Sridevi, whose sudden death triggered a frenzy of grief, disbelief and searching questions, was flown back to Mumbai on Tuesday night after Dubai authorities determined that she had accidentally drowned in her hotel bathtub.
She lay in state at the Celebration Sports Club in Lokhandwala — a short distance from her home — till 2 pm on Wednesday afternoon to allow fans and stars a last glimpse after her untimely death in Dubai on Saturday night.
There was a mile-long queue that walked solemnly through the barricades towards the Celebration Sports Club in Lokhandwala, holding posters and flowers.
Guided by some excellent police bandobast, people entered the large hall where she was kept under a white canopy of tuberoses. It was the actor’s wish to go out in dazzling white. She lay under the canopy on the flower bed of a casket. She was draped in white, magenta, and gold silk.
Sridevi’s final journey was in a decorated truck carrying the iconic actor’s mortal remains to the Vile Parle crematorium. Before she left, the Mumbai Police band accorded state honors to the late actress and wrapped her body in the tricolour.
There were fans – nearly a lakh — from all cross-sections of society that moved slowly in a single file towards the club for a glimpse.
The whole of Bollywood visited the sports complex to pay their last respects throught the morning and early afternoon. Among the firsts to arrive were Aishwarya Rai Bachchan with Jaya Bachchan and Shweta Nanda.
Deepika Padukone too came to pay her last respects to the late actress. Deepika had visited Anil Kapoor’s home with alleged beau Ranveer Singh two days ago.
Ajay Devgn was celebrating his wedding anniversary with his family in Singapore when Sridevi passed away. He returned to the city on Tuesday. Ajay and Kajol both arrived together at the sports club to pay respect to Sridevi. Seenw ith them were Kajol’s mother Tanuja and sister Tanishaa.
Jacqueline Fernandez was seen on her way to the venue. She is close friends with Sonam Kapoor, who is late Sridevi’s niece.
Sushmita Sen was also there.
Veteran actress Jaya Prada also came to see her friend and peer Sridevi. Like Sridevi, Jaya Prada was also popular in both Bollywood and South industries, courtesy films in multiple languages.
Shahid Kapoor came with wife Mira Rajput Kapoor to pay last respects to the actress.
Madhuri Dixit Nene was also there with her husband Dr Sriram Nene at the venue.
Earlier, industry insiders and friends visited the family in the home of actor Anil Kapoor, Boney Kapoor’s younger brother. With their father away in Dubai the last three days, Khushi and Jahnvi were at their uncle’s Juhu home. B-town celebs that have called on the family in their hour of grief in the last two days include Shah Rukh Khan, and his wife Gauri, Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Tabu, Rekha and Farah Khan.