Talking With Waheeda Rehman
Waheeda Rehman brings nostalgic memories of India cinema. In October 2004 a retrospective of her films was held in Sealtle University.
While boarding the flight together Ruchi spoke to the Chaudhvi Ka Chaand, Waheeda Rehman, who was accompanied by her twenty something daughter Kashvi in Seattle.
From shooting, public speaking to charity work. How do you manage to do all that?
Well! I am lucky to being able to do all that. (Smiles)! A healthy mind and body is very important to execute all activities, so in spite of a busy schedule I make sure to go for regular walks and also do yoga. Just like today irrespective of Seattle’s cold weather I went for my morning walk and look and feel fresh.
It happened decades back and it happens all the time. How does it feel to be surrounded by thousands of your Indian American fans?
An artist’s work is complete when appreciated by ones viewers. Similarly, when I travel thousands of miles from India and see those familiar Indian faces and their love for me when I was young and even now when old, my heart fills with joy.
How does it feel to be here in Seattle, for a retrospective of your films?
I am really thrilled to see that not only Indians but also other Americans are enjoying the old movies like ‘Pyasa’ and ‘Guide’. They are actually coming up with quite interesting questions and that shows the interest.
What has been the popularly asked question at the Seattle University panel discussion session?
The students have appreciated ‘Guide’, which is my favorite too. The most popular question was how it felt to play the character Rosie in the movie ‘Guide’ that was much ahead of that time.
Well! Now I am asking the similar question?
Huh! It was a challenge to play the character Rosie in the 60s, who was rebellious, ambitious and not ‘the perfect woman’. I love challenges and looked at it as another character and did my best.
How is it different from shooting then and now?
One of the distinctive changes I noticed on the sets from then to now is that everyone is talking on their mobile phones once the director says cut. (Giggles).
Kashvi tell us about your career?
I am definitely very passionate about films but behind the camera. I pursued higher studies in direction from Toronto, Canada and at present am working as assistant director. I just completed ‘The Rising’ with Aamir Khan.
Did you religiously watch your mother’s films while growing up?
Not really. But I was thrilled when I learnt that ‘Pyaasa’ gets shown in universities abroad. In fact when I studied in Toronto, I watched ‘Pyaasa’ in college for cinema studies.
Ms Rehman what would you advice the present generation?
Hard work, professionalism and punctuality is the key to success.