Remembering Asha Parekh’s Best Roles on Her Birthday!
Bollywood veteran Asha Parekh turns 76 today. Bollywood’s retired ‘Jubilee Queen’ continues to be a happy soul who is now busy with social work, after having lived out a glorious movie career.
But there is the downside to her life as well. “Every birthday of mine is a dry day. So, my friends never get to toast my health and well-being with a glass of wine…ah, never mind! I am happy to be alive, well, healthy and still not pushed into oblivion, as many of my colleagues are.”
2017 has been a particularly eventful year for her. “That’s right. My memoir ‘The Hit Girl’ came out. I was apprehensive that it may hurt some. But I was determined to tell the truth. Or else, no point in writing about your life. My co-author Khalid Mohamed and I were very careful about the lives that were touched in my memoirs.”
Quickly Brightening up, Asha ji says that she is thankful for what life has given her. “I am still around and healthy. I’ve had a great innings. I was called the ‘hit girl’ because of the success of my films. I don’t know how so many hits happened in my career. It was God’s blessing I guess, and my parents’ good wishes. It’s sad to lose friends at my age. Watching them go one by one is a very scary experience. I just wish when I go, I go without pain. And people will remember me as a nice girl.”
Here’s a look at some of her best movies and songs from yesteryears:
A simple rustic tale with Guru Dutt and Asha cast as lovers. They are oblivious to the maladies around them and totally in love. The love story had good performances and melodious songs like Woh Dil Kahan Se Laon.
Do Badan (1966)
The first of Raj Khosla’s trilogy of films that truly show Asha Parekh’s acting chops. She took away everyone’s breath in this serious dramatic role. In the film, her co-star Manoj Kumar loses his eyesight and the class divide separates the two lovers, keeping them from coming close. The tragic end of the movie is quite predictable, but it was a nice throwback to classic Hindi cinema at it’s finest.
Teesri Manzil (1966)
The movie was supposed to be a vehicle for the superstardom of Shammi Kapoor, but a young and peppy Asha parekh managed to leave an indelible mark on the audience with her character. She plays an ambitious girl out to find her sister’s murderer. Her sheer vivacity made her a worthy co-star for Shammi Kapoor.
Baharon Ke Sapne (1967)
At a time when her career was saturated with light-hearted picnicky roles, Asha surprised everyone, including herself, with her scrubbed no-makeup look and intense performance in her mentor Nasir Hussain’s most realistic film ever. Set in the backdrop of mill workers woes, the film saw Asha as Rajesh Khanna’s love interest.
Filmmaker Raj Khosla had a special affinity to Asha’s histrionic persona that most directors chose to bypass. In this dramatic film, Asha Parekh was cast as a blind woman who is estranged from her husband played by late actor Sunil Dutt. It is still remembered for her restrained performance and the Madan Mohan composed melody Teri aankhon ke siva duniya mein rakha kya hai.
Kati Patang (1970)
Veteran actress Sharmila Tagore turned down thid film. Director Shakti Samanta, who had done two wonderful films – Aradhana and Amar Prem – with late actor Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila, signed Asha instead. Playing an unfortunate young widow, Asha melted hearts and also won popular awards like Filmfare for her performance as the lady in white.
Asha played a tomboy who transforms into a feminine bombshell to win the affections of a boy. The film is quite forgettable, but Asha’s performance in it isn’t.
The last of the seven films that she did with her mentor Nasir Hussain, Caravan was arguably the biggest hit of Asha Parekh’s success-driven career. Though the focus was on Aruna Irani as the fiery gypsy woman, Asha held her own as the runaway girl mostly hidden from public view, but still enjoying her life and dancing the night away whenever she can.
What more can we say about this bubbly actress, except to borrow a line from a song in Bharosa – Aaj ki mulaqat bass itni.