Blast from the past: When Parveen Babi suddenly joined Kabir Bedi in Italy
When Parveen Babi joined Kabir Bedi on the sets of Sandokan Continue reading ...
She was one of the highest-paid heroines of her era and appeared with Amitabh Bachchan in eight films, all of them being superhits. She was known for her item numbers. Numbers like Jawaani Jaaneman and Raat baaqi baat Baaqi in Namak Halaal, and Pyaar karne wale in Shaan still remain popular today. She was being featured on the covers of all major film magazines.
Apart from her good looks, she was known for her bohemian lifestyle. She always spoke her mind and never hid her affairs and lived life on her own terms. Parveen Babi created a stir when she joined beau Kabir Bedi in Italy on the sets of Sandokan.
Kabir became an international star when he agreed to be part of the Italian serial Sandokan. Directed by Sergio Sollima, it was based upon the novels of Emilio Salgari featuring the pirate hero Sandokan.
They were two beautiful people very much in love and the European press, who had been hailing him as a sort of superstar from India, played up their relationship.
It was widely reported and they even merited covers in Italian and Spanish media.
Their romance was intense but short-lived. He was increasingly becoming popular in Europe and was seemingly flooded with work. After Sandokan he even signed an adventure film called The Black Corsair (1976), where he reportedly played a pirate.
She was one of the most sought after heroines of the time and couldn’t afford to give her Bollywood career a miss. It’s said she had around 40 films lined up when she left and producers in Mumbai gave a collective sigh of relief when she came back. Her career soon picked up and she was back to top again, it was as if the two years with Kabir had never happened.
A long-distance relationship seemed out of the question, as Kabir was already married to Protima Bedi at the time. However, it was said that their marriage was already on the rocks. Protima reportedly admitted that she considered her marriage to be over and hence she didn’t mind his having a fling with Parveen. In an interview, Protima stated that when Kabir finally left, she felt a sense of relief. She mentioned he had been trying to get away from her and Parveen came into her life at the right time.
Parveen didn’t regret leaving him. She understood that things wouldn’t have worked out between them in the long run, especially when his career was very much centred in Europe and when he wanted to be away from Promita. She said she had her own life and could never consent to roam around the world in his shadow. She later reportedly started a relationship with director Mahesh Bhatt. Both were spiritually inclined at the time and used to visit UG Krishnamurti and Osho in his company. Sadly, it was during her relationship with Mahesh Bhatt that first signs of schizophrenia began to appear.