Surekha Sikri made her final appearance on screen in Amit Sharma’s Badhaai Ho. Surekha Sikri’s Badhaai Ho co-stars Neena Gupta and Gajaraj Rao remember her warmly. “She was my senior at the National School of Drama,” says Neena Gupta. We all looked up to her as a role model. She was a member of the NSD repertory company, and her work was consistently excellent. I used to keep a careful eye on her. Even during the filming of Badhaai Ho, I would watch her perform. There was a lot to pick up from her. She was a fantastic actress who remained so to the end.”
Neena’s face brightens as she recalls her time on set with Surekha Sikri. “Shooting with her was great fun. She was a lot of fun to be around and was always up for an adventure. Every morning, she would carry her newspaper to the set and read it until she was called for a scene. She has the ability to converse about every topic imaginable. She was a very remarkable individual. I’ll miss her a lot.”
“Yes, we’ve lost one of our best actors,” Gajaraj Rao adds. She was a sensitive artisan who was well-read. Working with her on Badhaai Ho was a wonderful experience for me. She didn’t have a lot to say. She didn’t spend time with meaningless chit-chat. However, before to going on camera, she inspired us all with her effort and passion throughout rehearsals. “Ghazab ke unka devotion ttha,” says the narrator.
Gajaraj elaborates on the actress’ adamant determination to get it perfect. “In Badhaai Ho, she had extensive 2-3 page dialogues. She was always ready for anything. She remembered every line of conversation since she had done her studies before arriving on stage. Amit Sharma, our director, shot 8-9 takes. She was never hesitant to do as many takes as she pleased. Working with her was extremely motivating. I’ll be sad to see her go.”