September 25, 2023

I knew she was going through a very bad phase otherwise glorious like, the bad phase was very bad. I was walking along the Juhu market when I saw a woman who must have seen good days walking around aimlessly and looking at people and things as if she was seeing them for the first time – Ali Peter John

I looked at the woman closely only to find out she was wearing a dirty flowery skirt and a matching top which had not been washed for a long time and she was wearing rubber sandals and was carrying a red coloured plastic bag in her hands.

Her hairs had not seen a comb maybe for several weeks and she shocked me completely when she picked up rotten fruits from the streets and began eating them.

I followed the woman for a little more time till I realised and people told me that she was Praveen Boby and I almost lost my senses.

I had seen her when she first came to Bombay as a part of the Royal family of Junagadh in Gujarat and was a post graduate in English literature and was trying to sign to play a titled role by the rebel filmmaker BR Ishara in his film ‘Charitra’ in which the well known cricketer Saleem Durrani was the hero.

The film had miserably flopped but this girl from Junagadh had made it big and was signed to play one big role after another till she was in the front line of all the leading actresses.

Praveen Boby had the streaks of a rebel in her right from the beginning and when she met people like Kabir Bedi, Mahesh Bhatt, Jonny bakshi, Danny dansolva and other men like them she joined their group and was known as a part of the flower generation which believed in a free life and was hooked on to free sex and drugs. She was on a double track.

On the one hand, she was going through a brilliant bright patch of success and on the other hand she was walking along a path which could only take her towards destruction, but she didn’t care and lived her own life.

It was while she was at this phase of her life and career that time magazine gave her a shot in the arm when it put her on it’s cover and hee popularity and her price both increased.

At one time, Praveen was doing films with every leading hero from Amitabh Bachchan to Vinod Khanna to Shatarughan Sinha, to Jitendra to Danny and the whole lot of them and was working with all the leading directors.

It was at this stage that went wrong with her and she left bollywood and did not come back for several months even though big film makers were waiting for her.

And when she came back for the shooting of Shaan, she was highly hooked on drugs and high philosophy which she had imbibed from all kinds of real and fake yogis and philosophers like Bhagwan rajneesh and UG Krishnamurti.

She had put several producers to heavy losses because of her an unpredictable behaviour.

She called a press conference at her house in her apartment in Kalumal Estate where Danny also used to have his apartment and now had his office and the entire press from Bombay attended even though it was at 8 o clock in the morning.

She was not her normal self. She was rambling and blaming powerful people like Amitabh Bachchan, Algore then Vice president of America, the BJP party, the Roman catholic Church, all the investigation agency of the world and even the mossaud for hatching a conspiracy to kill her.

She particularly blamed Amitabh Bachchan (they had done 8 films together) and told the press that he had conducted a special surgery near her forehead to plant a chip and the press did not take any of her utterances seriously.

She even complained to the police which said that what she has scribbled would not be taken as evidence.

A few days after her press conference, the police received a complain from her neighbours saying that her apartment was sticking and that the milk packets and other things at the door were not taken in by anyone.

Her door had to be finally broken open by the police and her body was found in a decomposed position and the cause of her death was given as gangerin and starvation.

At her funeral at the Juhu Kabrastan, there were hardly 10 moaners and except for Danny, not one of her lovers, friends or admirers were present to wish her farewell. And today she remains as just one of the mysterious cases in the files of the Santa Cruz police station.

One of her lovers, Mahesh Bhatt has been taking the maximum advantage of his closeness to her, like he made earth based on the relationship between him, Praveen and his wife Kiran and he also made “Wo lamhe”, which was roughly based on his relationship with Praveen.

And today, I know of atleast 3 writers and 2 filmmakers who are desperately trying to recreate the story of Praveen and one of the youngest filmmakers has even approached me to write the script about Praveen and i have not even started thinking about making money by writing about what I knew about Praveen Boby.

YE JO JINDAGI HAI, KABHI KABHI BAHUT KHUBSURAT LAGTI HAI, LEKIN ISKO JITE JITE ISKE KAISE KAISE RANG BADAL JATE HAI YE JINDAGI HUMKO KABHI BTATI NAHI AUR YAHI JINDAGI KA SABSE BDA RAAJ HAI.

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