Yesteryears’ jubilee actress Asha Parekh had a lot to be jubilant over when on October 1 she brought in her birthday at the Sun ‘n’ Sand at a fun party that certainly belied her 70 years, as it went on till the wee hours when the ‘Oh mere sona re’ actress finally turned 70. (See photos)
The party, says an invitee, saw one of the most impressive turn-outs in recent times. “There was a very humbling mix of the veterans like Manoj Kumar, Prem Chopra and Aruna Irani and the young brigade. Imran Khan and Kanga Ranaut were spotted having a good time.” Among the first to arrive were Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan who were seen chatting amicably with the hostess. Jaya who is very close to Asha Parekh’s best-friend Shammi Aunty, was seen in animated conversation with the senior actress.
Shabana Azmi walked in a little later, followed by niece Tabu, the latter making a rare public appearance. Juhi Chawla also showed up. She too seemed determined to enjoy herself. No one left in a hurry.
The real surprise of the evening, and the one that warmed the cackles of Asha Parekh’s heart, was the appearance of the entire family of Nasir Hussain to share this joyous moment in the actress’ life.
Representing the late Nasir Hussain at the bash on Monday evening were the late filmmaker’s son Mansoor Ali Khan (making a rare appearance in Mumbai) and daughter Nuzhat Khan. Imran Khan who is Nuzhat’s son was also present. Nasir Hussain’s brother the late Tahir Hussain’s widow was also there to wish the birthday girl,” says one of the guests. (See photos)
Aamir Khan (who is Tahir Hussain’s son) sent his ‘Asha Aunty’ his birthday wishes from Chicago and expressed regret at his inability to be there on this joyous occasion.
Barely able to control her joy Ashaji said, “Many of my co-stars and directors are no more. But their family was there to share my happiness. Nasir Saab’s children, Tahir Saab’s wife, and my other directors’ family was also there. I felt a lump in my throat. But I quickly swallowed it down with a glass of wine.”
The late Pramod Chakravarty, in whose blockbuster Love In Tokyo and Ziddi, Asha Parekh played the lead, was represented at the bash by his widow, and the late Shakti Samanta, director of Asha Parekh’s Pagla Kahin Kaa and Kati Patang, was represented by his son Asim Samanta.
And if you saw Jackie Shroff giving lovelorn looks at the birthday girl it was because Jackie is a diehard Asha Parekh fan.
Laughs Ashaji, “Jackie keeps telling everyone he has had a crush on me since his teens. But he never told me that. I was happy he could make it to my party.”
Also making a rare appearance was Asha Bhosle who not only came for the party, but stayed on and had herself a ball.
Interestingly the two Ashas (Parekh and Bhosle) share a hugely rewarding on-screen relationship. Asha Bhosle has sung most of Asha Parekh’s biggest hits.
“That’s because Ashtai sang extensively for O. P. Nayyar and R. D. Burman who gave music in most of Nasir Hussain Saab’s films and I was lucky to be in many of these films,” says Asha Parekh appreciatively. “Come to think of it, I’ve led a charmed life. To see so many of my colleagues and juniors from the entertainment industry make the time to share my birthday, made me feel very fortunate. I think I am fortune’s favourite.”