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Book on Parveen Babi to chronicle person behind ‘myth and gossip’

The book traces the journey of Parveen, a shy, ambitious girl from an aristocratic family in Junagadh, Gujarat, to a life of merciless scrutiny that came with being in the spotlight.

By: PTI | Mumbai |
August 21, 2020 12:06:25 pm
parveen babi, parveen babi book, parveen babi new book, parveen babi new book, new book on parveen babi, indian express, indian express newsThe author hopes the book will rescue the late actor from clutches of gossip. (Source: Express Archive)

A book on yesteryear star Parveen Babi, which aims to shed light on her professional highs and lows, battle with mental health and unknown facets of her personal life, has hit the shelves. Titled Parveen Babi: A Life the biography, penned by journalist Karishma Upadhyay and published by Hachette India, released on Friday.

The book traces the journey of Parveen, a shy, ambitious girl from an aristocratic family in Junagadh, Gujarat, to a life of merciless scrutiny that came with being in the spotlight. “Exploring with depth and sensitivity the myriad facets of the actress’s life, Karishma lays bare little-known details about Parveen’s doomed romances… Her obsession with the spiritual guide who advised her to quit films, the tumultuous years of battling mental illness and her tragic, untimely demise,” a statement from the publishing house read.

In a career of 15 years, the actor came to be known for breaking stereotypes with her film choices and off-screen persona.
Parveen was one of the biggest stars of the 70s, featuring in films like Deewaar, Shaan, Kaalia and Amar Akbar Anthony. She died in 2005. Karishma said when she was offered to write the book three years ago, she was most intrigued by Parveen’s rollercoaster career.

“The thing that most fascinated me was the fact that she quit the industry twice at the peak of her career. And each time that she returned, she made it back to the top of the pile. Then, there was her battle with mental illness. “Even today there is so much stigma attached to mental health issues. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like for her to deal with her mind slowly unravelling, leave aside the added pressures of being in the limelight,” the author told PTI. Parveen Babi: A Life examines the actor’s life through people who have been close to her, including friends and industry colleagues, like actors Hema Malini and Manoj Kumar.

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“I’ve also spoken to those with whom she was romantically involved Danny Denzongpa, Kabir Bedi and Mahesh Bhatt. I was very conscious of the fact that every story has two sides and Parveen isn’t here to tell hers, so every story and facts mentioned in the book have been double and tripled checked with different people from her life. “I have also relied on a decade-plus worth of her interviews to stay as true to her story as I could. I am hoping this book rescues Parveen’s legacy from the bondage of myth and gossip,” Karishma added.

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