India says farewell to Bollywood icon Sridevi

1 / 7
Indian actress Sridevi arrives at the Marrakech International Film Festival in Marrakech, at the Marrakech Congress Palace. Sridevi died Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, in Dubai. (AP/Lionel Cironneau, File)
2 / 7
The body of Indian actress Sridevi is carried in truck during her funeral in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. Thousands of grieving fans gathered in Mumbai on Wednesday to pay respects to Sridevi, the iconic Bollywood actress who drowned accidentally in a Dubai hotel bathtub over the weekend. (AP/Rafiq Maqbool)
3 / 7
Indian fans gather outside the house of the late Bollywood actress Sridevi Kapoor ahead of her funeral in Mumbai on February 28, 2018. Thousands of heartbroken fans lined the streets of Mumbai February 28 as India said farewell to Bollywood legend Sridevi Kapoor following her shock death from accidental drowning in a Dubai hotel bathtub aged just 54. (AFP/Punit Paranjpe)
4 / 7
Indian Bollywood actor Ajay Devgan (C) and his wife Kajol (L) arrive to pay their last respects to the late actress Sridevi Kapoor ahead of her funeral in Mumbai on February 28, 2018. Thousands of heartbroken fans lined the streets of Mumbai February 28 as India said farewell to Bollywood legend Sridevi Kapoor following her shock death from accidental drowning in a Dubai hotel bathtub aged just 54. (AFP/Punit Paranjpe)
5 / 7
Indian Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (R) and Jaya Bachchan leave after paying their last respects to the late actress Sridevi Kapoor ahead of her funeral in Mumbai on February 28, 2018. Thousands of heartbroken fans lined the streets of Mumbai February 28 as India said farewell to Bollywood legend Sridevi Kapoor following her shock death from accidental drowning in a Dubai hotel bathtub aged just 54. (AFP/Punit Paranjpe)
6 / 7
People walk along as the body of Indian actress Sridevi is carried in truck during her funeral in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. Thousands of grieving fans gathered in Mumbai on Wednesday to pay respects to Sridevi, the iconic Bollywood actress who drowned accidentally in a Dubai hotel bathtub over the weekend. (AP/Rafiq Maqbool)
7 / 7
Indian fans stand outside the house of the late Bollywood actress Sridevi Kapoor ahead of her funeral in Mumbai on February 28, 2018. Thousands of heartbroken fans lined the streets of Mumbai February 28 as India said farewell to Bollywood legend Sridevi Kapoor following her shock death from accidental drowning in a Dubai hotel bathtub aged just 54. (AFP/Punit Paranjpe)
Updated 28 February 2018
0

