Many of us remember Parveen Babi as the gorgeous veteran actress who graced the big screen in many iconic blockbusters like Deewar, Amar Akbar Anthony and Namak Halaal. The former screen siren was tragically found dead at her apartment in Juhu (Mumbai) on January 22nd, 2005.
Reports stated that the actress, who was once very popular, didn’t have anyone who came forward to help her when she was on her last breath. Medical reports also stated that Parveen lay in bed for hours in pain and was physically weak and unable to seek help even in the last few hours that she lived. Shocking! Why didn’t anyone come to the aid of the once iconic star?
Parveen Babi in Delhi during October 1978, shooting for B.R Chopra's film, Burning Train with Dharmendra
The actress, who was also the first to be featured on the Times magazine had been completely forgotten by the industry. Things for Parveen started taking a downward turn when she decided to leave Bollywood and her then boyfriend, Mahesh Bhatt. She went on to be with her guru, UG Krishmanurthy in the US, after which she slowly started deteriorating towards paranoia and schizophrenia, even though he might have not realised it then.
She however, pulled herself together and returned a year later (1979), to act in a few films, most of which like, Burning Train and Namak Halal, turned out to be super hits. Even though her career was now looking upwards, she started sinking mentally with some people reporting her paranoia breakdowns on sets.
She soon left again to be back with her guru, to return only after 6 years. Her secretary’s son once spoke about how Parveen had to hold up a sign with her name at the airport, so she could be recognised, because of the amount of weight she had put on. Such was her state upon returning.
After coming back, she chose to shut herself off from the world and steadily started declining towards isolation and paranoia, screaming for help every once in a while. The only attention she got were articles written on her sorry state, with no one actually coming forward to help.
Parveen Babi with Dharmendra
Two incidents the happened in quick succession, gathered a lot of attention towards Parveen. One was when she logged a complaint against a gang of 'Indian and Hollywood actors' trying to murder her and the other was in the form of an affidavit stating that she had information about the 1993 Bomb Blast case. These incident raised red flags, but no one sensed the trouble she was in.
Shooting for Burning Train
Being a successful actress at one point, she didn’t require any financial help, but just seeked emotional support, that Bollywood denied giving her! The star who was once highly valued in the industry died a lonely death, on her wheelchair, with almost no one from the industry coming forward for her funeral. The only three who attended were the 3 men in her life, who loved her dearly, Kabir Bedi, Mahesh Bhatt and Danny Dengzongpa. Besides that, what followed after her death, were relatives, coming forward to claim her wealth. Tragic!
Below is the last interview she ever recorded, and also the last time anyone ever saw Parveen Babi!
Pictures by: NK Sareen