Sridevi had the greatest impact on this film industry (and it is not Hindi or Tamil)

Sridevi’s work in Telugu cinema was diverse and spanned decades.

In July 2017, in an interview to a Telugu news channel, Sridevi had to ward off reports of exaggerated remuneration demands that led the makers of Baahubali to cast Ramya Krishna instead of her in the role of Sivagami. Thinking back amid the shocking news of Sridevi’s death, one wonders what a sensational finish a role in Baahubali would have been for Sridevi in Tollywood, where few dominated like her.

While Savitri will always be considered the numero uno of the Telugu film industry, is it doubtful whether even she managed to steal away the limelight from the male stars for as long as Sridevi did. One of my first memories of watching a movie on the big screen was Ram Gopal Verma’s 1991 classic Kshana Kshanam. Playing the role of unsuspecting middle-class woman Satya, who inadvertently gets caught in a crime saga, Sridevi comfortably outwits the then budding Venkatesh (playing the role of Chandu). Satya is petrified about the crossfire she finds herself in, yet assured by Chandu’s presence. Few leading women could ever tell a story as clearly as Sridevi did with her eyes in this superhit song from the movie.

Kshana Kshanam (1991).

A year before that, Sridevi was literally out of the world as a celestial being stranded on Earth in Jagadeka Veerudu Atiloka Sundari (Chiranjeevi played the hero). Portraying the innocence of a heavenly being whose confusion is couched in fun-evoking textbook Telugu, Sridevi’s brilliance in torpedoing Chiranjeevi to superstar status cannot be underestimated.

Jagadeka Veerudu Atiloka Sundari (1990).

If Sridevi had a significant role in heralding the careers of Venkatesh and Nagarjuna and playing a role in Chiranjeevi’s path to superstar status, she, quite remarkably, had an equal role in the second coming of many male Telugu superstars of the previous generation. Easily filling the void left by Savitri, Jamuna and other behemoths, Sridevi scored one gigantic hit after another with NT Rama Rao in Vetagaadu (1979), Sardar Papa Rayudu (1980) and Bobbili Puli (1982). Much before Kaate Nahi Kat Te in Mr India (1987), Sridevi raised temperatures in the raunchy Aaku Chaatu Pindhe Tadise with 56-year-old NT Rama Rao in Vetagaadu (1979).

Vetagaadu (1979).

Despite her work in Telugu films and the heft of the male superstars she worked with, it is with Krishna that Sridevi had the longest and most memorable association. Not an year passed between 1979 and 1987 without a movie featuring the both. In 1982 alone, they notched up eight movies together. With a remarkable 29 films as the leads, the duo were a given formula for a hit in the ’80s.

Sridevi even did six movies with the legendary A Nageswara Rao and seven with Sobhan Babu. While the films with NT Rama Rao and Krishna catered to the masses, Sridevi showed that she was equally adept at playing the lead roles in sentimental, long drawn-out romances starring Nageswara Rao or Sobhan Babu. Premabhishekam (1981), in which Sridevi paired up with Rao, was one of the biggest hit of the ’80s.

While she romanced NT Rama Rao on the big screen towards the latter half of the ’70s and much of the ’80s, it is easy to forget Sridevi had some remarkable roles as a child actress in the early late ’60s and ’70s as well. Chitralahari, a ’90s Doordarshan programme of popular Tollywood movie songs, regularly featured this gem with a young Sridevi dancing to lyrics that taught audiences the mysteries of the just arrived telephone.

Badi Panthulu (1972).

My north Indian friends often found it amazing that I got much of my knowledge of Indian mythology from the screen without having ever watched Ramanand Sagar. Telugu cinema has a long and illustrious history of movies based on episodes of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Sridevi sliced a chunk of that legacy for herself with her role as Dussala in Bala Bharatam (1972).

Sridevi’s Tollywood phase not only spanned decades, but also outgrew illustrious male superstars. She had a range of work so diverse that it is impossible for fans of Telugu cinema to ever forget her.

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Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.


Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.