Thursday, December 8, 2022

Sex Symbols of Bollywood Series: Meet Parveen Babi Who Dared To Break The Glass Ceiling of Bollywood


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5 Reasons why Parveen Babi was one of the Hottest Actresses of Bollywood. She dominated the silver screen and was regarded as one of boldest and strongest actresses of her time.

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It is a shame that the life of once versatile, daring and full of life was overshadowed by controversies. Media was always curious about her personal life and thus is well documented. Also, her relationships with Kabir Bedi, Danny Denzongpa and Mahesh Bhatt gained spotlight and still happens till date. Her battle with Paranoid Schizophrenia became a case study of depression Bollywood stars go through. And, if that was not enough, there was many incidents which led to her debacle and made her come in the public eye even more. It is amazing how the tables turned on once the highest paying actress of her times. She succumbed to multiple ailments like Diabetes, Osteoarthritis and Multiple Organ Failure due to which she passed away eventually in 2005. The article highlights some of the reasons she features in our Sex Symbols of Bollywood Series actresses list.

Parveen Babi Controversial Affairs

5 Reasons Parveen Babi is considered as one of the Sex Symbols of Bollywood

League of Her Own

It would not be an exaggeration if we conclude that Parveen Babi was a trendsetter from the very beginning. She dared to conquer the men-dominated world of Bollywood. Silsila and Woh Lamhe established her as a sex symbol in the public eye. Not many would agree, but her life was nothing short of a rule-changer in Bollywood. Although, it has been 17 years since she passed away, her legacy continues in her movies and especially when we hear Nietzscheist music. She starred in her career with Big B in as many as eight movies when his career was at the peak. Imagine such was her aura, that only a superstar like Bachchan would match the radiance of Parveen.

Bollywood’s First Sex Symbol

Bollywood’s Original Sex Symbol

Parveen Babi, along with her contemporary Zeenat Aman, were the only two actresses who turned the heat during the times. It would not be wrong if we list them as original sex symbols of Bollywood of the 70’s and 80’s. Big-eyed and pouty-lipped, many of her scenes including the bikini-clad sequence from Yeh Nazdeekiyan, are included among Bollywood’s hottest moments.

Parveen Babi dared to challenge the established norm

Dared to Challenge the Status Quo

She was ahead of the other actresses of her times and that fetched her backlash at times. When most of the actresses of her times were donning Sarees, she portrayed bold characters and roles including the live-in relationships. Although these seem like a norm, it was not so back then. Also, she did roles that depicted consuming alcohol. These were considered not only bold, but also unheard back then. Here is one of the rarest videos of her with Kabir Bedi in Madrid.

Parveen Babi and Kabir Bedi in Spain

Badass Image

Although Parveen was born in a Muslim family, she never conformed to any set rules. She never appreciated bigotry and even headed abroad after disappearing from the scene. Following her comeback, she bought great stories from her travels. American progressive lifestyle and positive attitude impressed her as she would often say later on. She also admitted eating pork. A few years before her death, she would also convert to Christianity. She spent her last days as an interior decorator and was known for her meticulous planning and attention to detail.

“I believe, eventually, the human spirit of positive will triumph and as far as other attributes of people are considered I find Americans to be extremely progressive and ingenious race. And I identify a great deal with Americans.”

Parveen Babi’s Reaction on her Visit

It is indeed an irony that controversies have overshadowed her legacy. People now remember her as a case study for Schizophrenia and affair with film celebrities. Over years there has been increasing awareness of mental illness and wellness. We hope one day the public shall recognize her talent.

Also read: Bollywood Sex Symbols of All Times Series: Madhuri Dixit

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