Feel the love! Asha Parekh

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Asha Parekh is my favorite heroine in Hindi cinema. There, I’ve said it, and I’m carving it here in blog-stone for posterity. I should also say that in topping that list, she reigns over some of the most beautiful and talented women in film history! I am sure some will disagree with me, but my reasons for picking her are as many and varied as the films she starred in over a very long and distinguished career.

She is, when all is said and done, a woman you could steal horses with.

To begin with, she had great chemistry with every hero she was paired with—which was all the big stars of the 60s and early 70s. She even makes such milquetoasty guys as Biswajeet (Mere Sanam) and Navin Nischol (Nadaan) look good. She sparkles with Dharmendra (Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Shikar, Aaye Din Bahar Ke, Aaye Sawan Jhoom Ke):

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and with Rajesh Khanna (Baharon Ke Sapne, Kati PatangAan Milo Sajna).

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Her favorite hero (and mine of course) was Shammi. They made some great films together: Dil Deke Dekho, Teesri Manzil, Pagla Kahin Ka (where is my DVD with subtitles, manufacturing people? where?!?) and a hit-or-miss one (Jawan Mohabbat), and she gained the reputation for being able to handle the rambunctious Rebel Star.

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She co-starred too with his brother Shashi (Pyar Ka Mausam, Kanyadaan), with Joy Mukherjee, Sunil Dutt, Manoj Kumar. Not only actors, but directors loved to repeat her in their films too—she was known for her professionalism and dedication.

She could also really act. Equally adept at comedy or drama, she elevates every film she is in with her presence and her performance. I love how feisty her characters inevitably are, how stubborn, and how proud; she endows them with a warmth and charm which prevent them from being shrewish but make you cheer for them instead.

She has a positive gift for looking defiant!

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(She gives great Nahiiiiiin! Face too, when she has to, which thankfully isn’t that often.)

She’s just plain fierce!

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In real life, she stayed unmarried (like me!) (although there have been many rumors of a long affair with her frequent director Nasir Hussain). I’m sure her star status and her ability to support herself helped in this unconventional lifestyle, but it still can’t have been easy in a country where motherhood and “homely” pursuits are so valued.

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She is certainly adept at onscreen flirtation!

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She is often surrounded in her movies by a gaggle of loyal girlfriends—which her would-be suitor has to get past in order to woo her. They are fond of picnicking, and teasing and pulling pranks, but always rally around her when her heart is broken or the chips are down.

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Today she says she meets her old friends Waheeda Rehman, Nanda, the actress Shammi, Sadhana and Vyjayantimala regularly to catch up. A girl needs her peeps, after all! Wouldn’t it be fun to hang out with these elegant ladies for an afternoon?

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She doesn’t have a conventionally beautiful face, but I think she’s just gorgeous nonetheless. Her eyes especially always take center screen.

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And kya style hai! She looks beautiful in jewel-colored churidars and chiffon saris.

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She can even make hair bobbles (remember those?) and bad wigs look cute.

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Many of these screen caps are from Aan Milo Sajna, where I think she absolutely leapt off the screen despite a few sartorial handicaps. I can’t bring myself to write up the film: it was so very dumb, although the songs, scenery, Rajesh and Asha were all stunningly beautiful.

She even looks cute in silly 1960s I’m-in-Kashmir pom-pom-bedecked snow gear.

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And she’s a great dancer too! Be it classical, nautch girl, village celebration, or the Indian Twist, Asha did it, and made it look good.

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Even if she was tiny, and dancing on an ashtray!

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Here she is in Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki, in 1978 after more than two decades as a leading actress. True, Raj Khosla gives her the benefit of soft-focus lighting, but she is magnificent!

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(Doesn’t she look a bit like Madhuri Dixit?)

I feel like I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the Awesomeness of Asha, but I hope I’ve at least convinced you that I have good reason to make her my favorite heroine. She’s funny, she’s fierce, she’s independent, she’s beautiful and stylish, and it’s a joy to watch her. Even though she no longer acts, she keeps herself busy—and she doesn’t seem to have changed much at all since she graced the silver screen. Here she is from earlier this year, with Dev Anand (uh…sorry Dev, it’s the only photo I could find!). She’s still got it! (and oh, how I would love to rummage through her sari collection).

Thanks, Asha P, for all the great entertainment you’ve given us.

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137 Comments to “Feel the love! Asha Parekh”

  1. Hi,
    You left out Sunil Dutt, Manoj Kumar, Preedip Kumar, Ashok Kumar, Bharat Bhusan, Rajender Kumar etc.
    Sunil Dutt and Asha were in Chirag great songs and Asha’s acting was superb. Manoj Kumar’s 1st production – Upkaar, a huge hit. Gharana with Preedip Kumar was a hit. Meri Surat Teri Ankhen with Ashok Kumar was a classic. Bharosa with Guru Dutt, Caravan with Jeetender.

