Salman Khan, for the first time in his life has penned a foreword for someone’s biography and that someone is none other than yesteryear’s legend Asha Parekh. Present the book launch, when Salman Khan was asked by one of the journalists if he is gonna pen his biography anytime soon. He very cheekily denied saying he doesn’t have it in him. He said, “It’s a bravest thing to write their autobiography, mujhse toh kabhi na ho” (I can never do it). He then looked at Dharmendra and said , “Dharam ji samjhenge.”(Dharam ji will understand) And he starts laughing.Talking about the woman of the hour, Asha Parekh, she was one of the biggest stars of 60s and 70s with films like Love In Tokyo, Caravan, Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai, Mera Gaon Mera Desh etc. In the foreword written by Salman Khan, he has talked about how Asha Parekh was an effortless performer, her friendship with his father Salim Khan, and his fondest memories of her.“They don’t make them like her any more. Perhaps that is stating the obvious but my generation and the later ones have missed out on the great era of our movies when stories of innocence and grace ruled the screen, when boy-met-girl stories were wonderful, feel-good entertainers. No compromises, no need for self-publicity 24×7, no catering to a single screen or a multiplex audience.
In fact Asha Parekh, Ashaji, represented the swinging era of the 1960s. An all-rounder, she was especially good at dance numbers, had a flair for comedy, emoted simply and effortlessly.Even if situations in the screenplay were incredible, she made them credible by never going over the top. She was the darling not only of the audience but also of film producers and directors who would rush to sign her on for a movie since she guaranteed box-office success.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 westernised in its rhythm. Thanks to re-runs of her movies at cinema halls and on television channels as well as prints available on DVDs, it has been possible for someone like me to become familiar with the Asha Parekh magic. Right from her first film as a heroine, Dil Deke Dekho to scores of blockbusters—my favourites are Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai, Teesri Manzil, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Kati Patang and Caravan—she had tremendous screen chemistry, particularly with her leading men Shammi Kapoor, Dev Anand and Rajesh Khanna.