she dress up in such dull clothes? With a lot of hesitation, the hair-stylist replied that in the industry there are several actresses who don’t like their staff to dress up in the best outfits. They resent it. 

Hearing this, Sridevi gave her a lipstick and asked her to apply it and complimented her on her beauty. ‘I want you to look your best’ were her words to Noorie- and this brought tears of joy in Noorie's eyes.


So how long did it take you to write the book?
It took me one-and-half years.

Anywhere you got stuck or any interview(s) for your inputs that didn’t happen?
In case of interviews, it went pretty smoothly. But yes, when you talk about getting stuck, it was definitely not easy what to include and what to not include. With such a prolific career of 300 films in 5 languages, how do you capture everything in a book was the question. However, I managed to put her entire journey.

Before you got it published, did Boney Kapoor read it and ask for any additions or subtractions?
He did--- but thankfully there weren’t any major deletions or additions as such. It was a very smooth process.


You spoke about the last chapter in the book. How did you go about it?
It of course talks about the tragedy that happened and then it talks about the fact that if Sridevi had been there for the next 5 years, what more she could have done cinematically because the characters we see of late are so interesting. 

I remember Mahesh Bhatt telling me that she had the Universe inside her and in cinema we could only scratch the surface. So that Universe was yet to be explored. I remember Balki, Gauri Shinde and the projects that many others had in mind for Sridevi. It would have been miraculous. Now, we also have good content on the web- she would've been fab on OTT too.

Do you think Sridevi delayed her comeback?
As a fan I would have loved if she had made a quicker comeback, but she had her priorities right. She wanted to enjoy being a wife and a mother and she was doing that to the best of her abilities. Of course cinema was missing her, camera was missing her--- and we all were missing her, but probably she wasn’t getting the kind of role she wanted to comeback with. When English Vinglish came, she was convinced.


You saw Janhvi in Dhadak. How many glimpses of Sridevi did you see in her and do you think she can reach that pinnacle?
I hope so. After seeing Dhadak, it doesn’t look like her debut film. Especially in the second half, the maturity that her performance displayed was too good. Also, she is doing great films- Gunjan Saxena and Takht. I’m sure she will make all of us proud.

What is your opinion about Khushi?
So far she has been this big support and there’s a lot of love between the sisters and the father.

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