    • I wasn’t trying to list all her co-stars (that would take too long), but I did mention Sunil Dutt and Manoj Kumar—she was paired with each of them a few times.

      Her directors liked to repeat her too—she was professional, talented and not difficult from what I’ve read about her :)

      • Manoj didnt repeat her after Upkar !!

        I dont think she attended the premiere of this megahit movie.

        • Manoj & Asha had a complicated working relationship. During “Upkar,” he shushed her when she complained about the number of takes for a early morning shot. She got upset and stopped talking to him, but she completed her work on the film. They didn’t speak to each other again until two years later when they were filming “Saajan” (1969) together. Now they say complimentary things about each other. She said that he’s intelligent, while he said that her half-lit face in “Upkar” is one of the most beautiful images that he has ever seen.

  2. oh she was/is my fav as well along with waheeda rehman:)

  3. This post is wonderful. memsaab! I love Asha P, she was a great actress who could filmi and understated at the same time, and her rocking fashions just made me wanna buy a bunch of bobble bands and funky saris too! I think i might just take the idea and do one on sharmila! Great post!

  4. And she wears gorgeous jewellery! I want that necklace she’s wearing in that last screencap.

    She isnt on my top favorites list, but I cant deny her charm – especially when those large eyes well up in tears as they do a lot in some films (Kati Patang for e.g.). Plus, nobody could balance Shammi’s energy better than she could, onscreen (all his other heroines used to look rather overwhelmed)!

  5. Fabulous! Her eyes spoke volumes I think! :)

    She had one of the best figures i think (and her super-tight shimmering kurtas showed it off well) and one of the shrillest voices on screen…

    but i think you are spot on in calling her feisty, thats the word! :)

    • I love her figure too, she looks beautiful in saris and those slim-fitting kurts :-) Her voice could be very high and/or shrill, although it got better as she got older, and it’s never ever bothered me.

  6. AND she’d been running a charity hospital in Bombay for ages.

    : ) One of my favourite people too.

    (of course, has also given rise to one of the standard lines of Hindi filmdom, but that’s OK.)

    Shammi and Asha had superb chemistry : Dil Dekhe Delho, Teesri Manzil et al.

    Her showcase was Kati Patang, though. She made even Rajesh K palatable.

  7. Asha Ji is credited with the standard line where she goes to a temple, and prays to God-” Bhagwaan, meri ek choti is Aass hai.”

    And God (creaters of this joke assure us) wonders what a badi si Aass would be like.

    Of course, this joke assumes that God too understands Hinglish. In Hindi Aas= wish

    Thus Choti si aas = small wish
    Badi si aas= big wish

    Coming to the topic, yes, Asha ji is as good a contender as any for the title one’s favourire heroine from that era. I loved reading the article. Very nice description, as always.

  8. Memsaab, I have already mentioned that you are part of my older sisters AP Fan Club. I will show ur post to my sister when I visit India (am flying out tomorrow actually!)

    Great post as usual. Kudos to you as a fan in highlighting all the good things you like about this actress. I have enjoyed most of the movies she has acted in (the ones i have seen) even though she is not my favourite actress.

  9. sooooo many movies of hers were pure fun. I love them all. Sajan, Teesi Manzil, too many to list really. I think ‘aja aja me hoon pyar tera’ is the best song ever ! Her dancing in that is soooooooo wonderful. Amazing Grace Thts what I would call her.

    • I just watched Sajan again last evening because of this post, and it’s so much fun! Of course, Teesri Manzil is one of my favorite films of all time too…

    • Thanks for the article, hadn’t seen it! And so they should love her—but perhaps their time would be better spent watching her films instead of kidnapping people! ;-D

  10. Me too, me too! I do love Asha Parekh, shrill voice and big butt and all. She’s so sparkly and vivacious, and some of my favourite films have her in them: Dil Deke Dekho, Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hoon, Teesri Manzil, Saajan and Love in Tokyo. Absolutely lovely.

    • Two mentions of Sajan now! It is fun, maybe I will write it up next. I need to rewatch Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon as well.

      Will watch Asha in anything, really, even if the rest of the cast/story doesn’t appeal. She is one actress whose name alone will make me pick up a DVD.

  11. Very engaging write up!! Love it. All those pictures too.

    Count me in!!! :-)
    As one who just loves her films!!! The only one which was a bit drab was ‘Bharosa’ that too with my other favourite Guru Dutt.

    I wrote once to Induna if they could arrange for ‘Ziddi’ (stubborn) to be brought out on DVD/VCD, and of course they gave me ‘professional’ assurances that they would try.
    I saw this film once (a bad print) and was impressed – can’t remember why, except that Asha was as fiery and feisty as ever in it.

