Bollywood filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt has been open about his professional and personal life. While is he happily married to actress Soni Razdan, his romance with late actress Praveen Babi was well-discussed by the media back then. He often opened up about her mental illness diagnosis and how their relationship impacted him. Never known to mince his words, he had once recalled how witnessing one of her episodes had sent a chill down his spine.
In an interview with Filmfare, the 75-year-old filmmaker revealed how his relationship with Babi had started around 1977. Having returned to India, from Italy after her break up with Kabir Bedi, who gained recognition in the foreign country due to his television show Sandokan, she was one of the top actresses at the time. While he was a flop filmmaker, she was shooting for Amar Akhbar Anthony (1977) and Kala Pathar (1979). He went on to add how he had separated from his wife Lorraine Bright and left his daughter Pooja Bhatt to be in a live-in relationship with Babi. ALSO READ: Ranbir Kapoor Gets Emotional As Father-In-Law Mahesh Bhatt Calls Him ‘The World’s Best Father’; Filmmaker Says, ‘Wish You Could See His Eyes’
Calling her a traditional girl, Bhatt recalled how the actress loved oiling her hair and cooking at home despite the Western influences in her formative years. He explained that she found it stressful to allow the entertainment world into her home, which is why she would often ‘put up a performance’ while talking to producers on the phone. He had gone on to share that one evening in 1979, he witnessed her crack up which even scared Parveen Babi’s mother Jamal Babi. He had walked into her Juhu apartment when the concerned mother spoke to him. ALSO READ: Alia Bhatt Recalls Father Mahesh Bhatt’s Low Phase; Talks About His ‘Addiction To Alcohol’, Says Barely Had Money After Back To Back Flops
Recalling the entire experience, the Sadak filmmaker recalled, “I walked into that bedroom lined up with innumerable perfumes (the fragrance still lingers in my mind) on the dressing table, to see a sight that sent a chill down my spine. Parveen was dressed in film costume and sat curled up in the corner between the wall and the bed. Her gait was beast like. She had a kitchen knife in her hand. “What are you doing?” I asked. She said, “Shhsssh….! Don’t talk! This room is bugged (installed with a spying device). They’re trying to kill me; they’re going to drop a chandelier on me.” She held my hand and led me outside. I saw her mother look helplessly at me. Her gaze revealed that this episode had happened before; it was not the first time.”
For the unversed, Parveen Babi suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. One of the most successful actresses from the 70s she broke all stereotypes and rose to fame for her versatile performances in the male-dominated industry. She breathed her last in 2005 when she succumbed to organ failure and diabetes.
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