So you probably remember our almost close encounters with Saroja Devi, the actress, Mi. How surprised we were to discover she lived just down the road! We would pass her house every day on our walk to the Railway Station park. And Vidur would talk non-stop, asking about her.

Then one day, after we toured the Thao Sen estate opposite S Devi’s house, we crossed the road and Vidur instantly latched on to her gate refusing to come home until she came out and said hi to him. In his toddler mind, he actually believed we could call her from the gate, like we did our friends, and she would invite us in – or more specifically invite him to play in the garden in front of her house. He was so keen to see the Krishna statue there. The sight of it would trigger a spate of stories and then, we would finally convince him she would come out the next day and manage to take him back home.

I also remember how we once spoke to the watchman at her place and he told us she was out of town. Then we ended up seeing quite a few of her movies on TV, coincidentally!

And now, more than a decade later, as I went to the polling booth to cast my vote, who should walk out but the lovely 75 year old actress who doesn’t look a day over 60. My first instinct was to click a photo of her  but at the nick of time, I had the sense to go talk to her, tell her I loved her movies and request her for a photograph together. She sweetly agreed. And here we are:

Yes, I cast my vote!

And here is the beauty with the beast! 😀

Well, I can’t help it if I simply scrubbed my face with soap and water, scraped my head back, pulled on jeans and went to vote, right? She was dazzling in full make up, a silk sari and diamonds. But her best makeup was her brilliant smile. Sweet as ever. Charming. I was enchanted! I put her arm around her as I always seem to do when I am in a photograph with someone – and there we were, enveloped in a cloud of her perfume and framed for posterity!

Then Sury and I left, laughing!

How could I not be enchanted – she was S Devi too! Ah, I wish you were there – I would have loved a photo of you both together. Devi and Devi!