    She is up there with my other favourite heroines of 50s and 60s. I just couldn’t pick one as my favourite. :-/

    So sweet that all these actresses get together. Wonder if the current bunch will ever do such a thing.
    The Bipashas, Priyankas, Aishwarayas, Kareenas, etc. all getting together in their old age!!

    I associated Asha’s name with Shammi and Joy Mukherji.

    off topic:
    It was a pleasant surprise to see, over at Induna, a DVD of a film I had never heard of – Rail Ka Dibba (train compartment/carriage). Starring Shammi and Madhubala. I’ve of course ordered it. :-)

    • She is awesome. I would kill to hang out with her and her friends one afternoon. Can you imagine the stories they could all tell, between them????

      I already have Rail Ka Dibba in my grubby little hands :-) I am just sad that it’s not subtitled.

      Sigh.

  12. I love Asha Parekh too and she is indeed very charming she stole my heart in Teesri Mnazil i loove the way she was aaaajjjaaaa aaajjaaa’ing with Shammi Kapoor only she could get away with it and make it look fun. I love the cute eyelash fluttering she so often does, a typical example of Asha at her stubborn best was in Ziddin it could have been a great film but an overlong Mehmood/shobha khote csp ruined it, still here’s a mischievious Asha being Naughty

    • Ziddi is available on DVD (with subs, even, and a Yash Raj disk—always good quality)…I saw it once, a long time ago (rented it) but don’t remember much about it (it was early on and I was still just absorbing things as fast as I could).

      So thanks to you and pacifist above I have it coming soon!

  13. AAn awesome write up Greta! I too share you love of Asha, she and Sharmila are likely my two top favorite yesteryear actresses.

    Let’s arrange that lunceheon with Asha and her gal pals!!

  14. I love Asha Parekh too! Besides her stunning eyes which inspired the memorable ode “Teri ankhon ke siva duniya mein rakha kya hai”, she had the perfect pout. The only people who match those luscious lips are those of Padmini from S. India, and Madhuri Dixit, in my view at least.

    Asha was a fabulous actress no doubt. But I must admit that sometimes her voice grates on your nerves, esp in her tomboyish roles. Other than that, she’s simply stupendous. She is a good dancer though I personally adore Vjyantimala’s dances better. :)

    Thanks for this wonderful dedication to Asha. And the pictures are fantastic!

    • Her voice is so definitely her own though :-) It was very squeaky in Dil Deke Dekho! but it doesn’t grate on me—I’m too busy thinking about how awesome she is and how much I want to BE her ;-)

  15. I must ask: what movie is the Asha-on-ashtray shot from?

  16. Excellent write-up, Greta.

    I am a huge Asha Parekh fan myself.
    Her movies used to be pretty much a guarantee for a good time-pass.
    Usually good songs, some chhed-chhaad (teasing), picnic with sahelis (female friends).
    She had hits with practically every hero of her time – I cannot think of another actress who had hits with so many leading men.
    I just loved her in Caravan – that song “daiya re main kahan aa phasi” is an absolute riot.
    She was equally comfortable playing the village belle (Aan Milo Sajna, Mera Gaon Mera Desh) as the city girl.

    Like you say, Asha’s eyes were often the focus, whether with “teri aankhon ke siwa” in Chiraag or “ye aankhen uff yu ma” in Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai.

    Nobody has mentioned Do Badan yet – I guess because it was not exactly one of those feel-good movies, what with a self-pitying Manoj Kumar (is there a worse scene in 1960s Hindi cinema ?)
    But I loved the songs and Asha – though I hated the ending.

    Asha embodied everything that the 1960s stood for. A free spirit, a defiant spirit – with a contagious charm.
    Much like her male counterpart of the decade, Shammi Kapoor.

    A lot of movies come to mind – I grew up with her being a hit pair opposite Rajesh and those movies are often top-of-mind for me.
    Baharon Ke Sapne has some fantastic songs picturised on her.

    It is always risky to try to pick one favourite movie of an actor who has given so much in so many movies but if I were really pushed to pick one, I might just go with Kati Patang.
    She was just fantastic in that movie and she played a different, more mature role in this film.

    But then I also loved her in Caravan.

    Ok, not a good idea to try to pick one movie. Let’s forget it. :-)

    • Ha ha! You’ll note that I did not try to even pick a top ten of her films! She was in so many good ones, and even in bad films SHE was good. And she did act opposite most of the leading men of her day—actually, are there any that she did NOT act opposite? I can’t think of any…

  17. Raja, I agree that the song “daiya re main kahan aa phasi” ahoqa Asha at her funniest. I will often pop the Caravan dvd in just to watch that song and it always puts me in such a good mood!

