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Sridevi used to call me ‘laddoo’: Rani Mukerji remembers her ‘maa’
Rani Mukerji remembers her ‘maa’ Sridevi, who died suddenly on Saturday. Rani says that the Bollywood icon used to call her ‘laddoo’ affectionately and was looking forward to watching Rani’s new film, Hichki.

  (News Agencies) Rani Mukerji has not yet come to terms with Sridevi’s death. The Bollywood icon died suddenly on Saturday in Dubai, where she was attending her nephew Mohit Marwah’s wedding. The official cause of death was drowning. Just a few days before leaving for Dubai, Sridevi expressed her excitement for Rani’s upcoming film, Hichki.“The day, the time I got to know that she’s passed away, it was the most shocking and tragic thing for me to hear. I still can’t believe that we are talking about her demise. It feels surreal to talk about her in the past tense because we never expected this,” said Rani. “The love she had for me was so tremendous and intense that I feel somewhere I have lost a guiding light in my life. She has been my inspiration personally and professionally,” she added.
Like many of her Bollywood contemporaries, Rani also considers Sridevi to be a massive influence. Sridevi redefined the role of women in Bollywood in the ‘80s and ‘90s. “Sriji has been my favourite since my childhood. She knew me as a kid because I used to go in my school uniform and bag and watch her shoot. She worked in one of the productions of my uncle, Shomu Mukherjee. She remembered me as that kid,” said Rani.
She remembers how the screen icon used to call her ‘laddoo’ affectionately. “She used to call me laddoo; she would say, ‘Arre my laddoo’ each time I met her and I am going to miss that,” she said. “I was actually looking forward to show her my film. She called me after seeing the trailer and said, ‘Laddoo, I have to see this movie’. I told her, ‘Yes maa as soon as the movie is ready, I can show it you’,” said Rani, adding, “It is a huge loss not only for the movie industry but also for us as a family who belong to the films. Anybody who departs we feel that sense of loss and for me especially because I had a personal connect with her.”
Rani recently lost her father, the director Ram Mukherjee, who died in October, 2017. She also became mother to a daughter, Adira, in 2015, and said that Sridevi was like a ‘maasi’ to her daughter. “Since I had a child, she’s been very supportive these last two years. She has been so inspirational. The kind of love that she has given to me and Adira (daughter) has been phenomenal. She was literally like my elder sister, like an elder maasi (aunty) to Adira, she was a pillar of support to me in the last two years,” Rani said.
Sridevi’s last rites will be performed in Mumbai on Wednesday, with thousands of fans, family members and Bollywood personalities expected to attend.
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