‘She Was Sensitive’: When Kabir Talked About His Relationship With Parveen & Her Tragic De-ath

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Photo: © TOI (Main Image)

Parveen Babi was one of the most beautiful divas of the 1970s and 1980s. People were enthralled to see her on the big screen and wanted to know where their favourite celebrity was. She didn’t believe in hiding her relationships or love affairs back then, thus her life was an open book.

Back in the 1970s, Parveen’s relationship with Kabir Bedi was the talk of the town due to their whirlwind affair. While Kabir was married to Odissi dancer Protima Gupta, he fell in love with Parveen. The two were married openly, and the actress was aware of Parveen’s attraction to him.

They had been together for a long time, but things between them didn’t work out, and their relationship deteriorated. Kabir Bedi wrote in his memoir that he was aware of Parveen’s mental health issues and that he tried to help her, but that she refused.

In a recent interview with Pinkvilla, Kabir discussed how her mental instability and his work obligations were at conflict. “Parveen was a caring and intelligent young lady. She have a tremendous capacity for loving. What happened to her was a horrible event. Despite the fact that she offered me a lot of affection and a sense of belonging, the cloud of her mental illness lingered over us. The tragedy of her mental condition was occurring at the same time as Sandokan, my greatest achievement in Europe. For me, it was a trying time. But, at the same time, I appreciate all that she has given me, including affection “he stated

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In the interview, the actor also discussed how the three men with whom Parveen Babi had a love relationship—him, Danny Denzongpa, and Mahesh Bhatt—all attended her 2005 funeral. “”Well, we shared her life and she shared ours,” he added, adding, “Parveen deserved that respect.” We genuinely cared about her, even if we couldn’t stop her from collapsing.”

STORIES I MUST TELL is an excerpt from his memoirs. “I felt for her suffering thoughts,” read The Emotional Life of an Actor. My long-suppressed resentments, on the other hand, erupted. I lamented the gloom that Parveen had placed on my happiest years. It wasn’t her fault, I assured myself. Perhaps I, too, was to fault. Perhaps I should have left earlier. But I couldn’t; she’d been anxious for my help. I’d seen myself as her guardian. I was intellectually and emotionally weary at the time. I’d gone straight from one emotionally devastating lady to the next, with little time for myself in between.”

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“In the end, I learned how Parveen had died,” Kabir wrote in a piece on her de-ath. Her body was discovered four days after she died in her Juhu residence, with a gangrene-infected leg and a wheelchair beside her bed. A lonely and painful conclusion to a star who had once been millions of people’s dream. Mahesh, Danny, and I, three guys who had known and loved her, attended her funeral in the Muslim graveyard in Juhu. The funeral was serious, with Islamic ceremonies and hymns. We brought her body to a dimly lit grave with her relatives. With a sorrow that flowed from my depths, I felt for what she had gone through.

We’d all known her in ways that few others had. Each of us had loved her in a way that only we knew.” It was unfortunate how Parveen succumbed to depression, and her de-ath was as tragic.