Parveen Babi- The tragic beauty queen

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Today’s society is obsessed with beauty and thus are always seen seeking ways of looking their best. And why not? With the world full of beauty centric people, having a perfect look is a need. But how far beauty signifies happiness? Or does it really signifies a perfect life? India has a long history of tragic beauty queens such as Madhubala or Viveka Babajee, whose ending some way or the other met the most questionable consequences. Okay, we are not saying that looking beautiful is bad or so, or maintaining yourself is not a good idea, all we are saying is that beauty doesn’t mean everything and even the most beautiful of all can have a life they are unable to deal with. This article is about another beauty queen whose ending wasn’t the one she always dreamed of. Part of the famous glamour set of Bollywood, late actor Parveen Babi, is best remembered today for revolutionizing the image of a Hindi film heroine. Parveen Babi, the diva of 90’s, the national crush and heartbeat of many only lived 56 years. This is not at all short period, but what lacked is that she was dead internally long before.

Here’s her story-

Born into a Muslim family on April 4, 1949, Parveen Babi hails from Junagadh, Gujarat. Being the only child of her parents, Parveen was born fourteen years after her parents’ marriage. She lost her father Vali Mohammed Khan Babi at the age of ten. Parveen Babi’s modelling career began in 1972 and was quickly followed by her film debut with the film Charitra (1973), opposite cricketer Salim Durrani. However the film was complete flop, but Babi managed to gain recognition and that’s where she began her journey. Along with Zeenat Aman, Babi completely altered the way women dressed. The idea of lace dresses, bikini, short skirts, skin tight gowns are all gifts of these two women. If today you appreciate Deepika, Kangana or Anushka, they gotta say thanks to Babi. Coming back to her story, she starred in total eight movies with Amitabh Bachchan, out of all either were hits or super hits. Because she starred alongside the Bachchan at the BigB era give her a powerful status. She also worked with other leading actors of the time such as Dharmendra, Naseeruddin Shah and Feroz Khan, Dharmendra, Rajesh Khanna, Vinod Khanna and Rishi Kapoor. She was at the peak of her career with back to back hits, Babi completely westernized the women’s look which gave her a certain difference between her and other leading actress of the time. She would appear on the front page of every film magazine, whether Filmfare, The Stardust, Bombay Dyeing or even the prestigious Time. She was actually the first Indian women to be covered by Time Magazine. Her songs “Jawaani Jaaneman” and “Raat Baaqi Baat Baaqi”, “Pyaar Karne Waale” and “Maara Thumka” made sensation at the time among the youngsters. And that’s how popularity increased. One day in 1983, she completely disappeared from film industry without informing anyone. She was vanished. Many of her completed movies were released during this time and rumors were spread for her sudden disappearance. Later it was revealed that she was in California, US on her spiritual journey with U. G. Krishnamurti.

In 1980, she was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia- a severe mental condition where people hallucinate and believes about things that aren’t real. It often includes psychotic experiences, such as hearing voices or delusions. It was said that the actress was also depressed about her failed relationships with one humiliating her publicly. Her condition was so severe that she started accusing people of killing her. For the last few years of her life, Babi recorded every phone call and all her daily activities. In an interview she even accused Bacchan of conspired to kill her and tried to murder her. She accused many foreign dignitaries as well including Bill Clinton, Robert Redford, Prince Charles, Al Gore, US government, and British government, French government, BJP government, Roman Catholic Church and many more. It was somewhat during this time only when Parveen met Mahesh Bhatt and their love blossomed.

Her tragic love story:       

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In 1977, when Babi was healing from her failed relationship with Kabir Bedi, Mahesh entered her life. The filmmaker was already married to Kiran Bhatt, but that did not stop him from falling head over heels in love with Parveen. He even left his wife and kid to go on live with Babi. But their story soon took a turn when one day Mahesh entered her room and saw her all dressed up in film gown and makeup. But what shook him was the fact that she was sitting in the corner of her room all crawled up with a kitchen knife in her hand and shivering. When he entered she said nothing but just “close the door”. When top psychiatrist were contacted, she was diagnosed with paranoid Schizophrenia. Her back to back attacks were not ending and doctors suggested her to give electric shocks but Mahesh stood by her and said NO. He did everything he could but her condition didn’t improved anyway. Seeing no aid, he decided to give Parveen her time and moved out. Shortly after, in October 1979, he left Parveen in the care of his friend and came back to Mumbai. He didn’t contacted her for the rest of the time. Finally, in 2005, Parveen was found dead in her apartment out of tragic consequences. With no one to claim her body, Mahesh came up and buried her properly. And that’s how their love story ended.


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