Sajal Ali, who portrayed the role of Sridevi’s daughter on screen in Mom (2017), says the late actor would always call and message her and also find opportunities to meet her, as often as possible. Sajal spoke to us from Karachi, as she was preparing to leave for Dubai.
“She was like my mother. I am in a state of shock right now… It feels like losing my mother again,” is the first thing Sajal Ali tells us from Karachi. The Pakistani actor, who played Sridevi’s daughter in MOM (2017), shares how the late superstar would call her regularly and try and meet her whenever there was an opportunity. Sajal shares that she could not attend the Masala! Awards (a film award ceremony) in Dubai in December last year and Sridevi sent her a text from there saying: ‘I missed you beta’.
“That’s the last message I have from her. After that we spoke quite a few times in the last two months. But sadly, when she called me a few days back I missed her call because I was shooting and I was thinking of calling her back, but I guess I took too much time to do that,” Sajal pauses for a few seconds before adding that she is trying to get her visa for Dubai to be there with the Kapoor family. Adnan Siddiqui, who essayed the character of her husband in MOM is already in Dubai.
“Boney [Kapoor] sir messaged me that ma’am [Sridevi] wanted to meet me and had been talking about me…” says Sajal sounds distraught and adds, “I had lost my mother [on March 17 last year] while shooting for MOM and ma’am told me how the same thing happened with her when she was shooting for Lamhe (1991), when her father passed away… She even hugged me tight and said she is not just my mother on screen but in real life too.”
Sajal reveals, Sridevi did not just say it, but meant it too. “The last I spoke to her, she complained ‘aap mujhe call nahi karte ho, kya aap ko meri yaad nahi aati’ and then she made me promise that I must call or message her every day… She would tell me that she would take care of me, make me eat a lot so that I put on some weight. Ma’am was always concerned about me and Boney sir used to scold me saying that ma’am would always worry about me because I don’t take good care of myself,” she adds.
Remembering the days of shooting with her in Mom, Sajal says Sridevi would watch her closely every time she gave her shot. “She always had an eye on me. Minus any starry tantrums, she was like a guiding force for all of us. She would clap every time she felt I performed well and would come and hug me. She would also help me with scenes…” says the actor, who made her Bollywood debut with MOM.
“She was in good health and was attending a marriage in the family in Dubai and was very happy. How could this happen to her? Unki awaz abhi bhi mere kano mein gunjh rahi hain…” Sajal says.