Yesteryears’ screen queen Asha Parekh is the latest to join the growing gallery of Bollywood icons who are subjects of books on their lives. While books on Shatrughan Sinha (written by journalist Bharati S Pradhan), Shammi Kapoor (written by veteran journalist Rauf Ahmed) and Shashi Kapoor (written by US-based critic and journalist Aseem Chabria) have already hit the stands, some of other biographical subjects on the anvil are Kamal Haasan, Rishi Kapoor, Asha Bhosle, Shabana Azmi, Waheeda Rehman and Pran.
The latest Bollywood icon to join the biographic brigade is Asha Parekh whose success ratio in the 1960s and early 70s is rivalled by none of her female colleagues.
Disarmingly unassuming and loathe to tom-tom her achievements, Asha Parekh laughs in embarrassment about her stardom. “Yes, there were many successful films. God was kind. I was labelled the ‘Jubilee Girl’ because of the number of golden and silver jubilees. When a well-known journalist (Khalid Mohamed) expressed keen interest in doing a book on me, I was in two minds. One can’t lie about one’s life in a biography. Neither can the book be only about my work. At the same time I cannot hurt people’s sentiments in telling the truth about myself. There are families involved.”
Ashaji says the biography will take some time. “Writing down my thoughts and experiences is easy. It’s the photographs that are a problem. There are so many of them to go through and select. And each has a bundle of memories attached to it.”