Rekha personifies the phrase diva within the truest sense in Bollywood. The veteran actor, who can comfortably be listed as one of the vital profitable actors in Hindi cinema, has delivered unparalleled characters. And one such is Umrao Jaan, directed by ace filmmaker Muzaffar Ali. The 1981 movie has Rekha as a courtesan and traces her rise and life.

Back then, Umrao Jaan swept each award for Rekha’s efficiency, its music and artwork and course. It additionally  obtained Rekha her solely National Award for Best Actress too. The actor, nonetheless felt she didn’t deserve one.

In a throwback interview, dated 1986 with BBC Asian Unit, Rekha obtained candid about one in all her benchmark films, Umrao Jaan. In the video, uploaded by Waseem Mahmood on YouTube, Rekha revealed how she obtained into the pores and skin of the titular position, with none coaching.

“I never took any training for Umrao Jaan. I know it’s difficult to believe but I have never learned a word in Urdu. I shouldn’t be saying this but even today, I have problem in “ki” and “ka”. But it’s true. I don’t suppose I did something particular to deserve a National Award for Umrao Jaan,” Rekha stated in a piece of the interview.

President Neelam Sanjiva Reddy presenting the Best Actress National Award to Rekha for Umrao Jaan (1981). (Photo: Express Archives)

Umrao Jaan additionally starred stalwarts like Farooq Shaikh, Naseeruddin Shah, Raj Babbar , Shaukat Kaifi, Dina Pathak and others. It was based mostly on the Urdu novel Umrao Jaan Ada (1905).

umrao jaan farooq sheikh rekha Farooq Sheikh and Rekha in a nonetheless from Umrao Jaan. (Photo: Express Archives)

Further including how director Muzaffar Ali’s imaginative and prescient created magic on the units, Rekha quoted, “There was something about the film, that Umrao Jaan just got made. Maybe it just had to happen. I was going through a difficult phase in personal life that it got reflected on my face. Muzaffar Ali (director) is a very good painter, so his detailing about clothes, texture, colours, the background was exceptional. For example the ‘paan daan’… So all this just made the atmosphere of the film very good.”

Umrao Jaan was later remade with Aishwarya Rai enjoying the title position. While Abhishek Bachchan donned its male lead, it additionally starred Shabana Azmi, Suniel Shetty, Divya Dutta , Himani Shivpuri , Kulbhushan Kharbanda and others. The 2006 film was directed by JP Dutta.

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