There was a time, I believe, when many of the female starlets of the Hindi Film Industry were made up to resemble or thereabouts successful actresses; this only led to confounding already confused fellows like me, who had a kink in their brains that made them feel all women on screen looked alike; i.e. a difficulty to distinguish female facial features, and identify the different roles. I would sometimes feel, that I just saw this woman two minutes ago and why is she behaving and saying things contrary to what she did or said then. Parveen Babi’s and Zeenat Aman’s resemblance used to baffle me no end.
Zeenat came on the scene first, to me, though younger by two years to her lookalike. So finally I docketed Parveen as the ‘Wee bit more beautiful looking Zeenat Aman’, and resolved the predicament 🙂 Parveen too like Zeenat had a connection to Royalty (Bhopal in Zeenat’s case); she was from the Pathan Babi Dynasty of Junagadh, Gujarat. She too entered films via the modelling channel. On screen, she had better comportment & elegance than her lookalike. One cannot scour her career & come up with anything outstanding by way of performances; perhaps ‘Yeh Nazdeekiyaan’ may foot the bill, alongside Jenny of Amar Akbar Anthony. Psychological illness plagued her and the medication would fill her out leading to discontinuation, becoming lean again but with relapse of her condition. Thus sadly she had a chequered career and died prematurely at a relatively young 55.
This song from Shaan has her, Shashi Kapoor, Bindiya Goswami (a Hema Malini lookalike), and others infiltrating arch villain Kulbhushan Kharbanda’s fortress with song & dance. RD Burman’s instrumental acrobatics, for once, have fallen into place and the resultant song is very enthralling to hear.
(This essay was posted on 20th February 2016)
Dr. Pisharoty Chandran is a Psychiatrist based in Thrissur, Kerala. He is also a gifted singer, besides being a talented photographer.