Filmmaker Gauri Shinde announces auction of late Sridevi’s sarees on 10 years of English Vinglish

Sridevi’s husband, Boney Kapoor, with Gauri Shinde’s husband, R. Balki, at the 10 years celebration of English Vinglish. Photo: Raindrop Media

English Vinglish, which signaled the comeback of superstar Sridevi 10 years ago and gave the actress one of her most iconic characters, was released in October 2012. Shashi Godbole reminded many of their own mothers, whom we tend to take for granted.

Sridevi’s comeback remains among the few very successful ones in Hindi cinema history’s heroines, and to celebrate the occasion, the film’s writer and director Gauri Shinde organized  a panel discussion recently.

Filmmaker R. Balki, who is Gauri’s husband, producer Boney Kapoor (Sridevi’s husband), her daughter Khushi Kapoor, Shreya Dhanwanthary, Saiyami Kher, lyricist-writer Kausar Munir and the cast and crew of the film like Navika Kotia and Shivansh Kotia (who played Sridevi’s children), Rajeev Ravindranathan, lyricist Swanand Kirkire and cinematographer (and now director) Laxman Utekar were present.

Gauri, who made her debut with the film, said, “Making English Vinglish was one of the best things that happened to me. To have the opportunity to work with Sridevi, who at the time was on a sabbatical, was a miracle in itself. Her presence was the most prominent even beyond the camera’s lens. Not having her here today is still the most saddening thing. But being here with the rest of the cast and crew, and talking about our memories of her and the movie, felt great.”

The panel discussion ended with the announcement that Sridevi’s iconic sarees would be auctioned and the proceeds will go towards young women’s education.”I had always wished to have a fashion show, in which Sridevi walks the ramp wearing her sarees. Sridevi would have wanted the same. Sadly that is not possible anymore, so this auction is important and very special to me,” said the filmmaker. The announcement was followed by the screening of the film.

Gauri has since made Dear Zindagi in 2016, and continues her career as an ad filmmaker, which she has been now for 24 years. A trained director, her 5-minute first film as a student, Oh Man! on man-woman relationship was screened at the Berlin Film Festival. In an interview with me a decade ago, she had revealed that the film was part-inspired by her Pune-based mother, who also traded in spices, just like Sridevi’s character was shown as a woman who made and sold laddoos.




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