By Chaitanya Padukone — On’s recent birth anniversary (13th August) top TV star-actress Rupali (Anil) Ganguly shared her fondest memories with the diva. Interestingly Rajan Shahi’s new show Anupamaa, where Rupali is playing the lead role, her acting has often been compared with Sridevi’s style. Commenting on that Rupali says,“I am humbled, overwhelmed and I think I am not worthy of this comparison. Because Sridevi is the Goddess of acting. She’s an entire academy. I have been a great fan of her work. Since my childhood I have seen Naagina, Chalbaaz and Mr. India so many times. I have lost count now. I have become an actress because of her only. In fact, many of us from my generation of actors are in the profession because we were all deeply inspired by Sridevi. In many of my performances whether it was Simran of Sanjeevani or Monisha Sarabhai from Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai, I have taken cues from her unknowingly.” Rupali’s father Anil Ganguly is a well known film director from his era and that’s the reason she grew up amongst superstars. “I have met many superstars at our place and parties also but I have never taken a photograph with anyone. Sridevi is the only actress with whom I have clicked a picture. Once I met her on the set of Joshilay and I remember she touched my head and I refused to wash my hair for a long time! A couple of years back, at an award function, I met her again. I was so awestruck that I couldn’t say a word. But then gradually I went upto her and asked her for a selfie and also requested if I can hug her. I also told her about my acting career and then she said yes I have seen you in Aatish’s show (Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai). After hearing that I was on cloud nine.” Rupali also shares how the death of Sridevi affected her. “I cried inconsolably when Sridevi passed away, I also went to see her and paid my last respects. Recently I shot the iconic song Hawaa Hawaai from Mr India in TV show Anupamaa and I can’t thank Rajan Shahi enough to give me such an opportunity. I have danced in that song for so many times. If audiences are comparing me with her I will take this as a biggest compliment of my acting career.”
‘Showman’ Rajan Shahi’s Anupamaa is being highly appreciated by the home-audiences. The show has been talk of the town for various reasons, whether it is the perfect casting of the lead title-role Anupamaa by Rupali Ganguly and Vanraj by Sudhanshu Pandey with a stellar supporting cast or the high emotional connect with the audience are glued to the show.
Anupamaa has lots of song and dance sequences which helps the show to go forward from time to time. Recently one of the cult songs of Hindi films Hawaa Hawaai from Mr. India was shot with Rupali Ganguly who is also an agile graceful dancer.
Speaking about the unique experience of shooting Hawaa Hawaai, the exuberant Rupali says,” There is nobody in this world who can match steps with Sridevi. Thanks to Rajan Shahi who has given me so many opportunities in the show. I can’t thank him enough. Through Anupamaa all of my dreams and wishes are coming true.
I remember I have seen Mr. India as a trial show in Ajanta. It was a full house so all the kids were sitting down and then, later on, I have seen the film at Satyam theatre. In fact, I want my kid to watch Mr. India as his first film. You can’t remove Sridevi from Hawa Hawai. The dance moves of Sridevi were ultimate. In my childhood I have performed so many of Sridevi’s film songs, whether it is Nagina, Chalbaaz or Mr. India - she has been my favourite idol. I am a huge fan of her work, I remember when she passed away I cried miserably and also went to give my last respects to her. This performance of mine in ‘Anupamaa’ is a small and humble tribute to Sridevi.” Along with Rupali the rest of the cast Paras Kalnawat, Muskaan Bamne, Aashish Mehrotra, Jasveer Kaur also danced in the tribute-song, which when was telecast received an overwhelming response from TV viewers.