Whatever Might Have Killed Sridevi – Will We Let Her Die with Dignity?

While family and the entire nation mourn the sudden death of veteran actress Sridevi, social media is flooded with vicious articles on probable causes of her death. The University of Whatsapp which is filled with people who claim to be authorities on everything, was working overtime with forwarded articles on how weight loss and cosmetic treatments are harmful and how you should age gracefully. Today with the “twist” in the story, we may expect the next flood of messages on how bathtubs are dangerous and drinking and bathing is worse than drinking and driving.

The first blog to go viral was by singer Piyali Ganguly on her facebook page. It said

‘Her implants, weight loss measures and frequent Botox shots could be the cause of Cardiac arrest.’

Being a cosmetic dermatologist I cringe at the ignorance from which this remark stems. Cosmetic treatments and procedures like Botox and Dermal filler injections have unfortunately encountered more disparage than popularity. Like people from the world of glamour, these glamour enhancing treatments too are enshrouded in controversy. It is all about an individual’s choice to look better, younger and thinner. Shouldn’t we respect that?

Speaking of safety, most of these treatments are FDA approved and are performed by the best talent in the medical industry. Botox cannot affect cardiac muscles in the doses that are used in cosmetic dermatology. The implants used in cosmetic surgery today are of highest quality and absolutely safe. It can at the most, cause an allergy, not cardiac arrest. Loose and ignorant comments to the contrary, tarnish the image and public perception of these safe, effective and innovative treatments.

A burger is more likely to contribute to a cardiac arrest than Botox.

Coming to weight loss, Sridevi was nowhere near a size zero in any of her recent public appearances.

Society demanded that she stay slimmer/look younger than a woman aged 40, 50 and 50 plus needs to be, hence the repeated surgeries.

‘These patriarchal implants were in her head — the husband, who claimed to love her so much should have intervened, did he love the way she looked as his arm candy more than he loved her? She herself did not trust in her own beauty — she was a clothes horse for whoever would care to dress her.’ 

‘That is the sadness of a life that could have been lived so much better not just for her but for her daughters. What a terrible legacy for her girls.’ 

It is true that there is pressure to look better, younger and thinner in today’s competitive professional world. It is the same for men as well, though it is more pressing on women. The writer didn’t for a moment think of what Sridevi’s husband is going through, when she accused him of not stopping her from taking these measures to look younger. She even goes to the extent of saying that Sridevi is leaving a terrible legacy for her daughters.

She is speaking of India’s first Female Superstar. One of the most accomplished actors, a Padma Shree winner and a woman who lived with dignity. She gave up stardom at the pinnacle of her career to raise her two daughters.

This is the legacy she has left not only to her daughters but to the world.

It is more than anyone who slanders her can ever hope to achieve in any lifetime.

Another piece of ignorance came as usual from TOI. Senior sub editor of times Vinita Dawara Nangia made some baseless comments in her blog “We may never know what killed Sridevi“,

Why did Sridevi die a few weeks before the release of her daughter’s debut movie, just like Mona Kapoor (Boney Kapoor’s first wife) died a few weeks before her son Arjun Kapoor’s debut release?

Read on for more of her unintelligent observations,

“Was Mona Kapoor’s regret over her broken home so vast that it hung around and took Sridevi in its wake? Was her hurt at being upstaged by Sridevi in her husband’s life so deep that it ensured Sridevi too didn’t stay around long enough? Or is it to do with Boney’s destiny?”

She further comments that her husband’s separation from her and the stress of being a celebrity might have forced her to undergo multiple surgeries and follow a bad diet and exercise routine.

In the same article she admits that she knows Sridevi as much as any movie goer in this country. She is not a friend, not family and does not have any additional background information on Sridevi. Yet she shoots her mouth and pen off.

This Vinita Dawara Nangia claims to be writer of self motivation books in which she says, that she practices what she preaches. Such an article coming from a TOI sub editor is not only ridiculous, irresponsible and vicious but also inhuman.

Sridevi was entitled to her personal choice to live her life her way. She has left a rich legacy of her work not only to her daughters but to the nation and the world. Being a celebrity is such a hard thing. You live in the public eye and die in the public eye. My question is – Whatever might have killed Sridevi, will we let her die with dignity?