The face did not launch a thousand ships. But it did launch the career of one of the most accomplished actors in Bollywood, a beauty that 'age cannot wither, nor custom stale her infinite variety'.
When Waheeda Rehman took the stage at the Jaipur Literature Festival on a wet Thursday morning, it took sublime poetry to describe the grace and beauty of the 76-year-old actor.
Hindi poet Yatindra Mishra recited a few lines from a famous Bollywood film song 'Chaudvin ka chaand ho' to welcome her to the session Mujhe Jeene Do: Conversations with Waheeda Rehman.
Photo by Mohd Zakir / Hindustan Times
Rehman delighted the cheering crowd with many anecdotes from her career spanning several decades, saying that the 1965 hit movie Guide is her best film till date.
“Today, when someone watches Guide he may not find the role bold or unconventional. But 45 years ago, it definitely was,” she said of her role as Rosie.
The winner of the national award for best actress in 1971, Rehman also spoke at length about her relationship with Dev Anand, Satyajit Ray and of course, Guru Dutt.
“Guru Dutt was a person who never seemed to be satisfied with a shot. He could go on with retakes as long as he wasn’t happy,” she said.
Rather surprisingly, she named Abhishek Bachchan among her friends.
“He is the only friend I have among the new generation. We sit for hours talking about films, old and new,” Rehman said.
And what role she would like to do as a swan song?
“Something like Meryl Streep’s in The Bridges of Madison County.”