April 12, 2010

Rekha - Line of Beauty

The enigmatic Rekha shares more than thoughts and memories

Excerpts from the interview:

How would you analyse yourself on screen today?
Believe it or not, I actually cringe when I see myself on screen. Not that I am critical or even have an opinion. It’s just that my standards are very high. Like my performance in Khiladiyon Ke Khiladi was not up to my standards but you guys loved it and even gave me the Filmfare Award for it. I enjoyed working in Kudiyon Ka Zamaana but the whole world including the critics took it personally and shredded the film to bits. They asked me, “Ma’am how could you do a film like that?” I say as an actor every film is my baby and I’m equally proud of it. Even if my child turns out to be handicapped, I don’t believe in disowning it. It’s my responsibility for life. I will nurture it, protect it and will stand by it for life. Because it’s my sweat and blood, it’s my joy, an integral part of me. Also my gurus in this craft are stalwarts, the best in the business. So I better live up to the expectations of my predecessors and fans. I think 40 years is a long time in the same profession. So it’s a huge responsibility to give nothing but my best. I’m terribly humbled by the reaction of my loved ones which makes me want to be better than the best.

What do you think of the present generation actors?
It’s a now generation. There are a whole lot of youngsters whom I’m so proud of. I’m really envious of them because they are way ahead of what we used to be at their age. We used to be so hilele dulele (clueless) we had no clue of what we were doing. It took us a good 10 films to get our bearings. I’m so proud of Bebo (Kareena Kapoor) and the way she conducts herself. And for that matter Vidya Balan. She shone in her very first film, without any godfathers or film background. Fantastic! Look how Ranbir has carried the Kapoor legacy forward. I’ve so much to learn from them.

Who among the present girls reminds you of yourself?
None. Thank God I am not reminded of myself; they are way ahead of me. Look at them in their first film and look at me in Saawan Bhadon. Of course, they all have their uniqueness but the plus point is that they are also very techno savvy. Which is not my forte. They know how to market themselves. It comes naturally to them. I can’t do it. I am shy; my nature comes in the way. Today’s world functions on networking and all that… but then there’s another section of youngsters who are the wannabes, what’s-in-it-for-me generation. Who lack the patience and want to make it big making all the wrong choices. That kind of desperation can be fatal. Sadly they chose the wrong path and the repercussions are deadly and the price is too high to pay. The lessons easily learnt are easily forgotten. But I don’t believe in preaching, I believe in sharing. I believe in making people joyous. There is no end to knowledge; there is no end to the quest for creativity. There is no end to originality.

How do you retain your positive attitude?
That’s the way I am. Remember, positive energy is the key. Preserve all positive energy and repel all the negative energy. You do your best and leave the results to nature. The more you practice, it becomes more of you. It’s the typical example of practice makes one perfect. Like the saying, ‘‘Apne mann ka ho toh achcha, na ho toh aur bhi achcha (If things happen according to your wishes it’s good, if they don’t, it’s better).’’Coz ‘He’ knows best.

Anuradha Choudhary