QUESTION: You started your career with Leena , Babita... Jaya, Shabana came after you... lf you still sail on the era of Kajols and Raveenas, who were born after you were a star. To what do you attribute this long span?

REKHA: To God! And me! And a major part of it to luck and good fortune.

QUESTIONER: let's play the game of two-line comments on the following stars...

REKHA., Oh I'm game man... You name it

AMITABH BACHCHAN: I thought I said it not a human being (laughs and says) ..AHH! Amitabh... Waah! Kya insaan hain! That's it.

VINOD KHANNA: He's my true contemporary. We started on the same day, same time, same studio, same film. A libran like me!

SANJEEV KUMAR: He taught me the power of individuality. He said to me, When everything else is wrong, be it the sets, the dialogue, the director, the script, you still have the chance to make it right. And only you have the power to do it! Once the camera is on nothing else matters... but you'!

SHASHI KAPOOR: He's one guy I'd love to hate. And hate to love. But I just can't help but love him,

DHARMENDRA : I've admired him as an actor but I admire him much more as a human being. He's the one actor I've met who's all human.

RISHI KAPOOR: Chhotte sarkar to me. But as far as acting is concerned, he's a bada, bada sarkar.

NASEERUDDIN SHAH : He's somebody who I can long for... No, it's not what you're thinking... I can never stop longing to work with him.

RAJESH KHANNA: The most complicated person on the surface but the most simple on the inside. But not everybody con see that deep.


HEMA MALINI: My ever smiling kid sister who I'll never register is older than me. And no amount of convincing can make me believe that either.

ZEENAT AMAN: Somebody I admired both as a person and as a professional. And I still maintain it.

PARVEEN BABI: She is the female version of Dharmendra. Only, in her case, f wish it was the other way around.

REENA ROY: She was a child, is a child and will always be a child trapped in the readymade body of a woman.

NEETU SINGH: She's one spontaneous actress I met long ago, who grew to be my friend. A wonderful human being.

JAYA BHADURI: She was my didi bai, Js my didi bai! I say 'my because she !s my didi bai!

MUMTAZ: The one very special person I knew, with unbelievable stamina.

SHARMILA TAGORE: I've always loved her as a person. And now, I love her even more as a mother.

SHABANA To me she is just a Two-year-old, chhota sa bachcha. But she likes to believe that she's a 102-year-old!

QUESTION: From a vantage point where you see a previous generation disappear and a new one emerge, comment on your impressions presentation wise of the following...

REKHA (Before 1 could even name ' the stars she began) First of all, let me confess that I really haven't got down to reading a complete interview of the so-called, outspoken generation of today. They use too many expletives every now and then. Even the headlines that I read! They are sensational, but it's there only because they have said them, right? Therefore, they should be ready to accept and pay the price, if they speak in that manner.

I'd like to think of it as just a phase they're going through, something that they'll grow out of. But yet my argument is that if they can look so beautiful and glamorous on the covers, why follow it up in an interview filled with four-letter words? I sometimes feel that even a magazine like Playboy doesn't print such pornographic language. I don't know why they allow their pictures to contradict their interviews.

Determined however, TO NAME the stars. I BEGAN... SREEDEVI, MADHURI JUHI... She stopped me. Don't take names because ' I don't read names. I read captions or a headline in some cases. It's just that me little that I read, makes me feel the way I do, the way I've mentioned. I can't even begin to imagine what would happen if I read an entire interview!"

MOST MEMORABLE PERFORMANCES: My most memorable performance is still to come, but if you're talking about memorable films, then there's... Saawan Bhadon, Do Anjaane, Aalap, Muqaddar Ka Sikander, Ghar, Silsila, Umrao Jaan, Khoon Bhari Maang, Ijazat, Phool Bane Angaarey

MEMORABLE PERFORMANCES BY NATIONAL/ INTERNATIONAL STARS: There are at least 10 which are close to my heart. But anyway... (1) The romantic scene that Madhubala did in Mughal-E-Azam. (2) French lieutenant's Woman, which I've seen over and over again. (3) Tony in Scarface: I'd love to do a female version of the human side of him. (4) Padosan: Everytime things are going wrong, 1 switch it on. (5) Rocky III: I can watch it all the time, because I associate it with the beginning of a very bubbly part of my I Life.

