Amitabh is my guru: Rekha
Friday, October 19, 2007 15:02 IST
By Santa Banta News Network
by Subhash K Jha

The phone rings. It's that husky musky magical irreplaceable scent of a woman.

"Don't tape our conversation. Use your memory. You've such a wonderful god-given faculty to fall back on. Why resort to a man-made gadget?" reasons the Diva with the most vivid memory in the film industry, hours before her 53rd birthday

"Is it really my birthday tomorrow?" she chuckles playfully. "I didn't notice. For me every day is a celebration. Every moment a blessing from God. I don't need to visit temples on my birthday. There's a temple right here in my house and that's where I'll pray, as I do everyday."

How does she manage to remain so positive in spite of so much negativity around her, like the most recent report about how she tripped and fell while rushing out of Dev Anand's book release?

The musical laughter fills the ear. Then there's a reflective pause.

"I don't think about negative things. There's so much beauty, so much love and excitement to be savoured every day. Hum negative cheezon ko itni ehmeeyat kyon dete hain? People can get to us only if we allow them to.

Besides I don't believe people are negative without reason. Even the cobra that bites you has reason to do so. Regarding Dev Saab's book release I had to rush in and rush out because my pup Shiva was waiting in the car.

I've five pups and all very dear to me. They're my children. I had left Shiva in the car. Yes, I did trip once. But I went right into the car. So it was a perfect trip."

Make no mistake. This self-confessed uneducated Standard-O- passed Diva has high humour on her side and an impeccable sense of amusement. She reads minds on the phone and can tell exactly when you are fully attentive or restless.

Her voice brings me around again. "People ask me about the way I CONDUCT my life. Sorry, beautiful music is conducted.. Lives cannot be conducted. At least I've always gone with the flow, risen and fallen with the rhythms of existence without, ha ha, tripping over seriously.

My current high is bonding with Shah Rukh Khan. Of course I've known him for years. But lately we're connecting more profoundly. I've done a blink -and-miss appearance in Om Shanti Om and that's when I got to know him seriously. He has a sharp mind."

And is she aware that Preity Zinta in Rituparno Ghosh's Last Lear has been styled, a la Rekha in Silsila?

"Has she? Is it an imitation or a tribute? We've to make that distinction very clearly," she says with a poker face.

"Seriously I think Rituparno Ghosh is like Utpal Dutt...And I believe Mr Bachchan is also very Shakespearean in Last Lear. Together I believe the two have paid a very propah tribute to Shakespeare. I'm looking forward to it.

I seriously think Mr Bachchan is more Bengali than any one I know. He's a true Bengali Dada. And I'm not saying that because he has a Bengali wife or has spent time in Kolkata. There's more of Rabindranath Tagore's legacy in Mr Bachchan than anyone else."

She surprises you by giving Mr Bachchan a place in her life. "He's my guru. I learnt so much from him."

She goes into yet another thoughtful byline. "Do you know Tagore was a true woman's libber? He started Shanti Niketan for women long before feminism was conceptualized...I like the thought of women being given a philosophical and emotional sanctuary by a man who isn't threatened by them.

Today I find we're too obsessed by superficialities and surface gratification. On the news channels all we hear about achievers is their financial assets, homes, villas and parties. Arrey unki rooh ki bhi to baat kare!.

There has to be a spirit that supports dreams....I dream all the time. My life is a dream and I dream a new dream every day."

News has it that Rekha is heading westwards?

"No where did you hear that?" Rekha is amused. "I've no such plans. I've never planned anything in life, certainly not my career. Mira Nair's Kamasutra happened to me by chance.Maybe something will come up.At the moment I'm excited about the debut of my nephew which will happen next year."

At the moment Rekha is preparing for her role in Hema Malini's film to be directed by Revathy featuring Rekha and Esha Deol.

"Hemaji has the most radiant and goddess-like face I've seen. When Lataji called me a reincaration of Goddess Laxmi I was over the moon. But really, she was just being so kind...I don't really want to be a goddess, or a diva or whatever I'm called.

I just want to fulfil my responsibilities. If you ask me to assess myself I'm an okay actress and good humanbeing.But I'm not content. Ek talab abhi hai...Ek dream hai. Don't ask me what it is. I don't know."
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