Sridevi’s fans were seen queuing up outside Celebrations Sports Club near her residence in Lokhandwala, where her body is kept for ‘darshan’ (public viewing), to pay their last respects to the Bollywood diva.
Long queues of fans holding flowers in their hands and chanting prayers were seen as the body of the actor was brought to the venue at 9 am along with an entourage of family members. Nearly 200 policemen were present at the venue to keep the crowd in check.
While the gates for the general public opened after 10 am, fans from across the country started queuing up to pay their last respects to the “Chandni” star since 6 in the morning. “We thought we would be the first ones to come but people had already reached the venue, around 6 in the morning. I am here because I want my son and daughter to see what a legend Sridevi was,” said 45-year-old city resident Sunil Raghavan.
People have come from as far as Karnataka and Chennai to catch the last glimpse of their screen idol. Among the crowd is a group of fans from Karnataka waiting to pay their respects to the actor.
“We were there even at Anil Kapoor’s bungalow earlier and will not leave Mumbai without seeing our idol,” said a fan waiting in the line. Film-maker Karan Johar was the first among prominent personalities to arrive at the venue, followed by other Bollywood celebrities like Arbaaz Khan and Farah Khan.
The body of Sridevi, whose sudden death triggered a frenzy of grief and disbelief, was flown back to Mumbai last night after the Dubai authorities determined that she had accidentally drowned in her hotel bathtub. The family members, including her film-maker husband Boney Kapoor and stepson Arjun Kapoor, brought the body in a private jet after three days of uncertainty over her unexpected death on Saturday in Dubai.
The 54-year-old Bollywood icon was in Dubai to attend a family wedding. In a statement, the family said the funeral will take place at 3.30 pm today. “The last journey will commence at 2 pm from Celebration Sports Club to Vile Parle Seva Samaj Crematorium and Hindu Cemetery,” the statement said.
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