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Parveen Babi: Jeeti thi shaan se

Nishant A Bhuse | Last Modified - Apr 04, 2012, 07:47 PM IST

On her 57th birth anniversary, we turn some pages from the book of Parveen Babi's life.
  • +2 See more slides
    perveen_new_431Bollywood may not remember her today – her 57th birth anniversary, but it will never be able to forget Parveen Babi ever, too. She was perhaps the most tragic heroine to grace the screen, an actress whose beauty and oomph threatened to dethrone the reigning and original sex divas of the 70s and 80s – former Miss India Zeenat Aman and the sultry Rekha! Sadly, for the glamorous life she led on screen, Parveen died a most lonely and terrible death in real life.

    I was with the police when they entered the actress’ shabby and cluttered Palm Beach Riviera terrace apartment in Juhu, where paintings, clothes, medicine and a wheelchair were found lying around in neglect and disarray next to Parveen’s semi-decomposed body on January 22, 2005. She had been suffering from diabetes and this had resulted in gangrene on her left foot, kidney and other organ failures. She was dressed in shorts.

    The police, who broke into Parveen’s house after the housing society complained that days of newspapers and milk were lying unattended outside her front door, reported no signs of foul play in her death. “It was a sad and tame end for such an adorable Bollywood personality,” recalled Baburao Avad of Juhu Police Station who investigated Parveen’s death.

    Parveen, who had been living alone since her mother passed away in 2002, was friendless in Bollywood. She was feared to be suffering some kind of mental instability, because she took to attacking former co-stars including Amitabh Bachchan with whom she did eight films, and accused them of wanting to kill her. Sadly, the actress who never married but had tumultuous relationships reportedly with Kabir Bedi, Mahesh Bhatt and Danny Dengzonpa, was isolated by the industry she almost briefly ruled.

    M S Malhotra, her neighbour in the Juhu Beach apartment block, claimed he had not seen Parveen more than 15 times in the 20 odd years she lived there. “We all knew she was suffering from some kind of mental illness. Things took a turn for the worst when she lost her mother who was her sole companion,” revealed Malhotra. The housing society rued that Parveen, despite the riches she must have amassed in Bollywood, had left huge unpaid maintenance bills. However, the police investigation revealed that at the time of her death the actress had Rs 22 lakhs in her HDFC Bank account at Khar, plus fixed deposits amounting to Rs. 17.75 lakhs and property worth Rs. 4.5 crores in Junagadh where she was born into a Muslim family.

    Ram Sharan Yadav, her milkman, also had painful memories of the former actress. “Madam was in a bad condition and was on the wheelchair. I used to leave milk every alternate day outside her door. I wanted to know what was wrong with her but she never opened the door. Just before her death, I was in the building collecting monthly payments when I heard her door open. I hid myself and was disheartened to see Madam peeping from behind the door before rolling her wheelchair out and picking up the newspapers, milk and some eggs. She then banged the door shut,” said Yadav.

    Strangely, ACP Gahininath Nimgaonkar, who opened the door with duplicate keys that day, remembers that while newspapers, eggs and a packet of milk lay outside Parveen’s house, her kitchen was absolutely bare. Two empty beer mugs stood on a small wooden centre table. That was it. “She hadn’t been seen by anyone for almost a month,” remembered ACP Nimgaonkar. Dr. Shivaji Kachre of Cooper Hospital, who performed the post mortem on Parveen’s body, admitted that there were no traces of food in her stomach but some alcohol (possibly from her medication) was found. “It’s possible that she had not consumed anything for more than three days and sadly starved to death,” said Dr Kachre. “She had developed a diabetic gangrene on her left foot and she succumbed due to all organ failure,” he added.

    Parveen was buried next to her mother at Santacruz Imam Muslim Kabristhan in Shastri Nagar, Kurla. Her funeral was given some dignity by the presence of Mahesh Bhatt and Kabir Bedi, among the two men who loved her in real life. However, none of her screen heroes came to pay her their last respects... if not their love.
  • +2 See more slides
    perveen_new_431Bollywood may not remember her today – her 57th birth anniversary, but it will never be able to forget Parveen Babi ever, too. She was perhaps the most tragic heroine to grace the screen, an actress whose beauty and oomph threatened to dethrone the reigning and original sex divas of the 70s and 80s – former Miss India Zeenat Aman and the sultry Rekha! Sadly, for the glamorous life she led on screen, Parveen died a most lonely and terrible death in real life.

    I was with the police when they entered the actress’ shabby and cluttered Palm Beach Riviera terrace apartment in Juhu, where paintings, clothes, medicine and a wheelchair were found lying around in neglect and disarray next to Parveen’s semi-decomposed body on January 22, 2005. She had been suffering from diabetes and this had resulted in gangrene on her left foot, kidney and other organ failures. She was dressed in shorts.

    The police, who broke into Parveen’s house after the housing society complained that days of newspapers and milk were lying unattended outside her front door, reported no signs of foul play in her death. “It was a sad and tame end for such an adorable Bollywood personality,” recalled Baburao Avad of Juhu Police Station who investigated Parveen’s death.

    Parveen, who had been living alone since her mother passed away in 2002, was friendless in Bollywood. She was feared to be suffering some kind of mental instability, because she took to attacking former co-stars including Amitabh Bachchan with whom she did eight films, and accused them of wanting to kill her. Sadly, the actress who never married but had tumultuous relationships reportedly with Kabir Bedi, Mahesh Bhatt and Danny Dengzonpa, was isolated by the industry she almost briefly ruled.

