Waheeda Rehman and Shashi Kapoor must be the only two Bombay stars who do not own a tv set.

Waheeda hasn’t bought one because she fears that her two growing young children will keep watching it neglecting their studies, but she and her family do sometimes go over to the Yash Chopra to watch a movie on video. Playing a mother in real life obviously is all a delight to Waheeda.

You can sense that life at the rekhis centers largely around the two children Suhail the boy is seven and is in the first standard and kashvi this girl is five and a half and in a kinder garden.

Suhail takes after his mother in looks as well as a quiet nature. Kashvi is quite a spirited number Waheeda Rehman said. Her name had been chosen by Waheeda’s husband.

It’s a slight variation of the surname of Anna Kashfi the supposedly India born woman who married Marlon Brando and eventually parted from him amidst great public turbulence.

  • waheeda article 1982

Shashi rekhi chose the name for his daughter because he liked Anna Kashfi fighting spirit. Her children, Waheeda said had a way of wolfing down ice cream in Bombay but when she took them to a trip to the US and exposed them to the famous 21 flavors of Baskin Robbins they showed no interest at all preferring to munch the lowly potato chips and tomato sauce.

That’s sometimes what happens amidst plenty. Amazing as this was, it was nothing compared to what America did to Waheeda herself.

Once appearing on stage with a performing troupe from Bombay the shy lady was actually induced to sing a song Jane Kya Tune from Pyaasa.

Suhail and kashvi keep a couple of rabbits at home as pets (oh, hell, doesn’t Waheeda know of their famous multiplying capacity but then she has never been a calculating woman) and a sheep called naughtily.

The latter Waheeda says is almost human eating as she recounts in rapid order dal, chaval, phulka, angur, sev, chocolate, and what you will.

In fact, it seems everyone in the house enjoys good food. Waheeda’s husband likes sometimes to putter about in the kitchen trying assorted skills with the skillet. (sayeeda a sister of Waheeda has published a cookbook).

The rekhis are Punjabis but Waheeda never has any adjustments problems. Her mother in law she says for instance has always been kind to her. And you guess here a daughter in law easy to be kind to.

Curious about the origin of the name Waheeda asked her friend sultana to find out. After her research sultana said kashfi was of Persian origin and meant someone able to express herself.

That my daughter certainly is, Waheeda smiled. Typical of Waheeda was the way she went about or rather didn’t go about arranging her children’s school admissions.

Like the other mothers, she queued up and stood patiently outside the principal’s office of the school she had chosen and was eventually turned down. Later Mrs. Ali Yavar jung wife of Maharastra’s former governor coming to know of Waheeda’s plight puts in a word for her.

Waheeda was summoned to the school a second time and the first thing the authorities asked her was Why didn’t you tell us you were Waheeda Rehman? And why ever not?

Because it never occurred to Waheeda. She never thinks she is someone special or that movie stars are especially entitled to various priorities.

After giving up film career Shashi rekhi went into the garment export trade but he is no longer in it obviously there are too many hassles to it.

He is good at furniture designing and even making Waheeda says and is very interested in period pieces. The rekhis tend to avoid large parties but go happily to small gatherings of close friends.

The only time Waheeda home and lawns are en fete is when by standing consent of Waheeda and her husband producer Yash johar an old friend who used to be Waheeda’s secretary hosts his annual party there.

It’s at one such party that the rumor which is even now going around started that Nanda, Waheeda’s closest friend, and Manmohan Desai are going to get married.

It seems lata Mangeshkar and Nanda are two performers Desai most admires so much so his wife good-humouredly used to say she was reconciled to having both these women as her souten.

After Manmohan became a widower some friends started suggesting to him that he should propose to Nanda. Nanda continues to be Waheeda’s best friend the two enjoy their once in a while driving down to town.

They like to go to the Taj and order their favourite items, lobster thermidor fish baked in butter, prawn & cocktails. Waheeda’s husband has always been friends with Nayyars and sadhana has become a good friend of Waheeda.

Not far back they were just two ruling stars. If Waheeda really goes on to live at Bangalore you will miss a nice person around here not a commodity which they have in plenty. – Filmfare 1982

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