Five films that embedded Asha Parekh into our hearts forever
Asha Parekh was defined by her aura and incredible film choices, proving that once a star, always a star!
Legendary actress Asha Parekh celebrates her birthday today. She has had a glorious run at the movies and was defined by her aura, enigma and resonating film choices. As it is common for all the aspiring and established female actors, Parekh too, commenced her career in Hindi cinema as a child artist, making her celluloid debut at the tender age of ten in Bimal Roy’s Maa, in the year 1952.
Serendipity and rejections made her a sensation when she debuted as an actor in Nasir Hussain's Dil Deke Dekho, where she played the role of a starlet who has one too many admirers. It was a charming tale of lies, love and mistaken identities powered by Shammi Kapoor's inimitable charm and Parekh's breathtaking beauty.
Her next formidable piece of work came in Raj Khosla's Do Badan, a film about the class and economic divide that often becomes a hurdle and conflict in a passionate love saga. Paired opposite Manoj Kumar, the finale of this romance pierced straight to the heart. Parekh proved she was here not only to stay but consolidate her position as one of the finest artists of Hindi cinema. A star was truly born!
The same year saw the release of one of her most popular films, Teesri Manzil, a musical whodunit peppered with a solid soundtrack by R.D. Burman and exhilarating narrative. It was clear Kapoor and Parekh sizzled on the silver screen like nobody else and Vijay Anand's nuanced understanding of thrilling and suspenseful extravaganzas. It became a huge commercial success and Burman's trailblazing soundtrack was etched in people's memories forever.
Any actor at the top gets an opportunity to star with another actor equally influential or perhaps even more. In the year 1970, Parekh starred with the then-sensation Rajesh Khanna in the smash hit, Kati Patang. This was a unique love story about an orphan and a forest ranger. Burman continued his legacy of timeless music that magically blended with gorgeous actors and evocative storytelling. Parekh became a sensation and so did her choices.
In 1978, she reunited with her first director, Raj Khosla, for the gripping drama, Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki. Parekh had a short but effective role as the eponymous character who sacrifices her life. Despite a lesser screen time than the lead actor Nutan, Parekh proved it's the depth of the character that matters and not the length. And she was even nominated for the Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female) at the Filmfare Awards in 1979.
There have been multiple honours and awards that have been bestowed on the actor over the last few years. In 1992, she was honoured with the Padma Shri by the Government of India. She may not be acting in movies anymore, the big screen may not have experienced her thunderous prowess and enigmatic performances in recent times, but she will truly be one of the finest artists of Hindi cinema who featured in its golden era. To know what greatness means, audiences must discover Parekh's repertoire and understand what great truly signifies!
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