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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

“People in the industry would hesitate to give me work because I am Vishal Bhardwaj’s wife,” says Rekha Bhardwaj

The Namak Ishq Ka singer gets nostalgic about Delhi winters, talks about the positive impact of Sufism and busts the myth that being related to a celeb by default gives you a key to the backdoor entry to Bollywood

brunch Updated: Feb 02, 2019 21:48 IST
Ananya Ghosh
Ananya Ghosh
Hindustan Times
Rekha Bhardwaj had got a National Award for her song in the 2010 film Ishqiya. Jacket, Vero Moda; necklace, Aza; top, Sakshi; shoes, Aldo
Rekha Bhardwaj had got a National Award for her song in the 2010 film Ishqiya. Jacket, Vero Moda; necklace, Aza; top, Sakshi; shoes, Aldo(Aalok soni )

The best and worst thing about growing up with four sisters and a brother...?

The best part was that it was a full house and we never needed anyone for anything. And the worst part is, I was always overprotected.

What’s the one thing you miss most about Delhi?

The winter fog rising from the streets, and the roads near India Gate made purple by jamuns fallen from the tree and trampled by a crowd of busy feet during monsoons.

About Rekha
  • Date of birth: January 24
  • Place of birth: Delhi
  • Sun sign: Aquarius
  • College: Hindu College, Delhi
  • First break: Yeh Kaisi Chaap Qadmon Ki in Jahan Tum Le Chalo (1999)
  • High point of your life: Getting the National Award (2010)
  • Low point of your life: From 1997 to 2000… I was struggling hard but not getting any work in Bollywood. It felt like nobody would ever make my album or give me any work.

If you could time travel, what era you would pick?

I would like to go back to the ancient civilisations of Harappa, Greece or Egypt and learn about their music.

What’s your favourite line from a poem or a book?

Mein tainu pher milangi (I will meet you yet again) by Amrita Pritam.

When you are home alone, what are you most likely to be caught doing?

Eating ice cream and watching Netflix. I am currently watching The Blacklist.

A myth that you’d like to bust is...?

That because I’m Vishal Bhardwaj’s wife, I had it easy in the industry. In fact, people would hesitate to give me work as a singer because I was his wife.

One superstition you have...?

I don’t buy metal, iron to be precise, on Saturdays.

How do you perceive Sufism, since it finds favour in your music?

Sufism is a way of life. It has given me a better perspective towards things and helped me establish inner peace. I was introduced to it at an Osho commune while working on my album Ishqa Ishqa.

What’s been the most significant turning point in your life?

It has to be my album Ishqa Ishqa (2002) that took a very long time to happen but finally came through.

Rekha’s favourites
  • Movie: Ijaazat (1987)
  • Comfort food: Alu rassewale aur poori
  • Poet: Gulzarsaab
  • Holiday destination: Europe
  • Hindi word: Ma
  • Playback singer: Lata Mangeshkarji
  • Song that always makes you break into a dance: Kajra Re

And what’s the most bizarre thing you have done in real life?

After a party once we went to the neighbouring houses and randomly rang their doorbells and ran away!

A project you are really excited about...?

I am really excited about working with MTV Unplugged. I have done two of my original compositions – one of them is a poem by Amrita Pritam and I’ve also done Dil Hoom Hoom Kare with a very different arrangement.

What should be the title of your biography if you ever wrote one?

I wish I was wiser.

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From HT Brunch, February 3, 2019

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First Published: Feb 02, 2019 21:48 IST