FAVOURITE SONGS: They are: (1) Self Control' by Laura Branigan (2) Pyar kiya to darna Kya..: (3)'Allah tero naam...' (4) '1 am a woman in love' by Barbara Streisand (5 ) 'Right Here Waiting For You' by ,Richard Marx (6)'I said 1 love you but I lied' by Michael Bolton (7) I'll be watching you' by Sting (8) 'Everything I do, I do it for you...'by Bryan Adams (9)'1 will always love you' by Whitney Houston and (10) 'I wanna run to you' again by Whifney Houston.

FAVOURITE PEOPLE: Pisti: She's a person, the most sincere person. My mother: For obvious reasons. The late Jennifer Kapoor. A major influence in my life. The Iate Mrs lndira Gandhi: Mere words can't explain what I felt for her. Oprah Winfrey: She's too good to be true and so genuine too.

FAVOURITE BOOKS: You must be kidding, unless you consider magazines and comics, books! Comics - Dennis The Menace, Little Dot, Archie comics: I'm Betty no Veronica. Magazines - Cosmopolitan, Elle i f .a

THINGS YOU'D LIKE TO DO : Change the world to make it a better place. Have the authority to stop wars. Change the dimensions of my figure. Create a wonder drug to make love last. To go back into my future... Not my past. I know it's a fantasy come true but I intend doing just that. !f not in real life, then via films. Hope to God, to see that day.

FILMS SHE'D WISHED SHE'D DONE : Loved to have made the whole of Silent Movie. To play Jessica in Roger Rabbit. Scent of a Woman. A female version. Godfather III: Again a female version. Madhubala in Mughal-E-Azam. But that's only if my co-star was or is as inspirational.

DIRECTORS SHE LOVED TO HAVE WORKED WITH : The late Raj Kapoor The late Guru Dutt The late K. Asif Barbara Streisand Myself

FAVOURITE CARS : Maruti 800 Lamborgini Porche Volkswagen Beetle Jaguar

FAVOURITE JEWELLERY : Oxidised Silver Old Jadhau Pearls Jewellery made from cloth Old Egyptian jewellery

FOREIGN HOLIDAY HAUNT : Rome San Francisco Long Island, New York West Palm Beach Japan

MOST IMPORTANT FACTORS IN A IN A MAN: Honesty Hard working Good social behaviour Sense of humour The ability to laugh at himself

HOBBIES: Watching films on my Laser Disc Collecting postcards Drawing cartoons Mimicking people Photography, collecting old photographs

THINGS SHE'D LIKE TO DO RETIRING AS AN ACTRESS: Open my own boutique Seriously start studying classical music Open a big beauty and make-up centre Establish an institution for the invalids Try my hand at direction

RESTAURANTS: China Garden Shamiana at The Taj Trattoria at The President The Thai restaurant at the President Used to love The ViIlage at Worli

MOST DISAPPOINTING MOMENTS " Mr : Had to leave school due to Financial reasons Could never learn classical dancing Can never keep thin and slim, unless I diet and exercise Couldn't buy a plot of land on Madh Island because I was a film star When I was young, after a full day and night at Tirupati, I could never get a darshan

HER IDEA OF ROMANCE To look into his eyes first thing as you awaken. To be with your loved one at the dining table and not be able to eat a morsel. To be miles away from my man and then suddenly smell his body and be overwhelmed by memories. To speak for hours on the phone long distance, when he's away. To shop for a gift for my special one. And the thrill of planning how to wrap 'it, write a card and how to present that gift.

HAPPIEST MOMENTS: When I got the National Award. But more important, the person who informed me of it. 1977. When I could finally reduce my weight. That particular day when I realised that I could never be alone and that I could be my best friend. The day I realised that there is life and that I should live it to the fullest. And the day that I know I'm going to become a mother.

CO-STARS SHE'S NOT, BUT WOULD ENJOY WORKING WITH: Kamal Haasan Jackie Shroff Sanjay Dutt Shah Rukh Khan Dilip Kumar

And Amitabh Bachchan Amitabh Bachchan? I asked.

"Oh, I did work with him didn't I? Don't blame me, it's been a long, long time ago, I almost forget"

----END---- Source: As told to Cine Blitz, April'94