Know the latest about Asha Parekh

On October 2, yesteryears’ heart-throb Asha Parekh turns a year older. But there will be no celebration this time.

“I’ve lost my nephew. He was only 32.It’s a big blow to our family. No one is in a celebratory mood . Besides,at my age what is there to celebrate on a birthday? It’s just a blessing to be in good health and to have family and friends around,” sighs the actress who gave as many as 24 silver and golden jubilee hits in a row during the 1960s and 70s.

Ashaji has a very special reason to celebrate this year. She was given the Dadasaheb Phalke award on September 30. “I couldn’t have hoped for a better birthday present.It was so nice to receive this very special honour from the President of India.She was so warm on stage even if our interaction was for only a few seconds. The I & B minister Anurag Thakurji was also very warm.”

Compliment her on her classy look at the National awards ceremony and Ashaji laughs. “Oh the credit goes to Abu-Sandeep. The saree was their creation.Otherwise I have never been too particular about dressing up for occasions.”

Didn’t she feel that the Dadasaheb Phalke award came too late in her career? “Der aaye durust aaye, Better late than never. I feel any honour coming from the Government is to be appreciated.I am indebted to the Government for thinking of me for this honour.”

Looking back at her career Ashaji says she enjoyed every role that she played. “There were many big hits. The ones I enjoyed doing?I enjoyed shooting for all. I remember the great time Joy Mukherjee and I had in Japan shooting for Love In Tokyo. Dharmendra and I did several films together. Mera Gaon Mera Desh was the biggest hit . We had a blast shooting in Rajasthan. With Shammi Chacha(Kapoor) I did our musical blockbuster Teesri Manzil. We had so fun until Shammi Chacha lost his wife(actress Geeta Bali) during the shooting.I also liked our later film Pagla Kahin Ka. With Rajesh Khanna I gave two of my best performances in Baharon Ki Manzil and Kati Patang.”

Ashaji looks back at her career with satisfaction. “Shooting was always a picnic. I never had to drag myself out of bed for work. I looked forward to each day of shooting.”

About The Author
Subhash K Jha

Subhash K. Jha is a veteran Indian film critic, journalist based in Patna, Bihar. He is currently film critic with leading daily The Times of India, Firstpost, Deccan chronicle and DNA News, besides TV channels Zee News and News18 India.