  18. Of course “ahoqa” means “shows” in “bad typeing language!

  19. don’t forget ‘mahal’ 1969 movie with devsaab

  20. I have seen “Mahal”. It is with Dev Anand.
    A suspense movie.
    Has some lovely songs but the movie sort of lost its intensity as it dragged on.
    Of course one can always watch it for Asha’s sake.
    It has Sudhir in a reasonably important role.

  21. Another movie that nobody has mentioned is Samadhi.
    I just loved this movie when I saw it.
    Not just for Asha (she is as usual very good) but for everything about it.

  22. While checking imdb out for Asha Parekh I see a movie listed “Kahin Aur Chal” (1968).
    I have NEVER heard of this movie – and apparently it is a Dev Anand – Asha starrer.
    Wow…that’s heavy pairing for a 1960s movie that I have not heard of.
    (I know this sounds horribly arrogant :-) )

    There is not much on imdb about this movie – anybody seen it or knows anything about it ?
    Considering Greta is great at unearthing unheard-of movies ;-), here’s an opportunity for her. :-)

  23. I will take that as a challenge (I never heard of it either) and run with it :-) And I will also look for other films suggested here I haven’t seen yet!

  24. In the meantime I have checked earthmusic.net and find 6 songs of this movie.
    Shankar-Jaikishen’s music, Shailendra/Hasrat’s lyrics.
    Does not get much heavier than this.

    And none of these songs gives me any recall at all.
    Either the words “trace” and “sink” (and not in this order) can be applied to this movie or else
    I am truly humbled today.

    Would still be happy to hear about this movie from anybody.

  25. And I have just found a couple of songs on youtube.
    Had never heard these before.

    Listen to this lovely song by Mohd Rafi.

    Need to get Atul on the case too. ;-)

  26. if you want to discuss unheard of songs from unheard of movies, then Sherlock atul is here. I have two songs from this movie called “Mahal” 91969) in my blog.

  27. One of my favourites along with Vjyayanthimala, Waheeda Rehman, Nanda and Saira Banu. I’ve not read all the comments yet. By the way,in her movie Jab pyar Kisise Hota hai, the very first scene has been cut by EVERY dvd transposer. I found the song on youtube once-Bin dekhe aur bin pehchchaane,tum par hum kurbaan. Saajan-of which you’ve shown two pix- was laughable comedy in the beginning. I need to get these movies on dvd-the ones you write about, as I ‘ve seen many of them on VHS long ago.

  28. I am a huge fan of Asha Parekh. To explain some things, “Kahin Aur chal” (1968) supposedly flopped (even though it had Asha & Dev Anand, and directed by Vijay Anand) which is why it’s so hard to find. Asha herself hasn’t talked about it. It’s not that she kept mum on films that flopped. In fact, she always claimed that “Chirag” (1969) and “Pagla Kahin Ka” (1970) are two of her favorite films, even though neither film was a hit.
    In her personal life, she was very keen on marriage in her younger days, but she gave conflicting reasons why it didn’t happen. But she did have a longtime boyfriend (most likely her frequent director Nasir Husain)

    • Yes, but there is a HUGE number of flop films on DVD :-) Why not Kahin Aur Chal too? Makes no sense.

      • I found about what happened with “Kahin Aur chal.” Supposedly, there is a Marathi biography on director Vijay Anand titled “Ek Hota Goldie” by Anita Padhye, and on this website (http://peperonity.com/go/sites/mview/shankar-jaikishan/19946488), somebody did a “excerpted, verbatim & free flowing translation.”
        Here’s the translation about the film: “The hero is working as an engine driver and the heroine looks forward to the time when his train would reach the station for two minutes everyday. That was the film situation. More than half the film was completed. Just about 20 days of shooting was yet to be done. But Tolaram Jalan was not paying anybody. Jal Mistry was a fine gentleman and a great cameraman and because he was producing the film everyone was co-operating with him. But no one wanted to work free because they knew Tolaram Jalan was financing the film.

        Tolaram Jalan wanted to produce a flop film to adjust his income tax dues. That is why he was not keen to complete the film and make it a success. When people associated with the film got a sense of this – they all started demanding money.

        One day, Shankar met Goldie and told him “Goldieji, we have recorded four songs for you and we have not even asked you for money.”

        Goldie said “Yes, you must get paid – please ask Tolaram Jalan for the money.”

        Even Asha Parekh complained to Goldie that Jalan had not paid her. In fact, Goldie himself had not been paid.

        Often shooting used to be cancelled due to lack of finance. Tolaram Jalan had signed a contract with Jal Mistry
        that all the rights of the film would be with Jalan himself. Goldie had completed the editing of some sequences and two songs. In fact, he was happy with the way the film was shaping up. But Tolaram Jalan did not want to spend any more money and he stopped asking all artistes for dates. Had Tolaram Jalan taken Goldie into confidence, he would have persuaded all the artistes and completed the film. But Jalan Tolaram had different ideas and he did not bother. After some days, Tolaram Jalan used duplicates as actors and somehow completed the film, got it dubbed by dubbng artistes, and released the film for a single matinee show in a theatre. After that he withdrew the film and that was the end of it! When Goldie got to know this, he was pained. This film was a very troublesome and sad experience for him.”

