The captivating enigmatic Rekha may not be seen on screen these days. But she is pursuing her secret passion…no, not what you think…Rekhaji is heavily into singing and the whole industry is talking about it. Apparently Rekha randomly rings up her people in the industry and—hold your breath—sings for them!
“And she’s very very good at it!” a young female star tells me. “I was very surprised when Rekhaji called me. I know she’s very warm whenever we meet. But we meet very rarely, at awards functions and since award functions are not happening at all, I haven’t met her for quite some time. It was therefore a big surprise when I received a call from THE Rekhaji and an even bigger honour when she sang an ENTIRE song for me. And so beautifully.”
And this young popular actress is not the only one to receive a melodious call from Rekha. The legendary actress who has done her own playback singing in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Khubsoorat and Vinod Pande’s Ek Naya Rishta, has been a devout fan of Lata Mangeshkar for years.
In a conversation with me some years ago Rekha spoke glowingly of how close she feels about the great Lataji: “You know, Lataji and I share a very special rapport that goes back to when I was probably 2 or 3 years old. That was when I heard her singing in my sleep. And what a way to be woken up! She was singing ‘Aaja Re Pardesi’ from the film Madhumati. My mother used to hear this song at full volume. I’d jump up in my cradle and start dancing.”
Rekha remembered every detail of that encounter. “I even remember the timing, and what my mom was wearing, and what perfume….I told Lataji that I used to hear Aaja re pardesi…. Pardesi to miley nahin lekin iss bahaane mujhe meri Lata Didi mili (I couldn’t get a pardesi but that search gave me the excuse to find my Lata Didi). I went a step further and said, I wanted Lataji to be born from my womb. I think she’s so cute. That’s why I’d like her to be my daughter.”