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Deepak Parasher plans re-entry to Bollywood

By Sudeshna Sarkar, IANS

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Hema Malini and Jaya Bachchan started the trend of Bollywood heroines retreating from the industry as blushing brides and returning as the mother of the bride, but now it's the turn of a yesteryear hero to follow suit.

Model-turned-Hindi film hero Deepak Parasher - who debuted opposite Zeenat Aman in "Insaaf Ka Tarazu" and went on to win hearts in Pakistan, where his "Nikaah" opposite Pakistani singer Salma Agha ran for over 100 weeks - is planning a comeback to the silver screen.

It's been a decade since the 52-year-old, who tended to be cast as a business tycoon, has been away from films, barring Padam Khan's "Champion", where he made a guest appearance as - no prizes for guessing - a tycoon.

The villain behind his disappearing act was a major accident in 1986 while shooting a commercial in Dubai, which Parasher said nearly resulted in the amputation of a leg.

His days were spent shuttling between hospitals in Dubai, London and Mumbai till he was able to walk again. When he returned to Mumbai, he decided to explore TV against the advice of his peers.

"I wanted to be in something which didn't take a year," said Parasher, who was here on a short vacation. "I wanted something instant. TV was a growing medium and a big challenge for me.

"I was the first to rope in stars like Ranjeeta and Anita Raj to act in 'Akash Ganga' and now, you have practically all the stars -- from Hema Malini and Sridevi to Amitabh Bachchan - appearing on TV. I feel I started the trend."

With 38 TV soaps under his belt, including "Kahin To Hoga" and the upcoming fantasy "Chandramukhi" in which he plays a king, Parasher is planning to return to the big screen.

The script he is studying looks set to create another trend as well.

After a crop of new releases in which Bollywood actresses were shown as the object of desire of younger men - like Manisha Koirala in "Ek Chhotisi Love Story", Dimple Kapadia in "Dil Chahta Hai" and Deepti Naval in "Freaky Chakra" - the script in Parasher's hands reverses the trend and shows an aged hero being wooed by a nymphet.

"It's about a man wooed by a girl undeterred by the fact that she is young enough to be his daughter," Parasher explained.

"He too has a soft spot for her as she resembles a girl he had an affair with but who died."

As he is won over by her ardour, there comes the revelation that she is actually his daughter.

Reminiscent of Gulzar's "Mausam", the story caught Parasher's attention and he is studying it before committing himself. However, he has made one commitment.

The script was written with an actress from abroad in mind, and Parasher is rooting for an actress from Nepal.

"If I sign it, part of the film will be shot in Nepal," he said. "And at least one of the three directors - as well as the heroine - will be from here."


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