Reminiscences with Rekha

I love my profession. It’s my first love

MUMBAI: Rekha, one of the most versatile actresses in Bollywood, turns 51 on October 10 and says she has reached a stage where she can do justice to any role offered to her.

Excerpts of the interview

Q: Javed Akhtar thinks you’ve touched new chords in your performing prowess in Krrish?

A: I’m really honoured and touched. He had felt the same way about me in Lajja. These days I’m lucky if I’m noticed for my roles. I just breeze in and breeze out on screen.

Q: Why do you say that?

A: That’s how brief my appearances are both on and off screen. I’m blessed because people notice me even if I appear at a function for two minutes. My appearance in Krrish too is rather brief. Simiji (Garewal) saw the film and said she can’t bear to see me as a grandmother.

Q: That thought is unacceptable to me also.

A: You forget that I’m an actor. For the past 10 years I’ve reached a stage where I could do justice to any role that came my way. It could be the role of a mother, sister-in-law or a negative or positive role. I’ve done it all with equal sincerity and passion.

Q: Aren’t you over-modest at times?

A: No... too much importance has been given to my glamour, clothes ... Today I think I’m at the best stage of my life and career. No matter what I do, people are responsive and, to my good fortune, appreciative... I don’t say no to any offer except when I feel the producer or director’s intentions aren’t honest.

Q: I don’t believe you!

A: The fact that I did Bachke Rehna Re Baba is proof of what I’m saying. I do anything that comes my way because I’ve the confidence and belief in myself and my fans. Even my family has been embarrassed by some of my films.

Q: Do you think you haven’t been too fortunate with roles?

A: No. On the contrary, everything I’ve done has taken me higher. Everything that has happened in my life has been a blessing. I consider myself the most fortunate person I know. For me no film has been mediocre. It’s been my baby — whether handicapped or sick, you don’t reject your baby. I’ve nurtured them all.

Q: You seem to trust your own judgement completely?

A: I’ve used my instincts so well and so continuously, I trust it completely.

Q: Make a true confession.

A: I love my profession. It’s my first love, and that’s a true confession. Everything else came later. My profession has been totally true to me as long as I’ve been true to it. Every time I falter in a performance — dialogue, shot or look — I’ve come out with one positive lesson or another. — HNS