Waheeda Rehman
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Jaipur Festival: Aaj phir Waheeda ki tamanna hai!

Waheeda Rehman


New Delhi, Jan. 25 -- She walked on to the stage dressed in a mint green sari, amid much clamouring of her fans, who were jumping and jostling to catch a glimpse of the evergreen actor Waheeda Rehman, who was at the Jaipur Literature Festival on Day Two.

The bouncers, who were trying to keep the crowds at bay, were baffled at the maddening urgency displayed by the youngsters. "Humein nahi pata tha log inhe itna pasand karte hain," said a bouncer, who called to himself Mr Singh.

After the audience settled down, Rehman, 76, reminiscing about her acting days, said, "They told me my name wasn't glamorous enough and that I didn't have enough sex appeal." But Rehman, then 16, persisted and got her original name in the film at a time when actors were known to change theirs before they entered the film industry.

Asked to differentiate between legendary filmmakers Satyajit Ray and Guru Dutt, she said that while Ray was very clear with direction, Dutt was a perfectionist who shot several takes to make sure he got the best frame. About actor late Dev Anand, who she worked with in many movies, including CID (1956), Kala Bazar (1960) and Guide (1965), Rehman said, "I first met Dev Anand on the sets of CID. He told me to call him Dev ... such a shy, decent actor. I couldn't believe I was working with him."

She also discussed the young crop of actors and said that although she isn't really close to most new-age actors, she often talks to her Delhi 6 co-star, Abhishek Bachchan. "Abhishek speaks with me lovingly every time we meet. I tell him, 'Yeh kaisi movie ki hai! Aur fir woh mujhe samjhata hai, 'Auntie woh na...'," she said. After her session got over, she got up to the echoes of her song, Paan Khaye Saiyan Hamar, being played in the background.