Before he launches legendary actor Asha Parekh’s biography on April 10, superstar Salman Khan has written a foreword to the book which reads like his love letter to an era gone by. A superstar himself, Salman wonders in the book why Asha, a hit mascot, left the glamour world in 1973 and never looked back.
Referring to the 74-year-old actor as the representative of the swinging era of the 1960s and a true all-rounder in the film industry, Salman seems to be missing the time when there were ‘no compromises, no need for self-publicity 24×7, no catering to a single screen or a multiplex audience.’
He mentions how her classic hits like Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai, Teesri Manzil, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Kati Patang and Caravan cannot be remade ever because now the fight is not about how to be true to films but who to cast and who would mint money. He writes, “Happy endings, the kind which were ordained for Ashaji and her heroes are not possible any longer. It all depends on which hero or heroine is marketable when a sequel is launched. Ashaji did not have to face such commercial necessities. What if a Kati Patang 2 was ever conceived? What if Rajesh Khanna or Ashaji were shown to be having differences? What if either of them was substituted by another star? Would the sequel match the romantic appeal of the original?”
In the foreword, he also recalls a story about Asha Parekh, shared by his father Salim Khan. “My dad, Salim Khan, remembers that a film would be snapped up by the distributors and exhibitors if Ashaji was the heroine. Newcomers, as well as the leading music directors of the time, would be inspired to compose some of their best songs for her. She did justice to the songs by performing them with amazing ease, whether the number was purely Indian or westernized in its rhythm.”
By the end of the foreword, he mentions that he or any other Khan in the industry is blessed to have her as a family friend. “All of us Khans have been blessed. Ashaji has been a family friend. We may not see her regularly but we know she is there for us, and we are there for her, just a phone call away. She joins us for our festive celebrations for the Ganpati puja, Christmas and Eid…”
He continues, “‘Achha Toh Hum Chalte Hain…’ went the lyrics of one of her songs. She can never say goodbye really. Because movie stars may come and go but Asha Parekh will remain in our hearts forever.” The biography has been penned by Khalid Mohammad, which will be launched on April 10 by Salman Khan in Mumbai.