BizAsia Special: A tribute to Parveen Babi


This actress’s life resembled that of a star which looked ever so beautiful from afar but the closer one got to this star they were able to see that not all was what it seemed. Parveen Babi was a beauty queen who reigned the Indian film industry making everyone in awe of her charisma, her style and her acting.

This year, the 4th April would have marked the 70th birthday of the late actress. As a tribute will celebrate the actress’s life by remembering some of the classics performed on by the queen herself.

‘Jawani Se Mile Jahan Jawani’ from ‘Karam Yudh’ (1985)

Sung by Asha Bhosle we see Babi appear onscreen in a sparkling black outfit dancing with some backing dancers. Babi truly outshines all in this song with her performance, not only does she look cool her dancing was on point matching every beat with her steps. Babi was the perfect choice for this catchy number by Bappi Lahiri.

‘Sanam Tum Jahan’ from ‘Kaalia’ (1981)

Covered in the colour of love Babi was seen entertaining the guests, trying to catch the eye of one particular guest. Her aim was to recover a diamond which is tied around Kaalia’s (Amitabh Bachchan) wrist as she hovers around her prey she makes it very hard for him to avoid her.

Bhosle sang the song in a playful manner which could be seen onscreen in Babi’s gestures. Her smile lit up the screen as though she is playing with the camera. It was indeed a fun number performed wonderfully by Babi.

‘Pyar Karnewale’ from ‘Shaan’ (1980)

Dressed in a sparkling white dress Sunita (Babi) appears in the party ready to dazzle the guests around her. With the microphone in her hands she begins with the iconic lines ‘shukriya, karam, meharbani’ thanking the audience for their hospitality. The song spoke of lovers who loved with pride and how they both lived and died with pride. It was an upbeat number that also featured other actors like the late Shashi Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Bindiya Goswami and the late Johnny Walker. Within the song the audience was able to see these actors eyeing up Bindu’s diamond necklace and working out how to get their hands on it.

‘Har Eik Rasta Saja Ke Chal’ from ‘Ameer Aadmi Gharib Aadmi’ (1985)

It was a small appearance by Babi yet one that is memorable because of this song. Dressed in an outfit that revealed her slender figure Babi danced graciously with two backing dancers in this peppy song. The lyrics were of a romantic nature written by Nida Fazli, with Bhosle singing for Babi and R D Burman the creator of this melody,
It was a dreamy song in which one could easily get lost and filmed beautifully on Babi.

‘Jawani Jaaneman’ from ‘Namak Halal’ (1982)

Visually a large stage is set where a live band is playing, the curtains are raised to reveal Babi grooving to the disco beat. Babi looked ever so glamorous with her hair styled differently than usual and her striking gold jumpsuit.

In the song Raja (Shashi Kapoor) is unable to keep his eyes off Nisha (Babi) as he is mesmerised by her beauty. The lyrics ‘shikhaar khud yahan shikaar hogaya’ meaning the hunter got hunted himself goes perfectly with the situation in the song. The combination of Bhosle, Lahiri and Babi worked wonders, making this song a classic today.

‘Yaaron Mere Yaar Se Milon’ from ‘Gehri Chot’ (1983)

Usha Khanna created the music for this film including this dance number with the vocals of Bhosle. Raju (Raj Babbar) walks into the club to see Babi dancing surrounded by onlookers. Babi played the part of Renu a young woman who gives people information they require in exchange for money.

‘Yaaron mere yaar se milon, pehle pehle pyar se milon’ meaning friends meet my love, my first, first love. The lyrics are actually a secret message from Renu to Raju as she is giving him information regarding a certain individual in the club.

‘Beauty Queen’ from ‘Jaani Dost’ (1983)

If there was any song made for Babi then it is this song. Picturised on Babi and Dharmendra both the stars are seen in the outdoors with Babi in many colourful outfits. She was seen in both traditional and western outfits showing that she can pull off any look. Not only did the song celebrate this beauty it was also a romantic number where the hero is praising his love.

Lahiri did a superb job with the soundtrack using various instruments like the guitar and violin to create some interesting sounds. As for Bhosle and Kishore Kumar their vocals made the song even more magical.

Parveen Babi may be gone but she will forever be remembered as the diva that existed and made a place in our hearts for good.

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