MUMBAI: From the evergreen Dev Anand, to superstar Rajesh Khanna, Asha Parekh has worked with almost all the leading icons of Indian cinema, except Dilip Kumar. The 71-year-old veteran actress confesses that she is well aware of this fact and is still waiting to work with the thespian.
She received great opportunities to work with Shammi Kapoor in hits such as Dil Deke Dekho and Teesri Manzil, Dev Anand in Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai and Rajesh Khanna in Aan Milo Sajna and Kati Patang, but laments that she never got the chance to share the screen with Dilip.
The star of the 1960s and 1970s Bollywood told IANS in an interview: “I really want to work with Yusuf sahib [Dilip Kumar]. It’s a longstanding wish and I am still waiting to work with him.”
Asha is still hopeful, despite the fact that Dilip, 90, retired from acting after Qila in 1998. “If I get an opportunity, I would just run and do that project. This is one thing I am looking forward to,” said the Padma Shri civilian award winner.
There were reports that Dilip Kumar and Asha never came together on the screen because of animosity between them, but the actress claims that this rumour is rubbish: “There was no animosity [between us]. It was a mistake by a journalist who just cooked up the story. I was very angry with him [the journalist] for coming up with such stories and spoiling my relationship with Yusuf sahib. I have a very, very good relationship with Yusuf sahib and [his wife] Saira Banu. I was terribly hurt by that report.”
Despite being known as one of the best dancers of her era, Asha can’t appreciate the growing trend of item numbers. “I don’t like item numbers, but people like it and so I can’t say anything,” said the veteran actor, “I would hope the folk dances come back in our films.”
Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2013.
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