Friday, April 4, 2008

Parveen Babi - The Film Star from Junagadh

Parveen Babi - The Film Star from Junagadh(Saurashtra)

A great Film Star from Junagadh, Born 59 years ago in Junagadh, Gujarat, and Parveen Babi was a special child.

The only child of her parents, born to them 14 years after their marriage. Her father Vali Mohammed Babi, used to be an administrator with the Nawab of Junagadh. This pretty college girl caught the eye of filmmaker B R Ishara while studying at St. Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad. He gave her first break in Charitra (1973) opposite cricketer-turned-actor Salim Durrani. Though the film flopped, Parveen had registered her presence. She landed Majboor opposite Amitabh Bachchan on the strength of it.

Parveen changed the cinematic syntax of the holier-than-thou Indian heroine. Smoking, clubbing, donning western costumes, she lent glamour to all her roles. She broke several social convetions and tabboos. She was the first Indian heroine to be featured on the cover of TIME magazine for her beauty, charm and success.

She was often considered to be Zeenat Aman’s rival owing to their sex-symbol tag. In fact, she acted alongside Aman in Ashanti (1982) and Mahaan (1983).

Even in hero-centric films like Deewar (1975), Shaan (1980) and Namak Halaal (1982), she made her presence felt with her serene aloofness. She even stole the thunder from her co-star Hema Malini in Manoj Kumar’s Kranti(1981). Parveen also starred in offbeat films like Vinod Pandey’s Yeh Nazdeekiyan(1982) and Hrishikesh Mukherji’s Rang Birangi(1983).

Her success ran into heavy weather in the mid-'80s following her mental illness. She left the film industry to move to New York where she became associated with the spiritual guru U. G. Krishnamurti. She returned to Mumbai in 1992 when she was unrecognizable as she had put on lots of kilos. She tried to switch over to interior designing without any success.

She died a recluse in her Juhu penthouse apartment after her housing society secretary complained to the police that she had not collected milk and newspapers from her doorstep for two days.

Parveen rests in peace buried next to her mother at Santa Cruz , Mumbai. But whenever the strains of Raat baaqi and Jawaan jaaneman are played in discotheques, the ethereal image of a gyrating Parveen rises before your eyes.

Its really great pleasure for Historical Junagadh & also people from Junagadh.

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