Mubina Patanwala grew up knowing her aunt Asha was famous, but never expected to find her in the NFSA collection. In our new series NFSA Stories, we meet people who have also found themselves – or a friend or family member – in the NFSA collection.
Mubina’s aunt is Asha Parekh, one of Bollywood’s most successful dancers and actresses. Born in 1942, Asha made her big screen debut at just 10 years old, before acting in more than 90 films. Over her long career she has also worked as both a TV director and producer.
When Mubina was working at the NFSA, she brought a copy of Asha’s autobiography The Hit Girl (2017) into the office. A colleague suggested she check the NFSA website to see if there were any records relating to Asha in the collection.
Knowing Asha had visited Australia in 1977 to perform at the Sydney Festival allowed Mubina to narrow down her search. She soon struck gold: a reel housing an episode of The Mike Walsh Show also included an A Current Affair interview with the actress.
While the clip was lucky to survive, there was unfortunately a problem with the source tape. The clip is of variable quality, with excessive flickering and occasional distortion. Standard industry practice of the time was to reuse tapes, effectively recording over previous programs, which may be one explanation as to the condition of the clip below: