She’s funny, she’s fierce, she’s independent, she’s beautiful and stylish, and it’s a joy to watch her – and she doesn’t seem to have changed much at all since she graced the silver screen.
Asha Parekh was born at Bangalore in a Gujrati family on 2nd October 1942. She was enrolled in classical dance classes at a very young age. Trained in kathak she started giving stage shows. Famed film director Bimal Roy saw her at one of her concerts and cast her as a child artiste in Baap Beti (1954). After a few roles as a child star, she quit to continue her education. After completing her schooling, Asha again entered in Bollywood and made her debut as lead actress in Vijay Bhatt’s film “Goonj Uthi Shehnai” but she had to leave this film midway in favour of actress Ameeta as the filmmaker did not consider her as star material. The very next day she was signed by writer-director Nasir Hussain for his film “Dil Deke Dekho” opposite Shammi kapoor and the film proved super-duper hit at box office and made her a huge star. In addition to Nasir Hussain, seven major directors cast Asha more than once due to her immense talent, beauty, and professionalism: Pramod Chakravorthy, Vijay Anand, Raj Khosla, Raghunath Jhalani, Mohan Segal, Shakti Samanta, and J.P. Dutta. Asha Parekh was one of the highest paid actresses of her time. Nasir Hussain went on to cast her as the heroine in six more of his films: Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai (1961), Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon (1963), Teesri Manzil (1966), Baharon Ke Sapne (1967), Pyar Ka Mausam (1969), and Caravan (1971). She also did a cameo in his film Manzil Manzil (1984). Hussain also got her involved in distribution of films for 21 years, starting with Baharon Ke Sapne (1967). Raj Khosla gave her a serious image by casting her in tragedienne roles in three of her favourite films: Do Badan (1966), Chirag (1969), and Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki (1978).
Asha stopped acting in 1995 to pursue directing and producing television serials, but her acting accomplishments were not forgotten as she received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.
Asha Parekh appeared in many of Bollywood’s biggest, most colourful, most entertaining films. We recall some of the songs from her well known films.
1. Mere Sanam
2. Teesri Manzil
4. Baharon ke Sapne
7. Love In Tokyo
8. Aaye Din Bahaar Ke
9. Aan Milo Sajna