Bohemian rhapsody

Himalayan News Service


As far as the film industry was concerned Parveen Babi died a very long time ago after she was reportedly diagnosed schizophrenic. Parveen, who mesmerised thousands of Bollywood fans with her performances in blockbusters like ‘Deewar’, ‘Namak Halal’ and ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ with her trendsetting westernised looks, was found dead at her Juhu residence on January 22. Distinctly overweight, it was difficult to recognise Babi in the last few years of her life. Her neglect by the film industry epitomised the most callous aspect of stardom. Parveen Babi, still in her 40s, died a lonely isolated death.

Parveen Babi’s biggest moment of glory came when she was featured on the cover of Time magazine to represent the new face of Hindi cinema. Then... everything began to go wrong for this defiant and reluctant actress. According to close friends Parveen Babi began to lose her mind.

In the 1970s, Parveen Babi had a tumultuous widely-publicised affair with Mahesh Bhatt. Parveen also remained quite close during her heyday with Kabir Bedi, Marc Jubair and Danny Dengzongpa. Later she was closely involved with Bhatt’s religious guru. In the mid-1970s Bhatt made a sensational film ‘Arth’ based on his affair with Parveen, with Smita Patil playing her role. Parveen Babi was a major star in the 1980s. Running neck-and-neck with Zeenat Aman as the sexy westernised oomph girl, constant exhibitionism of her feelings before the camera took its toll on her mind. She instead withdrew from the limelight and then from life.