        • Wow…what background behind a seemingly innocent question to know more about this movie. Thanks a lot, Babu, for providing this background.

          No wonder the movie disappeared without a trace and hardly anybody has even heard of it. There is NO way a Goldie Anand movie with Dev Anand and Asha Parekh (and with Shankar-Jaikishen as MDs) would otherwise go unnoticed.

          What a loss !!! Jalan probably intentionally signed up big names to make his loss as big as he needed to for income-tax purposes.

          This sad story could itself be the story of a movie.

        • Thank you for this! What a sad waste of talent though :(

          Oh movie industry, how fickle are your fortunes! ;-)

  29. Not all flops make it to DVD. I waited for another of Asha’s flops to make it to DVD for many years. I finally saw it. It’s called “Rakhi Aur Hathkadi” (1972) and it was the only time Asha played a double role. She played the mother & daughter roles. In the mother role, Sudhir was her husband. In the daughter role, Vijay Arora played her love interest. (The age difference between them was glaring, but they played off each other very well.) It had songs by R.d. Burman. Ashok Kumar, Helen were also in it.

    • Not all of them, but an awful lot of them! I’ve seen Rakhi Aur Hathkadi but it didn’t appeal to me for some reason, even with Asha and Sudhir…but maybe since Helen and Dadamoni are there I should get it. Did you like it?

  30. It definitely had a curio factor to it. Two Ashas in one film is better than no Asha. kabir Bedi (one of your favorites) plays her son in a sort-of-a-guest role. On another topic for Asha, since you have friends who have the old issues of filmfare, filmindia, screen, do you think you can get hold of those that have Asha in them? I always wondered what she was really like off-screen in her younger days.
    I was able to find this one photo with her mother at someone’s wedding. Sadhana & Saira Banu were also at the wedding in different photos. Here’s the link:

    http://papaajoba.blogspot.com/2007_10_01_archive.html

  31. Yes! She’s got moxie and brains; she’s no simpering chickie.

  32. I was thinking that i am the only great fan of Asha Ji, but today read your blog and come to know you are there.

    really, she is very fascinating and charming till now, and very polite too, when i call her she talked very beautifully about me and my family and advice me something worthy.

    I love her.

  33. She does seem like someone who would be fascinating and fun to sit and talk with…glad you have had the opportunity :-)

  34. Aww, this is such a sweet tribute :-D Among her offscreen accomplishments, you can count the Asha Parekh Hospital. I adore her in that ‘O Mere Sona Re’ song. Ahh, to be wooed like that ;-D

  35. are you having the photographs of life time achievement award she has got recently with dharmendra. if yes please post it in your blog. it is not available on net.

  36. she is veryAsha Parekh is one of beautiful actress of bollywood and she is great actress and very fascinating and charming actress till now. She has acted three with Super Star Rajesh Khanna in three movies only (Baharon Ke Sapne – 1968), (Kati Patang – 1971) and Aan Milo Sajana (1971). All movies with Super Star Rajesh Khanna were super hit.

    • Baharon Ke Sapne (1967) was a flop. I remember reading somewhere that this year Asha Parekh and Meena Kumari had kind of swapped roles. Meena Kumari played a glamour girl in Chandan Ka Palna (1967) and Asha played a deglamorised role in this movie. Both of them flopped.

  37. Asha Parekh has just won another award for dancing and acting.

    http://indiatoday.intoday.in/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=59768&sectionid=67&secid=135&Itemid=1&issueid=121

    Congratulations dear Asha Parekh :-)

  38. Her birthday is very near. Do you have any plan to celebrate it in the own way of asha’s fan? and tell me how i can post some recent photographs of our cute deity.

  39. In 2004, Asha was in a Hindi TV version of “This is your Life” type show. Host Farooq Shaikh talks to Asha about her life, and several people like Shammi Kapoor, Biswajit, the late director Pramod Chakrovorthy, etc. talk about her. There are also many childhood photos of Asha. The show doesn’t have English subtitles, but they speak some English so you will get the gist of what they are saying. Here’s the link:

    http://www.rajshri.com/preview.aspx?cntid=26509

  40. plz can any onee update sadhan’s pictur…

  41. sadhana’s now a days picture…she iz rearly seen………

  42. Silver Jubilee Asha was a qualified dancer and excelled in it. She will be remembered as one of the most finest dancers from Hindi cinema alongside, Padmini, Vyjayanthimala, Ragini, Rajhsree and Waheeda Rehman.

