The 7th day of the 53rd edition of IFFI Goa began with a conversation session with veteran actress and this year’s Dadasaheb Phalke Awardee Asha Parekh. The session was moderated by Padma Shri, Author and Journalist Bhawna Somaya. Asha Parekh has not just been a successful actress, producer, director, but also a chairwoman of CBFC, and the first Gujarati actress to be awarded with the Dadasaheb Phalke award.
Upon being asked as to how she reacted when she got the information about being conferred with the Dadasaheb Phalke award, she said she could not believe it at first. “I was in Boston, and I was about to leave for Detroit to meet my brother. I received a call that I have won the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. It did not register in my mind at first. But when I started getting calls and messages, I realized that it’s true, and I was extremely thankful to God.”
She applauded Dadasaheb’s films and said that she selected a film based on the making of Dadasaheb’s and India’s first film Raja Harishchandra titled “Harishchandrachi Factory” as India’s official entry to Oscar in 2009. She made her debut in the film business, when Bimal Roy first saw her in a stage play when she was just an eight-year-old child. She did two films as a child artist before making a full-fledged entry into films later as a young actress with the film Dil Deke Dekho.
“Before Raj Khosla ji’s Do Badan, everyone used to consider me as a glam-doll, but after Do Badan, I was accepted as a good actress, people started taking me seriously, and that inspired me to take up major character-driven roles in films like Kati Patang, Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki, Baharon Ke Sapne and more.
Ashaji also worked as a director for television serials. She directed “Baaje Payal”, Gujarati serial – “Jyoti” (her debut project in tv direction, whose splendid performance gave her the courage to continue directing into tv), Kangan and more. She was the first and the only woman to have won the presidential election of CINTAA. During her tenure, she said that she had a strenuous time of setting up the CINTAA’s office. This was also the time when she became the chairperson of CBFC, and simultaneously had to work on her tv shows. She said that she feels nostalgic whenever she sees her movies like Kati Patang, and all those memories keep flooding in front of her eyes.