Some details of Sridevi's death have been a mystery ever since the news broke on February 25. The post-mortem report had claimed it to be a case of accidental drowning and found traces of alcohol in her body.
As millions of her fans have been waiting to know more details on her accidental death, Sridevi's husband Boney Kapoor, who was present when the tragedy struck, has finally recalled the entire incident when the legendary actress drowned in a bathtub at a hotel room in Dubai.
Here is how it transpired as Boney Kapoor recounted the incident to Komal Nahta in his blog.
Sridevi had insisted for a longer stay in Dubai after attending her nephew Mohit Marwah's wedding on February 20. Her husband Boney Kapoor had to attend an important meeting in Lucknow on February 22. Sridevi, on the other hand, had planned to shop for her elder daughter Janhvi Kapoor on February 21 but couldn't as she had forgotten her mobile phone in Ras al-Khaimah. She spent her day relaxing in her hotel room.
On February 22, she spent her day chatting with her friend and relaxing in her hotel room. She continued to laze around on February 23 which made her husband Boney Kapoor book a ticket to India.
On February 24, as Boney Kapoor recalled, the producer spoke to her and she told him that, "Papa (as Sridevi addressed Boney), I am missing you" to which Boney replied that he was missing her too.
"I told her that I was missing her a lot. But I didn't tell her that I would be joining her in Dubai in the evening. Janhvi had seconded my idea of going to Dubai as she was scared because her mom was not used to being alone, and she would misplace her passport or some important document if she was alone," Boney recalled.
Boney recounted that there had been only two foreign trips where he didn't accompany Sridevi, and her Dubai stay was the only time she was staying alone for two days.
"Although I didn't accompany her on those two trips, I made sure that my friend's wife was with her on both the occasions," explained the caring and protective husband as he tried to fight back tears. "The Dubai stay was the first time Sridevi was alone for two days – 22nd and 23rd – in a foreign land," Boney added.
The producer told Nahta that he booked a ticket for himself for a 3.30 pm flight to Dubai on February 24, and reached the hotel where his wife was staying at around 6.20 pm (Dubai time).
After reaching the hotel where the couple hugged and kissed, and chatted for around 15 minutes, Boney freshened up and suggested they go on a "romantic dinner".
Then Sridevi, who as he says, was in "relaxation mode", went for a bath. "I went to the living room while Sridevi went to the master bathroom to bathe and get ready," Boney was quoted as saying by Nahta.
Boney told Nahta that he was watching the South Africa-India cricket match for a few minutes, followed by the Pakistan Super League cricket match highlights. After around 15-20 minutes, he was restless as it was around 8 pm then and being a Saturday, he felt restaurants would fill up.
Nahta wrote: "Boney's impatience made him shout out to Sridevi from the living room itself. After calling out to her twice, Boney lowered the volume of the TV set. Still no reply. He then walked to the bedroom and knocked at the bathroom door and even called out to her. The unsuspecting husband, hearing the tap inside on, then called out 'Jaan, Jaan' still louder but got no reply, which was unusual.
"He panicked and opened the door which had not been bolted from inside, nervous but yet not at all prepared for what he was going to see. The tub was full of water and Sridevi was immersed completely, from head to toe, inside the tub. Devastated, he reached out to her but watching her motionless, he feared the worst.
"Sridevi had drowned! Boney's world had come crashing down."
The much-loved actress' sudden demise raised several questions.
But as Nahta puts it: "Whether she first drowned and then became unconscious, or she first fell asleep or unconscious and then drowned, nobody will, perhaps, ever know. But she probably never got a chance to even struggle for a minute because had she moved her arms and legs in panic while drowning, there would be some water spilling out of the tub. But there wasn't a drop of water on the floor outside the tub area.
"The mystery will remain unsolved."
(With IANS Inputs)