  43. There is authentic evidence that Asha Parekh is undoubtedly the most

    adorable and engaging actress on the screen -now and then. Examine her superb performance with the bestactors.. and you’ll realize the gift she gave us here in the North and South America….. We profoundly size up and evaluate.. Ain’t none will come to her class

    Would have loved to see her progeny.. another little starlet in the foot prints of her marvellous angel of class

  44. AP is not my favorite. she lacks acting abilities. mumu ( mumtaz ) is better. also meena kumari and mala sinha are too good. sharmila in order to get into the competition with AP had to go in bikini in evening in paris . such was the fame of AP. no actress could dismiss her. but somehow she is not the one for me as far as her movies go. she just lacks that sparkle. same goes for hema malini. i dunno how AP and HM became the legends that they are.

  45. does anyone know what film the 10th photo is from?

  46. thanks so much : )

  47. I found this link which has Asha talking about her leading men. Unfortunately, it makes a reference to a full article in filmfare magazine from May 2010, which I don’t have. It would be great if someone can post the full article.

    http://www.filmfare.com/articles/asha-parekh-league-of-gentlemen-918.html

  48. MANY THANKS MEMSAAB. WHAT A LOVELY ARTICLE ON MY FAVOURITE ACTRESS — ASHA PAREKH JI. WHAT A LOVELY PERFORMER–I JUST LOVED HER ACTING–SHE IS INIMITABLE

  49. My introduction to Asha P. was with some of her later films and I just couldn’t understand why such an old person is cast as a young girl. Then I get to see the films in her prime.

    She is all the things you wrote Memsaab. She has a kind of fragility and strength; a contrast that is always interesting. Also, I think of her as a true ‘lady’. I just could never imagine her, even in her fiercer, bratty roles, not having that elegance.

    My favorite part of watching her is her arms. I wished a lot of times if I only had arms like that. (yes, I am weird like that)

    • Actually that isn’t weird at all, at least to me! I have often wished I could have her figure from the waist up! :D She is very elegant and very much a lady and has aged so very gracefully as well. I just LOVE HER.

  50. Memsaab, I come to your blog whenever I’m sad, bored, in need of a good read, and you never fail to set it right, so thank you for the music, as they say. I read this post on Asha P for the first time today, and wanted to ask everyone whether it’s true she has had diabetes since she was 12. It still is one of my mom’s fave film stories :)

  51. asha parekh had something…..plain natural femanine beauty which is missing in many actresses today,
    even today… 30 years later when I see some of her moviies with manoj kumar—like upkar,do badan ; i think they looked one of the best looking romantic couples ever on the indian screen..
    she just has that magnetism,,,,,,,,,,even today……that you want to know her ………..and wish I had met her when she was 16……..and !!! you lucky late nasir hussein

  52. Yessss! My favourite hell-raiser too! Her starring with Shammi Kapoor meant the movie was a must-see.
    She went on to direct a TV serial, `Jyoti’ in the ’90s. One fine morning, the person who compiled the TV page for this evening newspaper I worked for then, thrust a tel. no. under my nose and said, call Asha Parekh for me, will you and ask her for the synopsis of the show to be aired (requirement for TV page). I was scared and nervous. But then I thought aji aisa mauka phir kahaan milega and took a deep breath and spoke with her. She gave me the information I wanted very willingly (it was about widow empowerment) and I had to really act professional and refrain from gushing about how I was a fan of hers.

  53. Asha Parekh is the greatest! I love her ability to play such a divergent group of characters — from a loud tomboy (Ziddi, Nadaan) to a angelic Bharat woman in glorious saris (Upkar) to a weeping bhabhi curled up on the floor. (Kaalia) She has the most lovely Saris also — Kati Patang, Aan Milo Sajna, etc.. and a beautiful voice.

  54. Though my all time favorite actress is Nutan (mostly because of Bandini and Sujata – and some of her light roles, like Tere Ghar ke Samne), I just love Asha Parekh!!! I love the fiesty characters she played. She was rarely a “poor thing”. She had a lot of personality and she looked like she could really have fun!! She was also very graceful – a trained dancer. With her in the movie, many times for me it became her movie rather than the hero’s movie (except of course with Shammi Kapoor :-)) – which is VERY RARE for Hindi movies… I think she looked good with Rajesh Khanna and Dharmendra – but she looked BEST with Shammi Kapoor! (But then I am biased…)

  55. Happy Birthday! Aashaji! Love you! :P

  56. Memsaab, thanks for your film reviews.

    As far as Asha Parekh, I’d like
    to know what you think of her look and clothes in the song “Likhe Jo Khat
    Tujhe” (=Those letters of mine to you…) in the film “Kanyadaan” (=the ceremony of
    the giving-away of a daughter at her marriage). By the way, this song shows
    Shashi Kapoor at his handsomest, I feel, along with him in the song “Pardesiyon se na ankhiyan milana”
    (= don’t meet your eyes with someone from far away ['foreighner']) from the film
    “Jab jab phool khile” (=whenever flowers bloom) that he was
    more handsome than his brother Shammi, in his prime. What do you think?

