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Birthday girl Zeenat Aman: Happy seeing today’s heroines getting paid well; girls put in a lot of hard-work

Zeenat Aman talks to us on a variety of topics on her birthday, ranging from her plans for the day to who’s her favourite from today’s generation of actors.

bollywood Updated: Nov 19, 2017 14:54 IST
Rishabh Suri
Rishabh Suri
Hindustan Times
Zeenat Aman,Dev Anand,Birthday
Actor Zeenat Aman was recently seen in a web-series.

Actor Zeenat Aman will forever remain the epitome of boldness and beauty. Born in 1951, she completed her schooling in Pachgani and went to University of Southern California for higher studies. However, the biggest change in her life came after she participated in Miss India. She was the second runner-up, and was noticed by people from the industry. She also went on to win the Miss Asia Pacific in 1970.

She started off in Bollywood in 1971, and went on to do roles in timeless classics such as Hare Rama Hare Krishna(1971), Yaadon Ki Baraat (1973), Satyam Shivam Sundaram (1978) and Don (1978). She might have been missing from the film scene for a fairly long time but we caught up with her for a quick chat on her 66th birthday.

When asked if she has any special plans for the big day, Zeenat says, “I have no such plans. I normally spend my birthdays with my family- my sons and my close friends. It’s important to be with your family, the people you care about. I also feel that instead of throwing big parties, one should spend time with the underprivileged.”

One of the top female actors of her time, she doesn’t find any difference between the heroines of then and now. “Today’s generation is very talented, which we were too. But you can only make a name for yourself if you are both hardworking and talented. Also, I am happy seeing the way the wage gap has lessened over the years. Our remuneration was comparatively low. The girls put in a lot of hard work, they worked hard and danced well. A lot of people still go back to see the film because of their songs. It’s about time girls started getting their dues.”

Is anyone going out tonight? Let's disco #zeenataman

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However, she doesn’t have any particular favourites from the current crop of actors. “It isn’t about anyone being your favourite. It’s about the kind of performance, which should be nice, and you should like it when you see it. Also, (lately) I haven’t watched many films to make a statement about the industry.”

Is she still in touch with her contemporaries? “Whenever me all meet, it’s like there was never a time-lapse, and we pick up from where we left off. Everyone’s busy with their lives!”, says Zeenat.

Zeenat with Dev Anand in a still from the cult classic Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971)

A conversation with her would be incomplete without asking why she hasn’t written a biography, when so many of her contemporaries such as Rekha and Hema Malini have penned one. She quips, “I haven’t been approached for it yet, but I am thinking about it.”

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First Published: Nov 19, 2017 14:54 IST