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Rekha speaks her heart on Amitji’s 64th birthday: koi naam na do …

One of the finest coupling of indian cinema – Rekha & Amitabh, though have not been often repeated, but whenever they were paired they would set fire on the screen. Their vibe, the on screen romantic chemistry was often quoted as ‘true love’ in those days gossip magazines. And till today, its still a talk of the town – those days relationship between Rekha & Amitabh Bachchan. On Mr. Bachchan’s 64th birthday Rekha finally broke the silence about this never been told before story to filmfare this month.

Humne dekhi hain in aakhon ki mehekti khusboo…
haat se chuke inhe rishton ka ilzaam na do…
ek ehsaas hai yeh rooh se mehsoos karo…
pyaar ko pyaar hi rehne do koi naam na do…

Memories come rushing back like drops of rain pelting my head. Every drop of rain, a tender emotion, every sheet of water releases a frisson of feelings. It’s so easy to gush about someone who has been an inexorable part of my life for over three decades now.

Amitji has been a part of my consciousness ever since I saw him create magic on screen in Parwana playing the intense, silent yet obsessive lover opposite Yogeeta Bali. Incidentally, Yogeeta was the one who introduced us at Madras airport.

Whatever I am as an actor, I owe 100 per cent to him. I just soaked in whatever he had to offer just observing him. There is no learning like first-hand experience. In that sense, Amitji who is an institution has been my school, my college, my university. And mind you, he’s never ever taught me anything or helped me with my scenes or stuff like that. Just his presence and spirit contributed to my métier as an actor and as a human being.

He’s like my inner conscience which guides me through life and my performances. The conscience does not consciously teach you anything. It’s always there. You just tap into it whenever you need it. As time goes by, I believe it’s more and more real, like the voice of God. You may not get to see it but you feel it all the time. Because Amitji is so real, his consistency is so real. The simplicity and beauty of it is that he knows no other way.

For someone like me who’s grown up in an atmosphere without any role models, when I met this person jinhone apna ek muqammal mahol bana liya tha, I was totally fascinated.
He was the perfect son, the perfect father and the perfect husband.

As far as his friends go, Amjad (Khan) bhai and Amitji apart from being fellow Librans were very close. We were in Goa when Amjad bhai met with a car accident. He was very critical. We were all in Goa, I was shooting Do Musafir with Shashiji, while Amitji was shooting for the Great Gambler with Zeenat. We stayed at the same hotel. I remember looking out of the restaurant window, Amitji at the poolside in the dead of the night weeping copiously, looking totally lost and didibai silently comforting him. Thankfully Amjad recovered soon enough.

Amitji is not childhish, he’s childlike. He’s an old soul with a child’s mind. The way in which he’s still maintained his boyish charm never ceases to amaze me. Like I said, it’s the perfect paradox�?he is a blend of innocence and wisdom.

The world believes that Amitji and I had huge chemistry.

I must confess that I’m not by nature the kind who analyses or dissects every experience of my life. I’m reminded of Gulzar bhai’s lines which succinctly express my situation:

Humne dekhi hain in aakhon ki mehekti khusboo…
haat se chuke inhe rishton ka ilzaam na do…
ek ehsaas hai yeh rooh se mehsoos karo…
pyaar ko pyaar hi rehne do koi naam na do…

When people talk to me about this on screen appeal the Pardesiya sequence from Mr Natwarlal comes to mind. Amitji and I were choreographer Kamal master’s favourites. So he’d work out steps for us accordingly. I think that fluidity comes into play here. And the camera caught that. I was pleasantly surprised to find my partner in dance sequences who complemented me in every step. My fans write to me that the Yeh kahan aa gaye from Silsila is one of my most romantic songs ever and keep asking me if it was for real. What can I say but that it’s the power of the magical movies. And somehow the audience also catches on and wants to believe that vibe is for real. Or else how do you explain a song like that becoming such a universal rage?

After Ram Balram, we didn’t get a chance to work together for a long time until Silsila. My loss is that I didn’t get a chance to share the phenomenal growth of Amitji as an actor. So would you blame me for being thrilled when his producers requested me to dub for Neetu Singh in Yaaraana, Sridevi in Aakhri Raasta, Jayasudha and the late Soundarya in Suryavansham?

When fans write to me and question why we haven’t worked together after Silsila, the only rational answer that I can think of is that the wait to be able to co-star with Amitji is worth it. That everything happens for the right reason at the right time. And I’d attribute that to the better judgment of the directors who believe that they’ve yet to come across something worthy of our calibre. I truly believe that sabr ka phal meetha hota hai. In this case, time is not of the essence. That I know for sure.

One of my favourite movie with Amitji is Silsila. I remember the dialogue, “Dukh toh is baat ka hai ke maine anjaane mein tumhe dukh pahunchaaya hai.�? How can love and passion be performed more real than that? What a phew-nomenal piece of craft.

No wonder the world believed that the triangle was for real

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