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Asha Parekh talks about battle with depression, says she had suicidal thoughts

Asha Parekh's Versatility Helped Her Feature In Bollyood Films Of Diverse Genres In The 1960s But The Veteran Actress Says There Was A Phase Where She Went Into Depression.

PTI | Updated on: 06 Apr 2017, 04:45:30 PM
A file photo of veteran Bollywood actor Asha Parekh.


Veteran Bollywood actor Asha Parekh has spoken out about her experience of anxiety and depression during the 1960s saying that being on top is often lonesome. Parekh's versatility helped her feature in films of diverse genres in the 1960s but the veteran actress says there was a phase where she went into depression. 

Parekh was one of the top stars in the industry from 1959 to 1973. She worked with all the top heroes of her time including Shammi Kapoor, Dev Anand, Rajendra Kumar, Rajesh Khanna and others. 

It wasn't the highs and lows of the film business that unsettled the 74-year-old actress but the death of her parents, which pushed her into a dark zone.

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"It was a very bad phase for me. I lost my parents. I was totally alone and I had to manage everything all alone. It did put me in depression. I was feeling miserable and had these (suicidal) thoughts. Then I got out of it. It is a struggle, I had to take aid of the doctors to get out of it," Parekh told PTI in an interview. 

She says sometimes an actor may have all the love of fans but still feel lonely. "It is lonesome. On the top you are always lonely. I was very lucky I had lovely parents with me. My mother was the backbone of my career, my life. So after losing her, I got into depression. It's a huge relief that the phase is over." 

Parekh started her career as a child artist in the 1952 "Aasmaan" and went on to act in Bimal Roy's "Baap Beti" two years later. 

At the age of sixteen, Parekh came close to bagging a film but was rejected for the role which ultimately was played by Asmeeta. Things took a turn  when producer Subodh Mukherjee and writer-director Nasir Hussain cast her as the heroine opposite Shammi Kapoor in "Dil Deke Dekho". 

Read | According to WHO reports, over 300 million suffer from depression

"That phase (60s) was not difficult because my parents kept me rooted. I never realised there were so many hits coming one after another. I was very happy that all my films did well. I realised I was a 'star' when my first film 'Dil Deke Dekho' was released after being rejected before. It was a very big thing for me," she says. 

The actress then went on to star in the biggest hits like "Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai", "Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon" "Teesri Manzil", "Baharon Ke Sapne", "Pyar Ka Mausam", "Kati Patang" and "Caravan". Parekh is currently awaiting the release of her autobiography, "The Hit Girl", co-written by film critic Khalid Mohamed. The book has a foreword penned by superstar Salman Khan and is scheduled to launch on April 10, here.

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First Published : 06 Apr 2017, 04:34:00 PM