Asha Parekh shot to fame as a child actor when she made her debut with Aasmaan.

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Asha Parekh shot to fame as a child actor when she made her debut with Aasmaan. She was all of 10. Success seemed to have come early for her as she caught the attention of renowned director, Bimal Roy, while dancing at a stage function which landed her a role in his film, Baap Beti, when she was 12. However, the film bombed at the box-office and despite having worked in quite a few films as a child actor, Asha was so disheartened that she quit films to go back to school like a normal teenager.

Asha Parekh decided to make a comeback to films as a heroine at the age of sweet 16 but was turned down by Vijay Bhatt. He refused to cast her in his film, Goonj Uthi Shehnai, as he did not find her to be star material. Instead, he chose actress Ameeta over her. But fate had something bigger in store for her as just a day later, Asha was cast by producer, Subodh Mukherjee, and writer-director, Nasir Hussain, as the lead heroine of the film, Dil Deke Dekho, starring Shammi Kapoor as the male lead. The film went on to become a superhit.

After initial rejections and a few preliminary setbacks, Asha Parekh tasted success with Nasir Hussein’s Dil Deke Dekho, her first film as a lead heroine, and since then, there was no looking back for her. The half Jain half Muslim actress was offered six more films including Teesri Manzil and Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon by the same director. With several awards including the Padma Shri and Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award, Asha ruled Bollywood for about three decades.

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Celebrating Cinema

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