In her heyday, Asha Parekh delivered more hits than her illustrious contemporaries put together. The veteran actress, who has just been honoured with yet another Lifetime Achievement Award by Stardust, feels she doesn’t have much to say.
She was seen quickly collecting the award before making a hasty exit from stage. “What is there to say? This is not my first lifetime achievement award. Hopefully, not my last.
People have been gracious enough to honour me again. The least I can do is to not bore them with a long list of thank yous and reminiscences.”
She is known to have shared great rapport with her co-stars. “They were all my favourites. I did the maximum number of films with Dharmendra, Joy Mukherjee, Jeetendra, Sunil Dutt, Rajesh Khanna and Shammi Kapoor who I used to call Shammi chacha they were all my buddies,” she says. “I used to play all sorts of pranks on them. Once I hid Sunil Dutt’s chappals during a shoot and he had to go home barefoot.
Years later they found those chappals. Such was my rapport with my heroes, that they regarded me as their buddy, and not a potential girlfriend.” She continues to be great friends with her female contemporaries too.
“Sadhana, Waheeda, Helen and I continue to meet regularly. Sadly, our friend Nanda passed away recently. It came as a shock to all of us. We miss her terribly.”
Looking back on her record-breaking run in the 1960s and 70s, she says, “I do feel proud that films were sold to distributors because of me. I don’t think any other heroine in my time was considered as lucky.”
She even had the power to decide the leading man in her film, something unheard of even today. The veteran is happy to see actresses coming into their own nowadays.
“I really like Deepika Padukone and Vidya Balan. And I loved Kangana Ranaut in Queen. I hope they are paid what they deserve.” Any plans of returning to the studio sets? “There is nothing for me in today’s films. I wouldn’t have said no to directing a film some years ago.”...