Begum Para passes away
Begum Para, the reigning vamp of the 1950s passed away yesterday in her sleep. She was last seen playing grandmother to Sonam Kapoor in Saawariya. In an interview last year, she had told us, "I'm 80 now. It was a great experience working after so long. Although I must admit, I felt a bit anxious about facing the camera after so many years."
While she was still at the peak of her career, Begum Para married Dilip Kumar's brother Nasir Khan in 1958, and quit acting. Her son Ayub Khan is a film and TV actor. Begum lived with her daughter and grandchildren in Versova.
Begum Para was known for being a bold actress of her time. She had told us, "I have millions of memories from those days. I didn't smoke as I never liked it. But, I did drink even when it was considered taboo. I used to hold a glass of whisky openly, unlike other actresses who mixed whisky in colas and pretended that they were teetotalers."
Talking about her contemporaries she had said, "I miss my friends Nargis, Geeta Bali, Nadira, Shyama and Nilofer. We used to often meet and paint the town red. I'm also getting old now so telephone is the only way to communicate."
She had given valuable styling inputs to her daughter-in-law Niharika for Khoya Khoya Chaand. She said, "I couldn't give Niharika my own examples as I was not like the 'good' actresses. I always played negative, bold characters ? would wear backless blouses, in those times it was quite bold."
Recalling her Saawariya experience, she had said, "The funniest thing while shooting for Saawariya was when Bhansali made me sing 'Pyaar kiya toh darna kya' from Mughal-e-Azam? I'm truly besura."
Among the list of younger actresses, Tabu and Kajol were her favourites. But "Shabana Azmi is my all time favourite," she had said.
Her co-actor Shammi Kapoor was completely unaware of the news. He said, "I'm not aware of this. It's very sad to hear about her demise. She was one of the old stock, the real old generation who've really contributed immensely to cinema. She was always a great help with her husband, Nasir. I remember we had gone to Shillong together back in 1952 for a cricket match. She was very boisterous and full of life."
Begum Para was seen in films like Do Mastane, Aadmi, Shahzada, Lutera, Naya Ghar, Laila Majnu, Ustad Pedro, Mehrabani, Suhag Raat, Zanjeer, Neel Kamal, Sohni Mahiwal, Shalimar.
Edited by Lubnavaishali - 10 December 2008 at 10:58pm