Its been 5 years since her passing.
I don’t think there will be another actress in Malayalam cinema who has spoken a whole lot more than what the script meant or put down in words, with a pair of eyes as Srividya.
Srividya spoke through her eyes. Her voice was just an embellishment, I feel. Every emotional nuance could clearly be read from her face, even the most subtle, and she didn’t even have to try hard. It was effortless and regally graceful ( I know I am going overboard with flowery adjectives, but can’t help it when it comes to Srividya).
She deserves more than this passing note of fond remembrance and I really, really intend to do that very soon, on her talents as an actor, singer and a dancer. She truly deserves that.
For now, I thought I would mention briefly two rarities from her career , a dance performance and a playback number of hers, two of my favorites.
I will not dwell upon her suffering and the bitterness that she faced with grace, strength and poise that only comes to the rarest of the rare while in full public glare but what she left behind as an actress, a dancer and a singer in Malayalam Cinema. That has to be one of the most invaluable, everlasting legacies by anyone who has been a part of Indian cinema.
Saying she was “multi-talented” wouldn’t be enough to justify her talent as a singer and dancer, an untrained singer that she was, and the dances from her early years are enough to stop you in your tracks ( literally! ).
Few realise that her early appearances on screen had more of dancing than acting, and one of my favorites is her as the celestial courtesan Menaka, dancing to the lines of the semi-classical composition, Mayanadana Viharini in Kumarasambhavam (1969) directed by P Subramaniam, from Merryland studios.
Sreevidya as Menaka | Kumarasambhavam (1969)
Who ever has watched Oru Painkili Katha, directed by Balachandra Menon would not have ever forgotten Aana koduthaalum Kiliyey, as a duet with the director.
Performers like Srividya are, in a way, I feel, loaned to us by the Universe for a brief period to take our sensory perceptions to frontiers beyond our closed walls of regimented living.
You will be forever missed.