Rekha, Esha to tap to Hema’s tunes

MUMBAI: Hema Malini, who directed Shah Rukh Khan in his first film Dil Ashna Hai, is all set to return to direction with a film starring daughter Esha and good friend Rekha.

“It is a film based on a cultural conflict with classical music in the background. It is a very different story about the relationship that grows between two women from different generations,” Hema Malini said.

Hema has already spoken to Rekha. “She’s very excited particularly because she has lots of classical singing in the film. Rekha and I go back a long way. She is my good friend. It’ll be challenging to direct her. I feel this film will give her a role that does justice to her presence.”

But why not Hema herself instead of Rekha?

“Two reasons,” says the lady. “I can’t direct and act at the same time. Secondly, audience will feel cheated since it isn’t a mother-daughter film. I want Abhishek Bachchan to play the lead opposite Esha. It is the role of a modern boy with a classical temperament. I can’t think of anyone but Abhishek who’ll suit the role.”

The Rekha-Esha starrer, written by Vandana Mukhopadhyay, goes on the floors in the next four months. So does Ram Gopal Varma’s Sholay. Who, according to Hema, should play Basanti, the role she patented in Ramesh Sippy’s Sholay?

“None but Esha,” comes the prompt reply. “I can’t think of anyone else.”