  57. The songs of movies of Asha Parekh – ‘O mere shah-e-khuban’ &’Aja re aa zaraa’ from Love in Tokyo, ‘Yeh Shaam mastani’, ‘Pyar Diwana Hota Hai’ & ‘Jis Gali mein tera ghar’ from Kati Patang and even in the male version ‘Zindagi Kitni Khubsoorat Hai’ of Bin Badal Barsaat – these songs have one common factor that though these are male numbers – camera focused on Ashaji to highlight her expressions throughout the song and she did rightly total justice it with her inimitable brilliant eloquence through her eyes, lips and body movements with elan. it was so truly penned by late Shakeel Badayuni -”Husnawale tera jawab nahin’.

  58. Everybody has forgotten the completed but unreleased film SWEETHEART starring shashi kapoor and asha parekh.this must at least have a dvd release.Aslo her film Akhri Mujra with Vikram in the 80′s ,aslo a good film.If u guys could contact Ashaji,she shold be able to talk to video companys like sheamroo,moserbaer to release sweetheart and Kahin aur chal on dvd

  59. Kahin Aur Chal starring Dev Anand and Asha Parekh was never released cause producer just wanted to show that the film got shelved and he incurred losses. The film was infact made by that producer only to fool income tax department in 1968. People like Vijay Anand,Dev and Asha Parekh were sincerely working on the film but theproducer was adamant of never releasing the film. This has been mentioned in Dev’s autobiography. There is no viedo tape either and film was never finished fully.

  60. Interesting to know that she stayed unmarried – her character in Prem Vivaah (1979) is of a woman past her prime who never found anyone good enough to marry. Interesting film, and brings out most of the charming attributes of Asha that you’ve mentioned here, while letting her gracefully play her own age. Though Bindiya Goswami seems to have the author-backed role, Asha plays a strong character which is very unusual for women, not just for a ’79 Indian movie, but for any film in any country even today. Do watch the film if you haven’t already.

  61. even i find asha parekh one of the best actresses in indian cinema….what pleased me most about her acting was she portrayed the good girl without being the “abla naari” which most of her contemporary actors succumbed to.she was a very stylish actress.i read somewhere from manoj kumar’s interview that he respected her for the love she had for her parents and the amount of sacrifice she has done for them.i have enjoyed almost all her movies even if they are not good.she keeps me glued to my seat..:)

  62. just saw DO BADAN– —–what a performance by Asha-ji————one bit of trivia…….with the recent death of Joy Mukerji, it gives Asha Parekh the “dubious distinction” of being, perhaps, the actress most “widowed” by her past co-stars.starting with
    Guru Dutt (Bharosa)/////////////
    Shammi Kapoor (Tessri Manzil, Dil Deke Dekho, Pagla)/////////
    Dev Anand (Jab Pyar)/////////////
    Rajendra(Gharana)////////////////
    Navin(Nadaan)/////////////
    Joy Mujherji(Phiw Wohi.)///////////
    Sunil Dutt(Chirag)///////////////
    Sanjeev(Shikar)/////////

    and retirees, too
    Rajesh Khanna(Kati Patang)////////
    Dharmendra(Aaya Saawan)/////////
    Biswajit(
    Shashi Kapoor(
    Jeeetendra(

  63. try to get her completed but unrelased film on dvd vcd -SWEETHEART with Shashi kapoor

  64. i read Kahin Aur Chal was released for 1 show in the cinema-did read about that-so great fan of Ashaji contact her-maybe she would have contacts and get her unreleased films released on dvd-there is one with raj kapoor too-chor mandali-not sure

  65. She was considered lucky for many heroes in her time.

  66. Oct. 2, 2012 is Asha’s 70th birthday, and she’s having a big bash with music (not from her films though, because she thought it would be vain), dancing, and lots of guests like Amitabh Bachchan’s family, Sadhana, Waheeda Rehman, Nanda, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, etc. She’s celebrating it a day earlier on Oct. 1 though, because her birthday is on the same day as Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, and people don’t drink alcohol on his birthday. Asha wants her guests to drink and have fun on her birthday, so she’s having the bash a day earlier.

