Asha Parekh’s Most Challenging Co-Star

Asha Parekh had the rare privilege of sharing screen space with the musical genius Rahul Dev Burman.

Recalling the moment, Ashaji tells Subhash K Jha, “The film was Nasir Husainsaab‘s Pyar Ka Mausam, which had chartbusting songs like Tum Bin Jaoon Kahan and Ni Sultana Re composed by Panchamda (R D Buman). Not many people know Panchamda also played a part in the film.”

Ashaji says she still breaks into sweat when she remembers that sequence with the formidable RD.

“I’ve faced the camera with lots of co-stars, exceptional ones, exceptionally bad ones, catty female co-stars, bratty child actors, but Panchamda was easily the most challenging co-star I’ve ever worked with.”

It was a comic scene with the composer and therefore doubly tough for the seasoned actress.

“Doing comic scenes has always been hard for me, much tougher than the rona-dhona scenes. It was a comic sequence featuring Rajendranath, Panchamda and me. Rajendranath was a fine comic actor. I had done several films with him.

“But I had no idea Panchamda was such a fine actor. What comic timing! He took my breath away. It was a scene where Panchamda, playing Rajendranath’s secretary, created some confusion between Rajendranath and me.”

It was a mad scene carried to an unimaginable level by Panchamda‘s comic timing.

“From the moment he walked on the sets wearing really strange shoes, I couldn’t stop staring at him,” she adds. “He was so outrageously funny. Every time he said his lines, I’d burst out laughing.”

“Nasirsaab (director Nasir Husain) had to call for take after take but I just couldn’t help it. Panchamda was seriously funny. Everyone knows him to be a composing genius but not too many people know what a fine actor he was.

“I wish he had acted more often. RD was so multi-faceted. We’d run into one another all the time. He gave hit music in many of my memorable films like Teesri Manzil, Baharon Ke Sapne, Caravan and Kati Patang.”

Pyar Ka Mausam was special because not only did he give me memorable songs like Na Jao Mere Humdum and Main Na Miloongi, but he also gave me the opportunity to face the camera with him. Not too many other actresses had that privilege.”

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