On Asha's hit list are her forever friends Waheeda Rehman, Helen and Shammi, yesteryear co-stars Dharmendra and Jeetendra, Salman and the Khan-daan
Sanyukta Iyer (MUMBAI MIRROR; April 11, 2017)

On Monday evening, Asha Parekh sat in the front row flanked by her forever friends, yesteryear screen legends Helen, Waheeda Rehman and Shammi, all colour coordinated in black. They were at a suburban five-star hotel for the launch of Asha’s autobiography, The Hit Girl, with film criticwriter Khalid Mohamed.

The Khan patriarch Salim, was the first to arrive at 7pm, with daughter Alvira Khan Agnihotri. He congratulated Asha, greeted Waheeda who’s his neighbour and left because “its time for my evening walk”.

However, Asha’s Caravan co-star Jeetendra who has recently returned from a three-day birthday celebration to mark his 75th in Jaipur, stayed on, as did Aruna Irani who had featured in the film too. Also present were composers Anandji and Pyarelal who had tuned many of the hit girl’s chartbusters, the latter making everyone smile as he walked in clutching wife Sunila’s hand. Imran Khan, who’d arrived with mum Nuzhat obliged gathered fans with selfies. Jackie Shroff was a knight in shining armour, rescuing a bemused Asha from a crowd of fans and chatting with her in Gujarati escorted her to where she was expected to sign copies.

While the hotel’s patrons queued up in the lobby to get a glimpse of the star attendees, proceedings at the do gained momentum with the arrival of Salman Khan which was punctuated by the shutterbugs scrambling for a good shot. Waheeda Rehman, seated next to Helen, murmured, “Aa gaya.” Helen who while greeting guests had been requesting them to repeat their names, saying, “As I am getting younger, my hearing is getting worse”, heard her well enough.

Salman noted in his speech that today’s girls need to learn from these aunties. “We make friends but they (longtime besties the late Sadhana and Nanda, Asha, Waheeda, Shammi, Helen) have stayed close throughout. Our generation has lost that quality while they have supported each other. Their generation lived the cleanest life possible; professionally and personally,” he pointed out.

The hit girl’s Aaya Sawan Jhoom Ke and Shikar co-star Dharmendra made a quiet entry in the middle of the launch, taking a corner seat in the front row. Within minutes, Salman walked off the stage to greet the senior actor with a warm hug, touched his feet for his blessings. Later, he admitted that it takes guts to write an autobiography and he can never do it. This was met with peals of laughter from Dharmendra and Jeetendra.

Asha Parekh thanked her besties and Salman “dil se”, revealing that she’s known him since he was in a cradle and signed off with a catchy, “Book leke dekho,” playing on the title of her Shammi Kapoor starrer, Dil Deke Dekho, Nasir Husain’s second directorial.