  67. After sad, sad news over the past year of the old beloveds slipping away, did the heart good to see the pics of Asha P’s 70th birthday celebrations at the good old Sun n’ Sand. She looked lovely as did Waheeda, Shammi, Helen and the rest. Enjoy :-)

    http://ibnlive.in.com/photogallery/7554-1.html

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/bollywood/news-interviews/I-am-fortunes-favourite-Asha-Parekh/articleshow/16650115.cms

    • IF ONLY WE’D BEEN THERE TOO :(

      Thanks for the links, they are lovely lovely lovely. It’s so nice to see how gorgeous women who age gracefully are (especially after suffering through Katrina Kaif’s grotesquely swollen lips in Ek Tha Tiger this weekend)…

      • “…..(especially after suffering through Katrina Kaif’s grotesquely swollen lips in Ek Tha Tiger this weekend)…”

        Heh heh! Did you like the film?

        And coming back to Asha P, have you seen ‘Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai’ with her and Dev? Would love your inimitable :-) review of it.

        • I LOVED Ek Tha Tiger :) Not sure I will write it up since it’s already been covered extensively, but it was just what the doctor ordered for a cold, rainy Sunday afternoon :)

          I have seen Jab Pyar…several times, but not in a while. I should rewatch it and write it up!!!

  68. Asha parekh is still my fav. heroine. unfortunately we can’t see her with dilip kumar and amitabh bachan. As she herself said in an interview that she was paired with dilip kumar for three times but it could not happen. even in 1967 nasir hussain want to cast dilip kumar and asha parekh in film called zabardast but it won’t happen. i don’t understand why asha parekh refuses such films like kashmir ki kali, aradhana, sita aur geeta, yadon ki barat, sharafat, choti bahu………… all hit films and she refuses for some reason. and she retires so early in 1973 when she had hits like samadhi and heera in 72 and 73.

    • I think in 1973 she came over here to do some dancing…she’d been working since the 50s, and it’s a pretty grueling profession especially for a woman I think. She probably needed a break!

      • It was customary for actresses who hit the age of 30 either to retire completely or take character roles as mother or bhabhi. Male writers, directors and producers didn’t know how to write leading roles for actresses past the age of 30 (“Mother India” (1956) not withstanding). I love Asha Parekh, and she was aging beautifully, but in some of the closeups, she didn’t exactly look like a college student, even though “Rakhi Aur Hathkadi” (1972) called her to be one.

  69. Hello Memsaab!
    Landed on your blog after a long time yesterday .. and enjoyed the new articles .. thanks! :)
    Incidentally, watched the video of ye kisne geet chheda today … and found a peculiar thing …
    The video’s here – http://youtu.be/kipauKNvdEs
    Something happens between 3:34 and 3:37 – Asha seems to be checking whether her make-up/hair is in place … and after this point she seems flustered – a stark contrast to her cheerful presence in the earlier part of the song …
    And is it just me or do you also see in the close-up shots hereon that she’s suppressing another emotion – and finding it difficult emoting with the song …
    You might’ve noticed this before …
    In case you happen to meet her or talk to her, would be interesting to find out what happened!
    Cheers!
    Amarendra

  70. i entirely agree…she’s one of the most talented and beautiful actrees i’ve ever seen….and not to forget Joy Mukherji and Asha Parekh Jodi which gave us hits like Ziddi, Love in Tokyo and Phir wohi dil laya hoon….They both combined have the midas touch and Joy-Mohd. Rafi hits still linger in our hearts….

    • Oh Count me in! Love her, she effortlessly gave top notch performances in all her movies. And who can forget her ability to sizzle with each of her co stars be it Shammi Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna, Dharmendra or Manoj Kumar.

      • yes, asha-rajesh too gave us hits like aan milo sajna and kati patang….many more….:) she enters and we sometimes forget who her co-star is…such was her impression on our minds…Missing you Ashaji….Pls make a comeback with new generations too……

  71. I didn’t really get the appeal of Asha at all, and then I saw “Caravan” recently (and the song “Dayia Re Main” of course). Now I am hooked, and must find more :) I don’t know where I read it (maybe Filmi Geek) but somebody made the point that she has an excellent gift for physical comedy. And it is a gift, not a right. I actually enjoy seeing her just being silly and ridiculous. . . and I can’t really say that about everyone.

  72. Vijay Anand – Biography – IMDb
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0025629/bio
    After three hit films in a row (Guide, Teesri Manzil, Jewel Thief), Vijay Anand experienced his first flop. Initially, “Kahin Aurchal” (1968) had the makings of a hit, as it starred Dev Anand and ‘Asha Parekh’, who were both top box office draws in 1968, along with music composers Shanker-Jaikishen. But the film’s financier Tolaram Jalan wanted a flop film to adjust his income taxes, and so he took the film from Vijay Anand and released it in a single matinée show and then pulled it. This experience pained the filmmaker, especially since the film never resurfaced again. He bounced back with “Johnny Mera Naam” (1970), which grabbed the top stop at the box office in 1970.

    GREED FOR MONEY DESTROYED A GREAT FILM ??.SHAME.

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