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The truth about successful women quitting their film career after their marriage is - they simply don’t quit. They always return. It’s true with most of the actors who quit acting to focus on their family after their marriage. They are always back; often having fulfilled the needs of the motherhood their itch for the arc lights gets the better of them. Sridevi is the latest case in point.

She quit films in 1997 with Judaai, produced by her father in law Surinder Kapoor. A good 15 years later Sridevi, one of the most successful actors of our generation who is often described as one of the finest actresses of Indian cinema, is back with the Hindi film English Vinglish. The trailer of the film, released recently online has gone viral with her fans of the past and the current generation sharing and retweeting it to glory.

Sridevi has remained an icon of her generation and her impressive success in mainstream films in almost all regional languages and Bollywood has been a source of inspiration for many up and coming actors. Question any debut actor about her role model, Sridevi’s name is sure to pop up at least once in the conversation. The reigning queen bee of Bollywood Kareena called Sridevi her ‘hero and the reason why most girls of her generation became actresses.’

Which is true. Such is her influence; the slender, doe-eyed, actor has played all the roles she was given with varying success but as the cliché goes ‘she breathed life into most of her roles.’ Her acting career that began way back in the seventies has seen her becoming the ubiquitous child star of the 1970s. Her adult roles varied from the naïve Mayilu in 16 Vayadinile to the amnesic Bhagyalakshmi in Moondram Pirai to the frustrated housewife in Judaai.

Sridevi has had her own share of controversies, part and parcel of any successful actor’s life. She has also been the subject of many headlines during her time for having gone under the scissor for correction surgery of her nose.

Although she has not done a full length movie since retiring from mainstream films, Sridevi has been in the limelight since at least 2004. She has been seen on and off in television and on the ramp walking for her designer friends. Her TV shows include Malini Iyer, a sitcom, and as a judge of a show called Kaboom.

Perhaps the most prominent of her media appearances would be her fashion assignments. She caught the attention of fans and media by walking the ramp for renowned designers like Neeta Lulla, Queenie Dhody and Priya-Chintan. She became a ramp regular in Lakme Fashion Week and the HDIL Couture Week, sporting her ever-slender figure, living up to the word showstopper in every true sense. She has also been promoting her husband Boney Kapoor’s films very often. Having developed a passion for painting, Sridevi’s paintings also found takers by a reputed international art auction house. In 2011, she was grandly welcomed back to Bollywood in the IIFA Awards 2011 held in Toronto that featured a montage of many of her contemporary Bollywood stars welcoming her back.

Even since English Vinglish’s promos appeared on the internet, the response has been phenomenal. Not only has the teaser trailer, released on 15 June 2012, became a trending topic on Twitter almost immediately, it has also garnered more than a million hits on YouTube ever since.

English Vinglish is directed by Gauri Shinde, director R. Balki’s wife. It traces the life of a housewife Shashi, played by Sridevi who enrolls in an English speaking course, to keep up with her educated husband and children. Ironically, she bid goodbye with Judaai, in which she played a housewife who is willing to part with her husband for wealth.  In a recent pre-release interview, Sridevi admitted that she could relate to the script as the film is reminiscent of her time as a mother and her struggles to cope with her children who are often smarter than her.

The only star attraction of English Vinglish is Sridevi and despite the earnestness and its simplicity, it would largely be known as the comeback vehicle of Sridevi. The film stars French actor Mehdi Nebbou and Adil Hussain along with Amitabh Bachchan in a special cameo in the Hindi version.  Perhaps only Sridevi could make a trailer that has her trying to read from the censor certificate in English in her nasal tone – her back to the audience – a hit. The movie is also being released in Tamil and Ajith has done a cameo in the Tamil version.

Here’s to her successful come back and many more English Vinglish-es. 

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