This story is just going to drag on and on, I can feel it. And if I am already getting tired of it (not mourning Sridevi, just the logistical updates), can you imagine how exhausted her family must be? Waiting and waiting and waiting and putting all plans on hold over and over again?
Everyone, including the BBC, is now reporting that Sridevi did not die of a heart attack but rather accidental drowning. That’s what the autopsy showed. Supposedly the sequence of events was that Boney flew back to Dubai to surprise her, they were in her hotel room together, and then about 5:30 she went into the bathroom, stopped responding when Boney called her, he opened the door to find her face down in the tub.
If that was the real sequence of events, “heart attack” isn’t that far of a leap, it would be where my mind would go too if I saw someone non-responsive who had been fine a minute earlier. But the autopsy report showed she actually died of drowning, and there was alcohol in her system. So the more likely sequence of events is that she fell into the tub and because she was a little drunk, was not able to control her gag reflex and drowned.
Drowning, as I am sure we all know, is not in fact suffocation. That is, you don’t have to be held under water until you run out of air. It is that you accidentally aspirate water into your lungs, which can happen very quickly in a very small amount of water. Sridevi, it is also now being reported, was dead when she was found, the ambulance took her to the hospital but she was dead at the scene. Which would be consistent with drowning.
(just wanted to put a pretty picture of her to cheer us up)
So this could be a simple misunderstanding. Boney assumed heart attack, the ambulance was called, and only after the autopsy was it verified to be drowning instead. Which is how this is supposed to work and why there are autopsies.
What is unclear at this point is if and when the Dubai authorities will release the body. Some reports say they are releasing it for embalming now, after which it will be taken on the Ambani jet back to Bombay and funeral plans begun immediately. Other reports say there is a hold on it until the public prosecutor finishes the investigation.
I hope there is a full investigation just because we have seen what happens when there isn’t. Divya Bhartya’s death is still talked about, so is Natalie Wood’s. These things can linger on and on and on and the family isn’t allowed to fully grieve, or remember the good things about the life, because the focus is on the death.
Let’s take Divya’s for an example. She died from falling out of the window (or off the terrace?) of her apartment building. There were rumors of suicide, of her secret husband Sajid Nadiawala killing her, all sorts of things. But the people who were verified to have been with her moments before her death, the wardrobe mistress fitting her for her next film, mentioned in an interview that she was quite a bit drunk at the time. So, to me, it seems most likely that she fell simply because she was drunk. And her family, in an effort to hide this minor scandal (of a 19 year old girl being drunk) ended up creating the much larger scandal as no one believed the report of an accidental fall without further reasons.
(Divya. So pretty!)
I am afraid of something similar here. If Boney and the family were trying to hide that Sridevi was drunk enough to have fallen into a tub and not been able to get out, then they accidentally left themselves open for all kinds of conspiracy theories, the simplest being of course that Boney killed her. Seeing as they were alone in the room together and he was her husband (always the first suspect). My hope is that there will be no cover up, her actual blood alcohol levels will be revealed and everything will be clear.
The tragedy at the moment is that back in Bombay the family and friends are left in a state of uncertainty. I’ve been there, that feeling of just wanting to get through the funeral and the public grief so you can figure out where you go in your life from here and how you move on. And it’s just not ending! More and more people are gathering at Anil Kapoor’s house, Tabu and Madhuri and Farah Khan and Farhan Akhtar and many others have all reportedly made there way there. And they will all have to stay, and be hosted by the family, and make small talk, while back in Dubai Boney waits and waits for his wife’s body to be released.