    M S Malhotra, her neighbour in the Juhu Beach apartment block, claimed he had not seen Parveen more than 15 times in the 20 odd years she lived there. “We all knew she was suffering from some kind of mental illness. Things took a turn for the worst when she lost her mother who was her sole companion,” revealed Malhotra. The housing society rued that Parveen, despite the riches she must have amassed in Bollywood, had left huge unpaid maintenance bills. However, the police investigation revealed that at the time of her death the actress had Rs 22 lakhs in her HDFC Bank account at Khar, plus fixed deposits amounting to Rs. 17.75 lakhs and property worth Rs. 4.5 crores in Junagadh where she was born into a Muslim family.

    Ram Sharan Yadav, her milkman, also had painful memories of the former actress. “Madam was in a bad condition and was on the wheelchair. I used to leave milk every alternate day outside her door. I wanted to know what was wrong with her but she never opened the door. Just before her death, I was in the building collecting monthly payments when I heard her door open. I hid myself and was disheartened to see Madam peeping from behind the door before rolling her wheelchair out and picking up the newspapers, milk and some eggs. She then banged the door shut,” said Yadav.

    Strangely, ACP Gahininath Nimgaonkar, who opened the door with duplicate keys that day, remembers that while newspapers, eggs and a packet of milk lay outside Parveen’s house, her kitchen was absolutely bare. Two empty beer mugs stood on a small wooden centre table. That was it. “She hadn’t been seen by anyone for almost a month,” remembered ACP Nimgaonkar. Dr. Shivaji Kachre of Cooper Hospital, who performed the post mortem on Parveen’s body, admitted that there were no traces of food in her stomach but some alcohol (possibly from her medication) was found. “It’s possible that she had not consumed anything for more than three days and sadly starved to death,” said Dr Kachre. “She had developed a diabetic gangrene on her left foot and she succumbed due to all organ failure,” he added.

    Parveen was buried next to her mother at Santacruz Imam Muslim Kabristhan in Shastri Nagar, Kurla. Her funeral was given some dignity by the presence of Mahesh Bhatt and Kabir Bedi, among the two men who loved her in real life. However, none of her screen heroes came to pay her their last respects... if not their love.
  • +2 See more slides
    perveen_new_431Bollywood may not remember her today – her 57th birth anniversary, but it will never be able to forget Parveen Babi ever, too. She was perhaps the most tragic heroine to grace the screen, an actress whose beauty and oomph threatened to dethrone the reigning and original sex divas of the 70s and 80s – former Miss India Zeenat Aman and the sultry Rekha! Sadly, for the glamorous life she led on screen, Parveen died a most lonely and terrible death in real life.

    I was with the police when they entered the actress’ shabby and cluttered Palm Beach Riviera terrace apartment in Juhu, where paintings, clothes, medicine and a wheelchair were found lying around in neglect and disarray next to Parveen’s semi-decomposed body on January 22, 2005. She had been suffering from diabetes and this had resulted in gangrene on her left foot, kidney and other organ failures. She was dressed in shorts.

    The police, who broke into Parveen’s house after the housing society complained that days of newspapers and milk were lying unattended outside her front door, reported no signs of foul play in her death. “It was a sad and tame end for such an adorable Bollywood personality,” recalled Baburao Avad of Juhu Police Station who investigated Parveen’s death.

    Parveen, who had been living alone since her mother passed away in 2002, was friendless in Bollywood. She was feared to be suffering some kind of mental instability, because she took to attacking former co-stars including Amitabh Bachchan with whom she did eight films, and accused them of wanting to kill her. Sadly, the actress who never married but had tumultuous relationships reportedly with Kabir Bedi, Mahesh Bhatt and Danny Dengzonpa, was isolated by the industry she almost briefly ruled.

    M S Malhotra, her neighbour in the Juhu Beach apartment block, claimed he had not seen Parveen more than 15 times in the 20 odd years she lived there. “We all knew she was suffering from some kind of mental illness. Things took a turn for the worst when she lost her mother who was her sole companion,” revealed Malhotra. The housing society rued that Parveen, despite the riches she must have amassed in Bollywood, had left huge unpaid maintenance bills. However, the police investigation revealed that at the time of her death the actress had Rs 22 lakhs in her HDFC Bank account at Khar, plus fixed deposits amounting to Rs. 17.75 lakhs and property worth Rs. 4.5 crores in Junagadh where she was born into a Muslim family.

    Ram Sharan Yadav, her milkman, also had painful memories of the former actress. “Madam was in a bad condition and was on the wheelchair. I used to leave milk every alternate day outside her door. I wanted to know what was wrong with her but she never opened the door. Just before her death, I was in the building collecting monthly payments when I heard her door open. I hid myself and was disheartened to see Madam peeping from behind the door before rolling her wheelchair out and picking up the newspapers, milk and some eggs. She then banged the door shut,” said Yadav.

    Strangely, ACP Gahininath Nimgaonkar, who opened the door with duplicate keys that day, remembers that while newspapers, eggs and a packet of milk lay outside Parveen’s house, her kitchen was absolutely bare. Two empty beer mugs stood on a small wooden centre table. That was it. “She hadn’t been seen by anyone for almost a month,” remembered ACP Nimgaonkar. Dr. Shivaji Kachre of Cooper Hospital, who performed the post mortem on Parveen’s body, admitted that there were no traces of food in her stomach but some alcohol (possibly from her medication) was found. “It’s possible that she had not consumed anything for more than three days and sadly starved to death,” said Dr Kachre. “She had developed a diabetic gangrene on her left foot and she succumbed due to all organ failure,” he added.

    Parveen was buried next to her mother at Santacruz Imam Muslim Kabristhan in Shastri Nagar, Kurla. Her funeral was given some dignity by the presence of Mahesh Bhatt and Kabir Bedi, among the two men who loved her in real life. However, none of her screen heroes came to pay her their last respects... if not their love.

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