For veteran actress Asha Parekh, it's hard to believe that her friend and confidante Nanda is no more. She says she had spoken to the late actress just the night before she passed away, and finds it "frightening" that she didn't even get a chance to bid her goodbye.
Nanda, known for hits like "Gumnaam" and "Jab Jab Phool Khile", died here Tuesday morning following a massive heart attack at her residence. She was 72.
"I spoke to her on Monday night. We had a long chat. On Tuesday morning she was gone. When I spoke to her in the night, she was absolutely normal. She was in no pain at all, not even any uneasiness. It is frightening when you don't even get a chance to say goodbye. You are reminded of the fragility of life," Asha said.
Nanda and Asha were very close.
"We had to meet regularly, all of us friends. Waheeda Rehman, Sadhana, Helen, Nanda and I," she said.
Asha recalls all the good times she shared with her suddenly-deceased pal.
"We, the entire group of friends, last met for lunch on Saturday (March 22) just three days before Nanda was snatched away from us. Now I wonder how we girl pals would ever meet without missing her constantly," she said.
Asha describes Nanda as a gentle soul.
"She was a sweet-tempered and soft-spoken person who would never lose her temper or create a scene. She loved being at home, and in recent years, she had become more of a home-bird.
"She loved her family. The death of a brother some years ago left her shattered. She had two other brothers. And she liked to spend time with them," said Asha.
Getting Nanda out of the house was an ordeal.
"She had come for my 60th birthday. But she didn't come for my 70th birthday, and I never held that against her. I knew it painful for her to dress up for public appearances.
"I was very close to her. We spoke about anything under the sun. My last conversation with her is now etched permanently on my mind. It's hard to believe that now when I dial her number she won't be there to answer.
"I have lost not just a friend but my confidante."