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This article was first published 11 years ago

'I felt awkward during romantic scenes in Kabhi Kabhie'

Last updated on: October 26, 2012 15:04 IST

Image: Amitabh Bachchan and Raakhee in Kabhi Kabhie
Subhash K Jha in Patna

One of Yash Chopra's favourite actors, Raakhee worked with the filmmaker in as many as six films -- Daag, Joshila, Kabhi Kabhie, Trishul, Kaala Patthar and Doosra Aadmi -- and enjoyed a very good relationship with him.

The actress looks back at the happier times spent with Chopra, and reveals some interesting nuggets of information on the sets of their films.

"I can't believe Yash is gone!

He was very fond of me. Why? Don't ask me. Maybe because he was fond of food and I loved to cook. So the combination of someone who enjoyed cooking and someone who enjoyed eating worked for us. He used to order me to make his favourite food, and I would.

During the outdoor shooting of Kabhi Kabhie, I'd cook and the entire team would sit and eat together. Nowadays forget about eating together, actors don't eat!

My association with Yash Chopra started even before Daag. I knew him and his wife Pamela from the time they got married.

The first time I worked with Yash was in Joshila in 1972, where I played the female lead with Dev Anand. Even before Joshila, Yash came to me with Ittefaq. I couldn't do it because I was committed to Jeevan Mrityu with director Satyen Bose, as my first film.

Joshila started my long association with two of my favourite film personalities, Dev Anand and Yash Chopra.

'I don't know why Yash Chopra chose me for Daag'

Image: Raakhee and Rajesh Khanna in Daag

I don't know why Yash Chopra chose me for Daag. I was relatively new at that time, and mine was the author-backed role. My character was taken from novelist Gulshan Nanda's novel Maili Chandni. People liked my character of Chandni and our connection continued.

I didn't have a single song in Daag but I didn't care about such things.

Even in my subsequent films with Yash -- Trishul and Kala Patthar -- I didn't have any songs.

'Amitabh and Jaya called me 'Bahurani''

Image: Amitabh Bachchan and Raakhee in Kabhi Kabhie

When I married Gulzar, Yash became our neighbour.

He offered Kabhi Kabhie to me after my marriage. I think that film was conceived with me in mind. Lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi, I think, wrote the songs keeping me in mind.

Gulzar and I would regularly visit Yash's home. In those days, I was pregnant with my daughter Meghna and Yash's son Aditya was a child. One day in the presence of Amitabh Bachchan, they played a song and Pam said, 'This song is for Raakhee'.

That's how Kabhi Kabhie was offered to me.

When we started shooting for Kabhi Kabhie, I had intensely romantic scenes with Amitabh. That was a problem, since Amitabh and Jaya called me 'Bahurani'.

So Kabhi Kabhie started on a note of conflict for me. On the first day of the shoot, Amitabh had to sing Sahir's romantic lines to me and I had my hair in his lap. I felt so awkward. Yash helped me get over the awkwardness.

Yash was like a family member. He would come home, open the cupboard and say, 'I want you to wear this sari for tomorrow's shoot.' 

Do you know, the jewellery that I wore for my suhaag raat scene in Kabhie Kabhie was my own, that I wore at my own wedding?

'After Kaala Patthar, I ceased to be heroine-material'

Image: Raakhee and Amitabh Bachchan in Kaala Patthar

Not only his heroines, Yash was equally fascinated with everything to do with his wife. He wanted her to wear particular perfumes only, so that he'd feel her presence.

He had a certain image and vision of the ideal woman. You won't find his heroines behaving, dressing or talking loudly. There was a great dignity in his women. And I think he continued calling his heroines 'Chandni' till his last film.

The last film I did with Yash was Kaala Patthar. Then I ceased to be heroine-material. Sridevi and then Madhuri Dixit played Yash's ideal woman. One has to make way. Just like before me, there was Mala Sinha, Sharmila Tagore and Sadhana in Yash Chopra's films.

But I really enjoyed the variety of roles I did with Yash. I played Rishi Kapoor's mother in Kabhi Kabhie and his beloved in Doosra Aadmi.