By Oindrila Muhuri Last Updated:
Born as Bhanurekha to the renowned South Indian actors, Gemini Ganesan and Pushpavalli, Rekha needs to introduction. Despite being birth out of wedlock, her father’s refusal to accept her, being fat, dusky and unable to speak Hindi to making an unerasable name in the history of cinema, Rekha has seen it all. For the unversed, Rekha started acting at the age of 12 with the Telugu film, Inti Guttu as a child artist and later joined Bollywood with the film, Sawan Bhadon in 1970. Over the years, she has proved her acting prowess. Now, as she sat for a recent conversation, she opened up about her mother's massive role in her life.
In an interview with Vogue Arabia, Rekha opened up about the immense influence of her mother, Pushpavalli on her. The actress revealed her mother was like a 'Devi' to her and has taught her to live with grace. Rekha explained how Pushpavalli advised her never to lose the shine and joy from her personality, and said:
“My mother was my mentor, a woman of such finesse she felt like a goddess, a devi. She taught me the grace of living with gentility and love. She always said I should never lose the ankh ki chamak, or ‘twinkle in the eyes,’ because it is that joyful perception that makes one appreciate the beauty of a tiny seed that grows into a majestic tree.:
Further, Rekha described how her mother gave important advices to live a happy life. Lauding Pushpavalli for setting a benchmark for her, Rekha revealed she learned how authenticity is the key from her mother. She added:
"She also advised me wisely to practice what I love, not what I preach. She set the benchmark for me because my mother walked the talk. To make the ordinary extraordinary, I learned long ago that authenticity is key. ”
Rekha shared how her mother taught her to be authentic even in the way one lives their daily life. Elaborating more on it, Rekha said that Pushpavalli loved wearing pure organic fabrics, and only due to her mother was she able to get immersed in the world of Sufi music, Urdu Shayari (poems), Chettinad art, and other cultural aspects. Rekha mentioned:
“My mother taught me by just the way she lived and created a home that was very sensorial. I was immersed in her world of Sufi music, Urdu shayari (poems), Chettinad art, and South Indian culture that I imbibed subliminally. She lived without synthetics, plastics, and wore pure organic fabrics because everything she touched was sacred to her. This sense of adoration for the aesthete has never left me.”
For the unversed, Rekha’s mother, Pushpavalli married a lawyer, I V Rangachari, in 1940. However, due to some circumstances best known to them, they began living apart in 1946. Pushpavalli and Rangachari had two children (Babji and Rama). Afterwards, in 1947, Pushpavalli met Rekha's biological father, Gemini Ganesan while shooting their film, Miss Malini. They did a few more films together, and Pushpavalli and Gemini's on-screen romance soon transitioned into a real-life romance. However, Gemini was a married man and hesitant to end his marriage. On the other hand, Pushpavalli was also not divorced from her first husband.
Their love continued to blossom, and Pushpavalli and Gemini were blessed with two daughters out of wedlock. One of them is Rekha, and the younger one is Radha, who briefly worked in Tamil movies before marrying and moving to the United States. Being a child born out of wedlock, Rekha did not get to spend a lot of time with her father. She lived with her mother and sister most of her life, while Gemini occasionally visited them. Pushpavalli left the moral plane in 1991 at the age of 65, leaving a deep void in Rekha's life. However, still today, Rekha treasures her mother and the values taught by her in her heart.
What do you think about Rekha's revelations about her mother? Let us know!