New Delhi: As tributes pour in for veteran actress Sridevi, who died in Dubai late on Saturday, plunging the entire country into a pall of gloom, Union Minister Smriti Irani, who has been a big fan of the legendary Bollywood actor Sridevi, paid a heartfelt tribute to the 'timeless' diva.
Bidding an emotional farewell to the late actor, Irani said Sridevi inspired an entire generation of actors with memorable performances in films like 'Sadma', 'Lamhe' and 'Mr. India'.
A life that brought joy to millions, a star who set the screen on fire, a versatile actor who has inspired many. #rip #sridevi gone too soon A post shared by Smriti Irani (@smritiiraniofficial) on
In a heartfelt tribute to her favourite actor, Smriti Irani shared her last living image of the iconic star.
The minister recalled the last presence of the late actor at the International Film festival at Goa in November 2017.
She said that in spite of the actor standing all alone on the stage at the Goa event, she managed to fill the space with her charm and presence.
The Union Cabinet Minister of Textiles and Information and Broadcasting further said that the actor never demanded any protocol.
She knew her mind and in spite of facing various challenges throughout her life, she lived with dignity.
Irani admitted that Sridevi acted as a silent mentor for her and many others and helped them polish their acting skills.
Irani admitted that she has been in the awe of the actor Sridevi ever since she donned the avatar of Charlie Chaplin in the superhit Mr. India. She called her to be a female version of Robinhood for many young girls of her time.
She further praised her comic timing and called her as an 'effortless' actor.
"As I bid farewell to my favourite star who defined joy in my childhood, I pay homage to an actor who through her body of work ascertained that a female actress' place in a commercial Hindi movie is not only to compliment her male counterpart. It's farewell to a star whose last words to me will ring true forever - 'where else would I be if not here (film industry)'.
The actress, 54, breathed her last on Saturday night at around 11 pm.
She was rushed to the nearby Rashid Hospital but pronounced dead on admission.
Her body is expected to be flown to Mumbai via a special chartered flight tonight for the last rites, which will most probably be held on Monday.
Sridevi was in Dubai to attend the marriage function of actress Sonam Kapoor's cousin Mohit Marwah, along with husband Boney Kapoor and younger daughter Khushi.
She exuded elegance in her appearances - photos and videos that were now being shared on social media as her "last".
The Indian Embassy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Indian Consulate in Dubai were assisting the family to expedite the process to bring her body to India as soon as possible.
The actress is remembered for her brilliant performance in some of the iconic Bollywood films like "Mr. India", "Nagina", "Sadma", "ChalBaaz", "Chandni", "Khuda Gawah" among many others in different Indian languages.
A Padma Shri recipient, Sridevi made a comeback to Bollywood in 2012 with "English Vinglish" after a long break of 15 years.
She was last seen in "Mom" in 2017.