She keeps performing the vanishing trick. After she dropped out of Abhishek Kapoor’s Fitoor,there’s been no news about how she’s doing or what she’s up to in the isolated splendour of her sea-facing bungalow on Bandra’s Bandstand.
Lore goes that she still receives a record number of 500 fan letters a day from Rekhaites spanning three generations. She’s been stalked by psychos, and even returned a Rolls Royce gifted to her by a sheikh.
Fans, the 61-year-old diva believes firmly, want to know about myriad aspects of her life and career. So here’s Rekha in her own words as narrated over the years to Khalid Mohamed.
HER IDEAL MAN
I never believed that a maharaja would whisk me away..in slow motion. I’ve always been totally realistic. Friendship, apnapan and trust are the most valuable gifts any partner can give you on a longterm basis.
I was never materialistic, I’ve never cared for diamonds or fancy cars. My ideal man? Well, he should understand me by reading between the lines of my silences. Everything can’t be what you’ve read or fantasised about, you have to be open to unique experiences designed only for the both of you. At the end of the day, it’s between the man and me..name, social status, caste and creed no bar. Jab tak ghanti nahin bajti hai, one shouldn’t even think of getting involved.
Once a relationship is established, it’s forever! I truly believe there’s somebody somewhere out there for me. If we meet, that’s great. If he doesn’t recognise this then too bad, it’s his loss!
I don’t agree with Oprah (Winfrey) who says if you’re not happy in a relationship, then it’s not love. It all depends how you change and utilise the pain in a relationship. The word love is used too frivolously. Pain is not necessarily bad, you can’t blank it out but you can rise from the situation..instead of wallowing in it like some Dead Woman Walking.
After all, God’s greatest gift to us is our ability to reason, feel and smile! When I find this ideal man, maybe I will celebrate this with champagne in Paris..though I’ve never touched a drop ever..or watch a sunset while riding a camel in Rajasthan. Hopefully it will be worth the wait.
WHAT MAKES HER CLICK
It’s my nature, my genes, my lifestyle. Take my nature: I’ve never been vindictive, petty minded, bitter or selfish. I’ve been a cool and calm soul..and yet intense. Even as a kid, I’d look out of the window at the sea for hours. I was quite an obedient child, if there were negative vibes from other kids, I’d give them chocolates and ask, “Now can I be your friend?”
I’ve always loved nature..with so much beauty around, there’s never been a minute to sulk. If I’m ill I celebrate, make the best of that time at home instead of going into a depression. Once if any of my loved ones were critically ill, I’d feel helpless. Now I’ve built up enough faith to survive any crisis, with the conviction that this too shall pass. Tomorrow is another beautiful day.
My genes: My appakutty (father Gemini Ganesan) was the only real-life genius I knew. His memory was such that he could recite long passages from Charles Dickens and Shakespeare. He wrote poetry like water.. sang, danced, painted. Other than my mum, he was the world’s greatest cook. Since mum was an Andhraite, there would be ten types of non-vegetarian cuisine..brain, nalli, the works! I kept my sweet tooth in check because mum had diabetes.
I got my complexion, jaw line and instinct for yoga from appakutty..the twinkle in my eyes, the baby-like texture of my skin, beauty spots and fondness for dance I got from mum..my height 5’7” from my grandma. For the last 25 years, I’ve been my best South Indian self. I sleep at 10 pm, wake up at 5 am, have three proper meals, no snacking. I don’t know what it is to be like a wife, mother, friend or lover..yet I do know that those who come into contact, value me.
I’m not commercial. Whatever I do in the future must soothe my soul. That’s why I don’t do ads and TV..at times, I do films just for the heck of it, for peanuts. Then Aastha becomes a success. I’m even accepted as a grandma in Krrish. If that’s not a blessing, then I don’t know what is. Now, I’m consumed by the thought of finding my medium. For a book, there has to be the right time and place.
Thankfully and paradoxically, this so-called reclusive woman who is considered a glamorous ‘Diva’, can still touch everyone’s heart. Tomorrow, I could set up a fantastic ‘haven for troubled souls.’ Or as my sister says I could be the best counsellor and healer..she calls me her role model. Maybe because I’ve lived with strong, unshakeable values, that I would say is what makes ‘Rekha’ click!
Dosas, idlis with ghee and karapuddi. In my non-veggie days, I adored Hyderabad ka halim..and sea food which I still binge out once or twice a year. Anything that’s dark as in chocolates. Prashads: Banglasaheb’s gehu ka halwa in ghee, in Delhi; I can eat
five Tirupati laddoos at one go Italian..pasta, everything Italian actually except guys..my kink is that my guy has to be 100 per cent Hindustani with a great way of speaking Hindustani. I’m quite the chaati type..paani puri, dahi sev puri, missal paav… mmm.
HER FAVOURITE SPOTS
- Queen’s Necklace, Marine Drive
- Peace point, Bandra Land’s End, to watch the bay
- Taj Mahal Hotel’s poolside, especially after 2 am.
- My house ‘Pushpavalli’
- Any word in Bengali, French
- And Telugu