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 Beyond The Arc Lights & Back

August 2012

Beyond The Arc Lights & Back

Dr Roshan Jain
“I think the credit for my shape goes to all the malls and fashion streets that I so furiously walk through. I’m like a woman on a mission, there’s nothing more therapeutic than shopping.”
Two decades before she renounced bollywood for her family, Sridevi ruled Telegu, Malyalam, Tamil and Hindi films. Decades later, she decides to create the same hysteria… the ‘Queen Bee’ of bollywood is back and this time more gorgeous and ravishing, giving other divas a run for their money!!! Find how she managed it all, as she opens up to B Positive…


Vegetable juice to start with and some muesli with skimmed milk, and fruits. Any fruit except mango and banana.
Lunch: Dal and one bran roti with some subzi.
Dinner: Tomato or clear soup with some grilled vegetables or steamed fish, occasionally. And before sleeping I always have datemilkshake.

“For me, if I choose to do something, I’d want to give it everything in me - my 100 per cent. I can’t divide my attention and try juggling two things at once.”

From a child artist to the leading actress of the 80s and early 90s to quitting it all for your kids and family and your striking comeback - how would you describe this journey?
Very eventful. It has been a great experience to see my children grow up. Watching them enjoy their childhood has helped me relive mine, and this time without any stress of work. I’ve also enjoyed being involved in activities behind the camera, with my husband. Besides this, in the last 15 years, I have met and interacted with people from different walks of life and experienced the real world beyond the arc lights.

Your comeback means huge, how are you taking all the hype and expectations?
I’m enjoying every bit of it, just keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best.

Tell us something about English Vinglish… How easy or comfortable was it for you to slip into this role after ages? How does it feel to star with Amitabh Bachchan now than the earlier Sridevi-Bachchan jodi in Khuda Gawah?
I couldn’t ask for a better comeback than this, I hope that the audience feels the same. Director Gauri Shinde made it super comfortable. It was a delight working in the movie. The team was great and the subject and the character were so relatable that it made the entire experience that much more exciting. It’s always been a pleasure to work with Amitji, and it will always remain so.

Do you think the young divas stand a chance against the gorgeous Sridevi?

All of today’s actors are so confident and so good at what they do and they’ve got so much skill. In fact, I think I’ve a lot to learn from them.

Love: My family
Commitment: To achieve perfection in everything
Success: Satisfaction
Inspiration: Following excellence

How huge a challenge is it for an actress to manage her career and family at the same time?
I wouldn’t know! For me, if I choose to do something, I’d want to give it everything in me - my 100 percent. I can’t divide my attention and try juggling two things at once. So, for me at one point it was only my career and that’s all I thought about and worked for, every second of every day, and now it’s my family. I have only chosen to do English Vinglish now because I think my children are old enough, and somewhere I’m a little more mentally relaxed. And of course when I got the script of English Vinglish I fell in love with it instantly. However, I applaud the women who manage their families and careers at the same time, it can never be easy.

What have you done to keep so much in shape?
Healthy food, right environment, a disciplined lifestyle, and Power Yoga is something I follow almost religiously. But above all, I think the credit for my shape goes to all the malls and fashion streets that I so furiously walk through. I’m like a woman on a mission, there’s nothing more therapeutic than shopping.

What does eating healthy mean to you? Do you follow a particular diet? Do you have a diet chart for the entire family too?

I try following a diet whenever I can. I eat veg most of the time. I was never fond of junk food, so eating healthy came almost naturally to me, even for my elder daughter, I literally have to force her to let herself eat all the normal foods kids her age enjoy. Both my children, in fact, are very health conscious. As for my husband, we are all still fighting and hoping and dreaming that one day, his long and passionate relationship with food will come to an end!

What are your indulgences when it comes to food?
Dark chocolate is my only sin.

Do you believe in weight loss supplements and/ or crash diets?
No, I think it’s a very unnatural way to lose weight and very unhealthy too.

What does your typical workout routine involve?
Power Yoga. Manish Tiwari is my trainer. He’s been training me for the past seven years and I think he’s the best. He’s just fabulous! I also enjoy playing tennis with my daughters and we frequently go for jogs.

Which is your favourite sport and why?
Tennis. I love the energy and adrenaline in the game.

What are your health and beauty tips to your daughters?
Drink lots of water. I oil their hair twice a week and they aren’t allowed to blow dry or straighten their hair often, and they aren’t allowed to use any make up. I emphasise on proper timing for food and sleep.

You have walked the ramp for several designers over the years. How does the experience of modelling (live interaction with people) differ from that of acting?
It’s a lot of fun, since the entire happening is live, it’s more electric.

Your style mantra… Tell us about your favourite designers and brands.
I love Manish Malhotra’s work, and he’s very dear to me. He’s very versatile and I’ve admired his various creations. Lately, I’ve worn Sabyasachi Mukherjee in English Vinglish, and it was a pleasure working with him. He’s got his own unique style and his attention to detail is amazing. I’m not much of a brand person, but I do have favourites. Alexander McQueen, Victoria Beckham, Stella McCartney, Celine, DVF, Chanel are a few.

What is your idea of wellness? How do you de-stress?
I paint and listen to good soothing music.

What is that one thing you wish you had more time for?
I would have liked to have more time to spend with my late parents.

If not Sridevi, who would you want to be?
I’ve never really thought of it, I’m very content. I couldn’t have asked for a better life.