Parveen Babi’s death was a highly publicized scandal of sorts where she died on 20th January 2005 and even now the mystery around it still exists that was her a death a suicide or a murder conspiracy and with yesterday being her birth anniversary, in an old interview with a leading digital entertainment portal, Amitabh Bachchan said i did maximum films with Parveen Babi.
As far as the bollywood cinema and industry was concerned she was really dead after being declared as schizophrenic and in her last years people barely saw her appearances except her final appearance as a guest on Shekhar Suman’s talk show titled Shekhar Suman that took place at her home in which she was totally normal except when she started speaking about Big B. On special occasion of her birth anniversary yesterday, in his earlier conversational interview, Amitabh Bachchan says i did maximum films with Parveen Babi.
After reaching the pinnacle by the films she did with Big B which include Amar Akbar Anthony, Do Aur Do Paanch, Namak Halaal, Shaan and Khuddar, this is not wrong to say that she embodied and personified the bohemian leading lady on silver screens and her versatility was seen with films like Deewaar and Arpan. We all saw how effortlessly she played a working woman in Deewaar and easily switched her character to that of a sari clad woman opposite Jeetendra in J Om Prakash’s Arpan.
In an old interview, speaking about how after 70’s, she began losing her mind due to pressure of B town, media mogul Pritish Nandy shared, “Yes, she did begin to crack up. She couldn’t take the pressures of being naked before the camera. I think Parveen was very uncomfortable with the idea of exposing her feelings. The exhibitionism required to perform in front of a camera tormented her. She quietly and quickly withdrew from the rat race, to the extent that no one could keep track of her”.
When quizzed about why industry chose to abandon this beautiful actress by leaving her alone, on this Pritish Nandy responded, “She chose to be that way. Her final affair with a particular actor finished her self-confidence. She cracked up after that”.
Sharing details on how she was affected by the sensational film that noted film maker Mahesh Bhatt made based on his affair with late actress Parveen Babi, Pritish Nandy told, “Yes, I suppose the film affected her, as did the men in her life. She was wonderful company, very articulate, a terrific conversationalist, extremely well-read. In fact, she had begun to write her memoirs, which she never completed. I had published portions of her intended memoirs in The Illustrated Weekly Of India when I edited it. Now, of course, we’ll never know her full story”.
Parveen Babi died a really lonely death mired in her own insecurities and paranoia as she was obsessed with bringing down Amitabh Bachchan and left no stone unturned in maligning him from calling him a spy to labelling him as a terrorist and Big B took all of this in his stride and never spoke ill about her and in her final interview with Shekhar Suman at her home she mocked Amitabh Bachchan by calling him not a star of the millennium since according to her there were Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley who really deserved it and did not consider Big B handsome and she was quoted saying, “Not Mr. Bachchan” to a poker faced Shekhar Suman who listened to her tirade.
When Parveen passed away, that time in his exclusive interview with a veteran bollywood film journalist from a leading digital entertainment portal, he was quoted saying, “Parveen Babi and I worked together in several films like Majboor, Deewaar, Amar Akbar Anthony, Namak Halal, Shaan, Kaalia, Mahaan, Do Aur Do Paanch, and Kala Patthar… In fact, I did the maximum number of films with Parveen after Jaya, followed by Raakhee and Rekha. A lot of these films I had forgotten about until the press reminded me of them after her death. And then I thought, ‘Gosh, so many films with Parveen Babi!”.
He furthermore also said, “Most of my films with Parveen were superbly successful. The audience liked us as a pair. She brought in a new, bohemian kind of leading lady to the screen. We’d work on all these films and go our own way. But because we belonged to the same social circle we’d visit each other, listen to music. She was a very fun loving, light-hearted person. Always full of joie de vivre! She never interfered with anyone’s work. On the sets, you barely knew she was around. She completely minded her own business. What happened to her is really sad. I feel very bad for her. We’d meet socially very often. We all belonged to one big group – Romesh Sharma, Danny Denzongpa, Reena Roy, Smita Patil, Javed Akhtar, Parveen”.
He also added this bit, “When I had my accident, they all would come to see me every single day. It was so nice of them. One never forgets the people who stick close to you at a time of crisis. I used to be very depressed at that point of time. In 1983, I took Parveen out for her first live show, and then suddenly she just disappeared! I don’t really know what happened. It wouldn’t be ethical to talk about her condition. The nature of her illness was such that she was terrified of people; she wanted to be left alone. She deliberately distanced herself from everyone. We felt by associating ourselves with her, we were causing her more grief. Did she make a difference to Hindi cinema? Oh, certainly! She was one of the first Indians to be featured on the cover of Time magazine. She was very meticulous about her career. She had a very efficient management system. Her secretary and managers were very efficient. She lived all on her own, and was very self-dependent. I sincerely feel she was a very genuine, honest and down-to-earth person, very loving and caring. And that’s how I’d like to remember her”.