By Akanksha Gupta Last Updated:
At the age of 10, a little girl had made her debut in the Bollywood industry as a child artist with the movie, Maa in 1952 and seven years later, she rose to fame with the first film as a female lead in Dil Deke Dekho opposite Shammi Kapoor. Beginning her journey as a child artist then being a film’s lead heroine and the mother of the male lead, Asha Parekh has aged gracefully and parallel with her roles in the movies. Over the years, she has never shied away from addressing her love for her director, mentor and producer, Nasir Hussain and her decision to stay single throughout life.
Asha Parekh was considered as a lucky mascot, and though she has worked with a lot of actors, her favourite co-star was Shammi Kapoor. In an interview with the Indian Express, Asha had revealed that she was timid to face the camera and in the first few shots with her first co-star, Shammi, she was very nervous. She praised him for being very patient with me and guided me in every shot. It was Shammi, who had taught her how to lip sync and emote in the songs.
In her old interview with The Times of India, Asha Parekh spoke about the time when she had faced depression, why she couldn’t adopt the child she had wanted to, and her decision to stay single and addressed the rumours of her marriage with Shammi Kapoor. When she was asked, “There was gossip about you was that media got you married to Shammi Kapoor?”
Asha Parekh retorted,
“Luckily that gossip fizzled out quickly and it came at a time when Shammi was seeing someone else.”
Asha Parekh spoke about the vacuum in her life and how she had realised back in 2003 that she was not suffering from depression but plain loneliness. She said,
“I was the only child of my parents and after the death of my mother, father and aunt, suddenly I was all alone. There was a total vacuum in my life. I used to sit all alone during evenings and slowly depression started seeping in. I used to cry a lot and I didn’t know what was happening to me. Then it suddenly hit me that it was not depression but plain loneliness in the absence of my near and dear ones. It was in 2003 after I lost my father. At that point of time I had no clue what I should do and often felt that ke abhi mar jana chahiye.”
Though marriage was not Asha Parekh’s cup of tea, being a parent was. And while she loved children, she regrets not being able to adopt one. Asha said,
“It was not destined. It’s not that my mother didn’t want me to get married. The two proposals that came for me, both had divorced their wives socho mera kya hota (laughs). I am very happy as I am. I am happy that I don’t have children. I did want to adopt and I also saw one little fellow and I loved him so much. I wanted to adopt him but the doctor said that I cannot adopt the kid who was just year and a half as he had some health issues. Then my mother fell sick and then it was the turn of my father, sab nikal liye.”
For the uninitiated, Asha Parekh had said in an interview with Deccan Herald that she used to call Shammi Kapoor and his wife, Neila Devi chacha and chachi. She called her movie with Shammi, Teesri Manzil, an iconic film. Asha had revealed that she had never seen Shammi depressed except when his wife, Geeta Bali suddenly passed away. It had left him shattered. She had reminisced that with her, he was ‘caring, protective and guardian like.