After years of speculation on ‘did they, didn’t they?’ Rekha opens up about Amitabh Bachchan and what really happened all those years ago. While some of her answers are expected and banal, there is enough spice in them to keep us interested.
The biggest story of Hindi cinema of the eighties was the supposed extramarital affair between the two biggest reigning stars of the era, Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha. The two have always denied the rumour, and there was never any evidence to back up the notion that the two were seeing each other, but the rumour mill was abuzz for years at a time, and when the three people involved – Bachchan, Rekha and Jaya, Bachchan’s wife – acted together in a movie called Silsila, in which the character played by Bachchan has an affair with the character played by Rekha, a collective gasp shook the country.
Recently, on an interview with Simi Garewal, Rekha opened up about those old times. She spoke about the sense of awe she felt when she first met the superstar. She said, ‘Standing in front of Mr. Bachchan is not easy.’ She also revealed the moment when she was so nervous during the shoot of her first movie with her, Do Anjaane, Amitabh told her after a few days of being patient, ‘Suniye…zara dialogue yaad kar lijiyega’.
There was also the expected praise for the actor for his various qualities that have mesmerised India for so long. Rekha said that she had a lot of respect for Amitabh Bachchan because of his talent and his dedication towards his craft. She also said that in a way, Amitabh Bachchan had inspired her to transform into the Rekha people know today. ‘I have never seen him express pain. Ghode se giro, pahad se giro, barf mein nange paon jao, whatever you do never express pain,’ she said. She recalled how during the shoot of Ganga Ki Saugandh, Amitabh Bachchan used to get hurt but the more he used to get hurt, the better his performance turned out to be.
But when asked about the most important question of all, whether she loves Amitabh Bachchan, she played the coy courtesan in Mughal-e-azam and said, ‘Yes’, but added the following words: ‘I don’t think it is possible for anyone to meet the man and not be in love with the many good qualities he possesses’.
Well played, Rekha.


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