Badhaai Ho actor Ayushmann Khurrana pays tribute to Surekha Sikri: ‘A complete boho, chiller’

screenmixJuly 16, 2021

Bollywood actors Ayushmann Khurrana, Neena Gupta and Gajraj Rao paid tribute to their Badhaai Ho co-actor Surekha Sikri as she passed away on Friday following a cardiac arrest. She was 75. While Khurrana remembered the late actor by sharing an old video of her reciting Faiz’s ‘Mujhse Pahli Si Mohabbat’ poem, Rao penned a long note recalling his days with Sikri during the shoot of the 2018 film Badhaai Ho.

Khurrana also shared a still from Badhaai Ho and wrote how Sikri was as progressive as her character in the movie. He also requested his fans to watch the late actor recite Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poem. In a long note on Instagram, the actor wrote, “In every film we have a family and we end up spending more time with the film family than our own families. One such beautiful family was in Badhai Ho. Out of all my films, it was the perfect family with a perfect cast. Surekha Sikri was the head of our family, who was more progressive than the entire family tree. You know what, that was her in real life too. A complete boho. A chiller. Young at heart.”

Sharing his last memory of Sikri, the actor added, “I remember when she was boarding an auto rickshaw after the screening of our film, Tahira and I gave her a lift back home and we said “ma’am you are the real star of our film” and she replied “wish I get more work.” Tahira and I were speechless. We watched her frail demeanour walking towards her building. That’s my last memory of her. I would request you to watch her recite Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s nazm “Mujh-se pehli si mohabbat mere mehboob na maang.” Aapko unse aur mohabbat ho jaayegi. An impeccable performer. A consummate artiste. A legend. You’ll be missed Surekha ma’am. 🤍 Thank you for the beautiful memories.🙏🏽 #RIPSurekhaSikri”.

Rao, who essayed the role of Sikri’s son in the Amit Sharma directorial, shared how the late actor had “child-like enthusiasm.” He also recalled that despite having worked in the film industry for so many years, the veteran actor “had no airs about her stature or endless experience as an actress.”

Sharing a series of pictures with Sikri, Rao wrote on Instagram, “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. 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. 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 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 #badhaaiho @iamitrsharma.”

Neena Gupta shared a video remembering the late actor and her Badhaai Ho co-star. She said she was always inspired by Sikri’s acting and looked forward to her work. In her younger days, when both were NSD students, Gupta yearned to be an actor like Sikri. “While shooting for Badhaai Ho, I used to keep looking at her (Sikri). I got to learn so much from her and yet there was so much more that I had to learn from here,” Gupta shared in the video. Besides Badhaai Ho, Gupta and Sikri also worked together in the TV show Saat Phere.

Sanya Malhotra also mourned the demise of the National-Award winning actor as she posted the video of her soulful rendition of Faiz’s poem with a heartbroken emoji.

Badhaai Ho hit the screens in 2018 and brought laurel to Sikri. She won her third National Award for the Best Supporting Actor. Earlier, she grabbed the honour for her films Tamas (1988) and Mammo (1995).