Asha Parekh regrets not having acted in Satyajit Ray's 'Kanchanjunga'

Feb 03, 2017, 11:46 IST | PTI

Asha Parekh
Asha Parekh

Yesteryear actress and former censor board boss Asha Parekh regrets not having acted in film maestro Satyajit Ray's 'Kanchanjunga' in which he had offered her a role after seeing a photograph of hers in a studio.

"Ray had offered me the role in 'Kanchanjunga' and I was very excited but he wanted dates for a month at a stretch which was not possible for me at that stage," she said.

"The great filmmaker had seen my photograph at a studio and offered me the role. I tried my best to adjust the shooting dates and even went to Darjeeling to meet him but it didn't work out," she said.

"I felt very sad that I had to let go this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Ray, however, said he admired my honesty for telling him at the outset about my inability to give shooting dates at a stretch," the leading actress of several hits of the sixties and seventies of the last century said.

The first woman to become the chairperson of Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC), Parekh said that it was a "tough job and I often wondered where I have put myself".

"I, however, performed the role to the best of my abilities and followed the rules and guidelines," she added.

She was here to promote her forthcoming biography "Asha Parekh: The Hit Girl" at the recently-concluded Brahmaputra Literary Festival.

The famed actress, nicknamed 'Jubilee Girl' for the string of hits that she delivered during the sixties, said she had worked with the best directors of her time.

"Luck was with me and I worked with the best directors of my time. Many of my films went on to become silver and even golden jubilee hits. Producers lined up to sign me and I was called the girl with the golden touch," said the actress of hit movies like "Dil Deke Dekho", "Teesri Kasam", "Kati Patang", "Mera Gaon, Mera Desh", and others.

"Both luck and talent favoured me. God has been very kind to me. Films were being sold on my name," she said.

Parekh, who worked with almost all the leading heroes of her time, said it was "nice working with different heroes.

Each had their own style like Manoj Kumar was serious and was always writing on sets, Dharmendra did not like being called uncle and we would call him just that to irritate him while Shammi Kapoor was fun loving and it was very enjoyable when he was on the sets".

"I detested men who came drunk to the sets but admired pranksters who were really fun to work with," she added.

Asked about her relations with her contemporary actresses, she said, "There was not much of a competition. Each one of us had different styles and performed according to the script."

She pointed out that nowadays "the roles of heroines are more or less alike and they even dress alike but during our days it was the role that mattered. The role may have been small but I did my job and was happy with what I did".

She, however, said with a tinge of regret that the shelf life of actresses was short and she did not get too many mature roles to play.

"I have, however, got my due recognition and adulation from my fans who still remember me and my roles which I had played so many decades ago," said Parekh, who is engaged in philanthropic work and runs a hospital in Mumbai.

"Asha Parekh: The Hit Girl" has been co-authored by noted film critic Khalid Mohammad and is likely to be released in March.

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