'Guide will always have a special place in my heart,' Waheeda Rehman tells Rediff.com contributor Haresh Pandya.
Waheeda Rehman is a vision of elegance even at age 76.
At the Jaipur Literature Festival, Waheedaji discussed her life in the movies with Rediff.com contributor Haresh Pandya.
How do you look back at your career?
I don't have any complaints. I've had a satisfying career.
When I entered the film industry, I hadn't dreamt that I would work in so many movies and opposite so many reigning and future heroes.
Nor did I dream that I would enjoy such a large following and that my fans would love me so much.
So, I look back with complete satisfaction, and feel proud of my achievements.
Do you think your directors made the most of your ability?
I was lucky to work with some of the finest filmmakers -- Guru Dutt, Satyajit Ray, Vijay Anand, Raj Khosla, Asit Sen... They were brilliant and knew how to get the work done from an actor.
As an artiste, you always feel you could still do better.
Was there a particular director with whom you enjoyed working more than the others?
No. I enjoyed working with all my directors.
I may have done more films with certain directors, but it doesn't mean I enjoyed working more with them and less with others.
Which films are you most proud of?
Guide will always have a special place in my heart.
I was happy doing Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool, Chaudhvin Ka Chand, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Teesri Kasam, Mujhe Jeene Do, Khamoshi and Reshma Aur Shera...
Was there a particular hero you felt more comfortable working with?
I was a professional artiste and didn't have any favourites. I was as comfortable working with Dev Anand and Guru Dutt as I was with the others.
Was any character you played closest to your heart?
I've played so many different characters that I find it hard to single out one.
Though mine was a secondary role in Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, I loved playing my character because it was a substantial one.
Why do you think the films of your era -- the 1950s and 1960s -- are still so popular?
The quality of those films made them successful. They had great stars of the day, great stories and great music.
Having said that, I don't mean that good films aren't made today.
In fact, they are making better films today because of the advanced technology and other factors. But they don't last too long in cinema halls.
Of course, we are talking about two different eras here. There was no television, no video cassette, no CD during my working days. People had no choice, but to go to the theatres.
It is said most of your directors didn't do retakes when you were in front of the camera.
Well, it can't be 100 percent true. I may have made odd mistakes here and there.
Maybe I had good understanding of my characters and the situations, so the expressions came naturally to me.
Who do you think is the most beautiful actress in Hindi cinema today?
She is so naturally beautiful. She has irresistible charm, grace and poise.
In acting too, she is very talented.