Birthday Love: Rekha’s five playful characters on screen

Yasmin Shabir

Features Writer


An evergreen legend who could give the youngsters a run for their money. Not only is she up to date with today’s world but they also has the ability to win hearts with her poetic words and intriguing stories. This lady is none other than the enchanting actress Rekha who, over the years, has become more and more popular with each generation.

On 10th October arrives the birthday of this legend so what better way to celebrate this occasion with, by looking back at five characters that Rekha has played in her career which have a playful side to them.

Manju in ‘Khoobsurat’ (1980)
This was the film that saw Rekha in a new light, with so many characters in the film she was the one who stole the show. In fact her role was loved so much by everyone that she won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress in the year 1981. Her character Manju lives with her elder sister, father and their servant. It’s a small family that enjoys every moment and they all love one another very much. The day comes when Manju’s elder sister gets married and the house becomes quiet and dull without her. Unable to deal with the separation Manju goes to visit her sister who lives with her in laws. Upon reaching there she realises that life is very much different from home. Fun and enjoyment are two words that are non existent, all that exists are rules upon rules. How she manages to live in those conditions is so fun to watch.

Kalpana in ‘Jhoothi’ (1985)
In this film Rekha played the role of a girl who often lies to get out of difficult situations. She believes that if by saying a few lies it benefits someone then what is the problem. During the film one can see the lengths Kalpana (Rekha) goes to in order to help her friends and family from certain problems. In one scene Kalpana tells her brother that his best friend has had a serious accident, hearing this her brother rushes over to see his friend. However upon reaching his friend’s house he realises that she had lied and his friend is absolutely fine. Her reason for lying was that he was unable to see his friend for so many months as he was so busy but because of her one lie he rushed over and they got to catch up. There were many talented names alongside Rekha in this one such as Amol Palekar, Raj Babbar and Supriya Pathak.

Shalu in ‘Biwi Ho To Aisi’ (1988)
This family drama saw Rekha play the role of a kind hearted daughter in law who tries to win over her mother in law. Suraj (Farooq Shaikh) feels suffocated by his mother’s ways who treats him like a child and wants to select a modern girl for his marriage. Suraj being the quiet type prefers a simple girl with a heart of gold which he finds in Shalu (Rekha). Without his family’s knowledge he marries Shalu and decides to keep the matter quiet for some time unfortunately his plan doesn’t work and Shalu ends up at his house. When his mother finds out that he married a girl from the village she is furious and decides that she will do whatever she can to get rid of this nuisance. However what she doesn’t know is that Shalu isn’t one to give up and she is ready to defend any attack from her mother in law.

Rekha’s character was hilarious as she would often speak the truth but she would do it in a manner that would make one laugh.

Ramdulari in ‘Lajja’ (2001)
The story of Vaidehi (Manisha Koirala) who while on the run from her husband comes across three women fighting the various atrocities around them. One of these women was Ramdulari (Rekha) a village midwife who does what she can to help the villagers around her have a better life. She was content with her life, she had a son who she had sent to the city for further studies. A mother in law who treated her more like a son rather than a daughter in law as she was so proud of her.

Rekha’s character was strong in the sense that she tried to keep a positive mindset. She would say that if a woman respects herself then the world will. She wanted to see change in the village where she resided therefore she gave women work and tried to educate them. She encouraged the women around her to become independent and do things for themselves. While she had this brave and powerful side to her there was a child inside her. In one scene Ramdulari gets so worked up that she starts rambling in English and Vaidehi can’t help but laugh. While the film was serious there were some light moments from Rekha that made one smile.

In 2002 Rekha was nominated the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.

Mayuri in ‘Kudiyon Ka Hai Zamana’ (2006)
A story of four friends who all have different lives but one thing they have in common is their passion for winning. While three of the friends have settled down one of their friends Anjali (Mahima Chaudhry) has decided that she will not settle down before the age of twenty five. The remaining three friends decide to have a bet as to who can find the right man for Anjali so that she can tie the knot before her twenty fifth birthday.

One of the friends is Mayuri (Rekha) the eldest in the group who has been married four times herself. One may think that because Mayuri is the eldest she would be quite mature but that isn’t always the case. There are times when she behaves like the youngest of the group with her naughty talks and loud personality. While the film may not have done so well it was definitely interesting to see Rekha take on a role the audience has never seen her in before.

The team at wishes Rekha a very happy birthday!