Bhanurekha Ganesan, or Rekha as she is known, has been an enigma of sorts. Probably, the most mysterious celebrity and human being, Rekha, even today, manages to keep her mystery intact. At a time when every celebrity is on social media, she is an exception, even among her peers.
Rekha has been involved in controversies. Her personal life has been a subject of curiosity. She has been evasive in giving interviews too. Journalist Soumyadipta Banerjee recalls how whenever anyone calls at her house, a little girl answers and asks what the interview will be about. That little girl is her alter-ego. Smart thing to do!
She never spoke about her late husband who killed himself not long after they were married. The blame was put on her; however, he was a victim of depression. Her alleged marriage to Vinod Mehra generated a lot of speculation. Vinod’s untimely death was devastating for her yet she never talked about it in public. The one man she ever confessed to have loved was Amitabh Bachchan on a talk show. Off late, she has been seen in sindoor as well and she is unapologetic about it. Maybe, younger actresses can get some empowering motivation from her.
Her secretary Farzana stays with her and has been a loyal partner for ages now. Her tell-all memoir “Rekha: An Untold Story” revealed a few details about her life which shocked people. Her alleged molestation at the hands of senior actor Biswajeet during a shoot and the abuse she suffered from the hands of Vinod Mehra’s mother were the details people had no idea about. The biography also revealed names of people from the industry who shunned her after her husband Mukesh’s suicide. Leading actors and directors had predicted her end and called her “a blot on Bollywood”.
Yet here Rekha is. She works in films and is paid well for it. She has worked with almost every actor of her generation and continues to look for better opportunities with the younger lot. Her screen presence is strong enough even today and appreciates work of other people. Her recent favourite is Deepika Padukone who won her over with her performance in Padmaavat. But, she calls herself a loner and doesn’t like to network. Her assets are her mother’s who brought her up after her father abandoned them.
Despite all of it, she is still living life to the fullest. She doesn’t call herself a survivor. And how did that happen? Well, that will remain a mystery too.