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Everyone would be mesmerized seeing Surekha Sikri perform, says Parull Chaudhry

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Parull Chaudhry, who has shared screen space with the late legendary actor Surekha Sikri in “Ek tha Raja Ek thi Rani”, says she was often mesmerized watching the veteran star act in front of camera.Surekha, 75, one of the finest actors of Indian cinema is known for her nuanced performance in “Tamas”, “Mammo”, “Badhaai Ho”, “Balika Vadhu”, among others. She died on July 16 following a cardiac arrest at a hospital in suburban Mumbai – Jyothi Venkatesh

In the period drama show “Ek tha Raja Ek thi Rani”, that aired on Zee TV, Surekha played the role of Badi Rani Maa Bhagyavanti Singh Deo, while Parull was seen as Kunwarani Kokila Chandravadan Singh Deo.

Parull says the three-time National Award-winning actor was an institution in herself.“She’s a legend.

As they say, ‘they don’t make anyone like her anymore’ so no one will be like her. She was an institution in herself.

When she would enter on set and perform her scenes one would be mesmerized.After action, she would straight dive into her character with so much honesty.

I’ve not experienced this with many actors but Surekha Sikri ji is one of them. No one will be like her and she will always live in our hearts and the industry through her work,” she says.

Parull, who has appeared on shows such as “Tere Mere Sapne”, “Piyaa Albela” and “Divya Drishti”, shares that Surekha was a progressive woman.

“She was very progressive. Exactly like her character in ‘Badhaai Ho’. A modern girl could also hold up a conversation with ease.

I think she was more modern than a modern girl in her thinking,” she adds. Like an ardent admirer, Parull says she has followed Surekha’s great body of work across all platforms including “Tamas”, “Mammo”, “Balika Vadhu”, “Mr and Mrs Iyer”, “Badhaai Ho”, “Ghost Stories”, others.

“What a fabulous actor she was. ‘Mammo’ and ‘Tamas’ are her best films and most recent being ‘Badaai Ho’, in which she did amazing work.

She would do amazing work in every film,” she adds.The “Divya Drishti” actor says she and Surekha shared a warm bond and the two would often make a lot of plans including going for an outing but unfortunately things didn’t materialize then.

“We used to make plans, like going on a girly picnic where we all will chill. Sadly, those plans never materialized because everyone got busy with their respective lives,” she says.

The actor recalls during the lockdown Surekha had fallen ill and she did text her and tried meeting her but that didn’t happen.“I had a conversation with Anita Raj ji.

She was a link between us, Anita Raj played Rajmata in ‘Ek tha Raja Ek thi Rani’. Anita ji and I used to keep in touch with Surekha ji.

Anita ji then said she’s doing fine and just like that she left us all that day,” an emotional Parull says.

Parull says she is deeply saddened with the passing away of Surekha.“I was very sad when I got the news.

I was remembering, getting flashbacks of her conversations, her entering on the sets, the way she used to walk, every other thing related to her.

A lot of her memories will stay with me forever,” she says, adding her maternal grandmother does often remind her of Surekha as the two bear resemblance.