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'My world is an oasis of love'

Rekha's name has been dragged into news for all the wrong reasons. The actress speaks out.

india Updated: Jun 12, 2006 14:06 IST
Subhash K Jha (IANS)
Subhash K Jha (IANS)

Stunningly poised, Rekha is perched at a place in her life where very few celebrities have been. Neither age nor rage ever wrinkles her soul.

Immaculate and unspoilt... impervious to the blows of mundane irritants, the actress has been reluctantly dragged into the news for all the wrong reasons.

What's the truth about Rekha's cancelled trip to Pakistan?

"Truth is too strong a word for what happened. I had already informed my dear friends the Khans (Feroz, Sanjay and Akbar Khan) that I'd be shooting for Goutam Ghose's Yatra and then attending Lata didi's (Mangeshkar) function, which was a day prior to the premiere in Pakistan. They said they'd love me to join them in Pakistan and insisted on getting all the formalities for my travel - visa, passport, etc - in place," Rekha said.


 Rekha's name has been dragged in news for all the wrong reasons

"I requested them not to announce my inclusion at the premiere until I was sure."

But Rekha being Rekha - in other words, unceasingly charitable to the opposite viewpoint - quickly justifies the Khans' premature excitement.

"I can understand why they announced my name. I hold no grudges against anyone. This is not an issue but it is being deliberately blown out of proportion. This is a very trivial price one has to pay for being who one is.

"I love the thought of being loved by people in India as well as Pakistan. I was very honoured when Akbar called me up and said I was the best ambassador from the film industry he could think of. I am always delighted to go to any part of the world to be with my fans."

Apparently, the gorgeous actress has legions of fans in Pakistan. Along with Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai, Rekha qualifies as the most wanted Bollywood icon in Pakistan.

Her delighted laughter dismisses the claim.

"Not just India or Pakistan, I feel the whole world is a part of me. It's not just Indians and NRIs whom I connect with. I welcome an interaction with any and every section of people from that large global community. My world is not an oyster but an oasis of love and connectivity.

"From that point of view, being in Pakistan was important. It's just that I chose to abide by another commitment."

She lights up at the mention of the Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar Award that kept her away from Pakistan.

"I can't describe the experience of getting the award from Lata didi. I'm not just her fan - I worship her. When Lata didi asked me to accept the honour I didn't think twice.

"I thought it was very sweet of her to give it to me. Now it's a huge debt on me. I don't know how I'll ever repay Lata didi for this award, and for all the wonderful songs she has sung for me."

She reminisces about her special "ghost-bonding" with Lata and her sister Asha Bhosle.

"They have given my insignificant personality a whole new definition through their songs. I mean, on one hand there was the husky voice of Asha tai who has the sensuality to enhance my expressions in terms of bhav.

"Then there's Lata didi whose voice brings out the girl-woman in me. There's a pristine untouched pure quality to Lata didi's voice, which lends instant grace to a heroine's personality. In many ways I identify very closely with Lata didi.

"Rekha wouldn't have been what she is if it wasn't for these two voices.

"Similarly, I attribute my performances to my directors, and my image to the way the print medium projects my photographs and thoughts. Without these support systems Rekha wouldn't have been Rekha. But Lata didi and Asha tai's contribution is indescribable.

"If I am proud to be single it's because Lata didi is so blissfully single. As for Asha tai, I'm not afraid to try new ideas, venture into the known. Like her I'm not afraid of making mistakes."

Rekha has just completed a fascinating film called Yatra with Ghose.

First Published: Jun 12, 2006 14:06 IST