By Anindita Mukherjee Last Updated:
Undoubtedly, their's has been one of the most unforgettable, controversial and ‘the one with a sad ending’ kind of relationship. Even for those who aren’t Bollywood buffs and when asked to name one of the most prominent flings in Bollywood, they would surely call out Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha’s name.
Amitabh and Rekha’s jodi is placed alongside the most prominent ones in the industry. Amidst multiple controversies, shaming and heaps of judgmental vibes from people (both within and outside the industry), there was a time when nothing could stop the couple from being in love with each other. But unfortunately, they couldn’t be with each other.
In the lap of time, let us take you back in the 80s, when all you could see in the Page 3 section of the newspapers was Rekha and Amitabh’s love story. One such incident depicted by a Bollywood YouTube channel, Lehren Retro has it that a biography on Rekha titled, Rekha: The Untold Story uncovers an incident that happened in the life of these passionate lovers. Amitabh then was an already married man and his affair with Rekha was at its full peak. The Shahenshah of Bollywood was shooting for Laawaris and reportedly fell in love with an Iranian dancer on the sets of the film. As luck would have it, it did not take much time for media to make this a headline and soon, this reached the ears of Amitabh’s then muse, Rekha.
As expected, the incident did not seem to go down well with Rekha and she, at once rushed to the sets of the film to seek clarification on the matter. Rumours had it that the clarification ended with a bitter fight when an infuriating Amitabh placed a few slaps on Rekha’s cheeks. The YouTube video also has it that a hurt Rekha then rejected Yash Chopra’s Silsila. Apparently, Yash ji himself had to step in to convince Amitabh, Rekha and Jaya Bachchan to do the film. Both Silsila and Laawaris went on to be released in 1981 and the rest is all history!
In an explosive 1984 throwback interview with Filmfare, Rekha, at length, spoke about Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan and relationships. She had shared:
“Why should he have not done it? He did it to protect his image, to protect his family, to protect his children. I think it is beautiful, I don’t care what the public thinks of it. Why should the public know of my love for him or his love for me? I love him, he loves me – that’s it! I don’t care what anybody thinks. If he’d reacted that way towards me in private, I would have been very disappointed. But has he ever done that? I ask you. So why should I care about what he’s said in public? I know people must be saying bechari Rekha, pagal hai us par, phir bhi dekho. Maybe I deserve that pity. Not that he has 10 rollicking affairs! Mr Bachchan is still old-fashioned. He doesn’t want to hurt anybody, so why hurt his wife?”
Speaking about being the ‘other woman’ in a man’s life, Bollywood’s Umrao Jaan was quoted as saying:
“No one cares about what I have to say. I’m basically the other woman na? Parents are also embarrassed. Which parents will not be when their son has an affair? And image ki baat hain na. No one looks inside. The other party has this cute bechari image which fits beautifully. The impression is good na? I’m free. The other person can’t do that. Can’t leave him and go away. Mind you, this is a very good quality. If you can kill your desire and stick to someone in spite of knowing that this person loves somebody else, stay under the same roof. It shows strength. I must give her credit. It’s a plus point which I don’t possess. I won’t compromise. Give and take theek hain. But you might finish off the relationship if you compromise.”
Have you watched Rekha’s film, Khoobsurat? If you have, this incident would make you want to watch the movie again, and this time notice the intricate details. Amitabh Bachchan, back then, had given two rings to Rekha. She was so fond of it that she never removed it. But on one of the many occasions when the ‘couple’ had parted, Rekha did this with the rings. She had shared:
“I was working in Khoobsurat at that time and I put my heart and soul into my role. You will notice that in the last half of the film I am not wearing my two rings. They have been given to me by him and I never remove them even when I am sleeping. But during those days when we had parted, I sent them back to him."
Amitabh and Rekha’s tale is an unfortunate love story. Were the aforementioned incidents known to you? Let us know in the comments section.