Amol Palekar: Vidya was thrilled when I had made a portrait of her
Remembering his first co-star Vidya Sinha, Amol Palekar reminisces their friendship that grew over love for parallel cinema and gupshup
I am extremely sad to hear the news although one knew that it was coming. I was aware that she had been admitted in the ICU. In fact, I spoke to her daughter Jahnavi on Wednesday night, to check on Vidya. We shared a long friendship which went beyond our acting careers. Whenever I would travel to Mumbai, Vidya and I used to get together for lunch and gupshup.
It was thoroughly enjoyable to work with her in Basu Chatterjee's Rajnigandha (1974) and Choti Si Baat (1975). Those were wonderful and enriching times, as the parallel cinema movement was taking root. I was most privileged to be part of that movement and to have somebody like Vidya with me as we both witnessed the birth of a new cinema. She held a special place in my life as she was my first co-star — we both debuted in Rajnigandha. The movie was shot in real locations in Delhi and Mumbai. Vidya and I shot all our scenes in Delhi while her scenes with the late Dinesh Thakur [her co-star] were filmed in Mumbai. We would often laugh at the irony — I came from Mumbai, and Dinesh hailed from Delhi, and here we were, shooting in each other's cities.
One of the most beautiful memories I have of her is when I had my last painting exhibition in Mumbai, in 2015. Vidya had attended the event. I had done her portrait at that time in the gallery and gifted it to her. She was so thrilled about it. It was a beautiful portrait because the muse was a beautiful person at heart. In 2016, on my 70th birthday, I met with Vidya and all my heroines again. It was a wonderful gift planned by Sandhya [his wife] — she had invited all my leading ladies, playback singers who sang for me, my school mates and college mates. It was so emotional to see all my co-stars — Vidya, Bindiya [Goswami], Deepti [Naval] and Zarina [Wahab] — come together for me.
Also read: Obituary: Rest In Peace, Vidya Sinha
As told tp Upala KBR
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