India says farewell to Bollywood icon Sridevi

MUMBAI: Thousands of heartbroken fans lined the streets of Mumbai Wednesday as India said farewell to Bollywood legend Sridevi Kapoor following her shock death from accidental drowning in a Dubai hotel bathtub aged just 54.
Some carried roses while others held photos of the late screen icon as they queued patiently to pay their final respects at a condolence service in the western Indian city.
“It’s a shock to believe that she is no more. We want to pay her one last visit today and thank her for all her wonderful performances,” Nandini Rao, a 32-year-old teacher, told AFP.
Legends of Hindi cinema, including actresses Aishwarya Rai and Kajol, were among the mourners at the Celebration Sports Club in the Andheri West area of Mumbai — the home of the Bollywood film industry.
Heavy security lined the streets to control the crowds, which included people who had traveled hundreds of kilometers to be there.
Several fans chanted prayers as Sridevi’s body was brought the short distance from her home to the club at 9:00 am (0330 GMT).
“I’m an avid Sridevi fan. I loved her smiling personality. She had such a commanding presence in the Indian film industry. Her death was so sudden and I feel terrible,” 45-year-old Kuldeep Singh told AFP.
Sridevi’s body is due to leave the ground at 2:00pm to embark on its final journey. She will be cremated at a private Hindu ceremony later on Wednesday.
Sridevi was considered to be one of the most influential Bollywood actresses of all time and her sudden death at the weekend sparked an outpouring of grief in India.
Tributes poured in from fans and fellow actors as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The star of hit films such as “Chandi” and “Mr India” drowned in her bathtub after losing consciousness late Saturday in a hotel in Dubai, where she was attending a wedding.
Police in the emirate said a post-mortem examination found that she had drowned after losing consciousness. On Tuesday they ruled out any foul play and released the body to Sridevi’s family.
It arrived back in Mumbai on a private jet on Tuesday evening, accompanied by her husband, the filmmaker Boney Kapoor, and her stepson, actor Arjun Kapoor.
Sridevi, born Shree Amma Yanger Ayappan in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, appeared in around 300 films and was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award, for services to the movie industry.
She made her acting debut at the age of four and her career spanned more than four decades.
Sridevi worked in India’s regional Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam-language films before making her Bollywood debut in 1979.
She became a national icon with a string of blockbuster films including “Mawali” (“Scoundrel“) and “Tohfa” (“Gift“).
Sridevi took a 15-year break from the silver screen after marrying Kapoor but returned in the 2012 hit comedy-drama “English Vinglish.” Her most recent film was last year’s “Mom.”
Sridevi was set to see Jhanvi, the eldest of her two daughters, make her Bollywood debut in a movie scheduled for release later this year.


Traveling back thousands of years by reviving KSA's Al-Ula

Archaeological treasures in the northwestern region of the Kingdom are older than Saudi Arabia itself, and barely known to the world. (AFP)
Updated 28 min 21 sec ago
0

Traveling back thousands of years by reviving KSA's Al-Ula

  • The RCU is joining forces with the Arab World Institute in Paris to produce a touring exhibition

JEDDAH: Bathing in the scorching sun of Saudi Arabia for the past 4,000 years and sitting among the sandy dunes of the northwestern region of the Kingdom, lie the country’s archaeological treasures. These treasures are even older than Saudi Arabia itself, and barely known to the world.
The area covers about 52 hectares of well-preserved land in which there are tombs handcrafted out of the rocks, relics from ancient civilizations such as the Greeks and the Romans, archaeological riches dating back 4,000 years and other priceless artifacts from the Ottoman Empire.
The somewhat forgotten land is going to be brought into the spotlight by the year 2020 as a historic collaboration takes place between Saudi Arabia and France.
France excels in the art of preserving history so it is the perfect alliance to meet the goals of making Al-Ula a tourist attraction.
Saudis are cooperating with France in preserving and promoting culture and archaeology.
The French consider this project so prestigious that Gerard Mestrallet, a special envoy of the president, has been appointed for Al-Ula. Both countries share a common approach to national heritage; that culture transcends all borders and should be accessible to all who seek to observe history.
The agreement was signed in the presence of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and French President Emmanuel Macron as well as Al-Ula governor, the special envoy to Al-Ula and France’s foreign minister. Against the walls of Paris’s Musee De Arts Decoratifs — a wing of the Louvre Palace — sit the illuminated sandstones for the French to experience a sliver of Saudi Arabia’s rich heritage. The Royal Commission of Al-Ula (RCU) has signed an agreement with Campus France, described as the leading international academic and vocational public institution in France, to train young Saudi women and men to become aspiring archaeologists.
The RCU is joining forces with the Arab World Institute in Paris to produce a touring exhibition. Public transport, hotels and restaurants are also part of the plan.
More than 2,100 people applied for traineeships: 200 young Saudi men and women will be trained by the most prestigious institutes in the world; part of the 1.2 million new tourist jobs are expected to be created under Vision 2030.
Cutting-edge technologies and methods such as aerial LiDAR (light detection and ranging), scanning and photos taken from light aircraft, helicopter and drones will also be used.