Gajraj Rao, who played Surekha Sikri’s son in the 2018 Bollywood hit ‘Badhaai Ho’, has paid tribute to the late actor, who passed away on Friday aged 75 following a cardiac arrest. Gajraj shared a set of pictures from the sets of the film on his Instagram and Whatsapp stories featuring the cast and crew posing with Sikri.
“Making a film is like travelling in a train, where the journey is a destination in itself. You meet all kinds of co-passengers here. Some open up their tiffins and hearts to you, while some guard their luggage and eye you with suspicion,” he wrote. Gajraj shared that he was thankful to Sikri for being an emotional anchor.
“‘Badhaai Ho’ will always be that special train journey which brought me to a new station in life, and I’m truly thankful that we had someone like Surekha ji as the emotional anchor of this ship,” the actor shared. Reminiscing about Sikri on the set, Gajraj penned: “She was definitely the youngest at heart on the sets, and had no airs about her stature or endless experience as an actress. Her craft was defined by her years of homework and `riyaaz` as an actress, combined with a child-like enthusiasm.”
He added: “As all journeys must end eventually, we bid goodbye to Surekha ji today. Thank you, Surekha ji, for all the wisdom and memories you have left us with. #rip #surekhasikri #[email protected].”
Sikri had been unwell for quite some time, suffering from complications owing to a second brain stroke. She suffered a brain stroke in 2020 and a paralytic stroke in 2018.
She made her film debut in the 1978 political drama ‘Kissa Kursi Ka’ and made a mark with roles in films, TV and on stage over more than 40 years. She won the National Award as Best Supporting Actress for ‘Tamas’ (1988), ‘Mammo’ (1995) and ‘Badhaai Ho’ (2018). She won the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1989.