Everyone told me that she was moody, but for some reason I always found my interactions with her very interesting, even though most of it was over trivial matters. Like this one for example.
Zeenat Aman was a sex symbol in the heydays of my grandfather. But when I first spoke to her, I realised that I was speaking to a mind younger than mine. She was one of the most liberated woman I had ever interacted with, and enjoyed it if somebody addressed her as ‘Baby’. She had told me that she didn’t mind that and even her sons sometimes tease her by calling her Zeenie Baby. The remark may have been made in jest, but though Zeenat Aman had lost the gorgeous body she once had, she had retained her ever-gorgeous mind.
A few years ago, Zeenat Aman suddenly hit headlines when she said in an interview that she was going to get married again. We knew that Zeenat was always in the search of love and had broken off with her much younger partner called Zaheer. But her announcement of marriage generated some amount of media frenzy. Immediately after the interview, Zeenat clammed up and refused to interact with any correspondent even as the media grew hungry to know the details of her relationship with a man who was more than 30 years her junior. That was the time when I was told to call her up as a lot of colleagues knew that she preferred to speak with me. Yes, she opened up again.
I wrote a newspaper article which still remains one of the closest to my heart. The interaction that I had with her that day changed my perception about life and what we normally refer to as ‘old age’.
Men came into Zeenat Aman’s life only to scar her. Whatever relationship that she got into, turned violent. Zeenat had weak vision in one eye because a man she loved so passionately had hit her there. Another actor she was having a relationship with, bashed her up in full public view as horrified guests at a five star hotel watched on. Another dragged her through such a messy divorce that it scared the living daylights out of her about falling in love again.
But fall in love again she did and she was ready for marriage yet again. It was of course not going to happen with Zeenat whose love stories always had a similar ending – the men ditched her when she needed them. This young man — who she wanted to marry — was no exception. As it turned out, Zeenat’s object of affection was a much-married man who had no intention of marrying her.
Another heartbreak for Zeenat? Not quite. This feisty lady had seen so many downs in her life that this was just a minor scratch that didn’t even need first aid. She was back on her feet the next day, falling in love all over again. With life.
I have never seen anybody who’s such an incorrigible romantic as her. She’s the youngest actor I have interacted with. Zeenat Aman has the heart of a teenager.
PICS CREDIT: NK Sareen