By Anindita Mukherjee Last Updated:
Bollywood is a strange place. Some things make sense and some don’t. Lots of open secrets, unexpected affairs, sudden weddings, surprise pregnancies and endless gossips make Tinseltown such a queer land! Apart from the inmates of Bollywood and their mesmerising talent, one thing which is quite an uninvited but most looked-forward to guest is the famous/infamous Bollywood affairs. And speaking of Bollywood affairs, reminds us of the extra-controversial rumoured affair of Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha.
Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha’s alleged relationship was and still continues to be a part of major ‘famous Bollywood affairs’ discussions. Though none of the actors have ever accepted their affair but time and again, throwback interviews and pictures churn up the rumous mills with scoops about this unfulfilled love story. Rekha and Amitabh Bachchan had met each other on the sets of Do Anjaane (1976) and that is how it all began. But the sad part was, Amitabh Bachchan was already married to Jaya Bachchan when rumours about his and Rekha's alleged affair started pouring in.
Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha’s rumoured affair gave birth to a heated trivia between Amitabh-Rekha-Jaya and the reason too, is totally valid. In a throwback interview of Rekha with Simi Garewal on her show, Rendezvous with Simi Garewal, the host of the show had asked Bollywood’s Umrao Jaan if her alleged lover, Amitabh Bachchan’s wife, Jaya Bachchan had remained unaffected by their dating rumours. Answering which, Rekha had replied,
"Absolutely! I don't think she's a petty person or so insecure.”
Simi Garewal had further added to the conversation, "Yes, and a woman is so secure because the man has given her the security." And then came Rekha’s smashing reply, “Not really." Well, that suffices all!
And then Simi Garewal asked a question on behalf of the entire nation, ‘Did Rekha love Amitabh?’ Pat came her oft-quoted reply, "Absolutely! Duh, that's a dumb question!" And then went on to generalise that statement, "I'm yet to come across a man, woman, child, who can't help but fall completely, passionately, insanely, desperately and especially, hopelessly, in love with him. So why should I be singled out?"
Not just dating, rumours were rife then that Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha had also secretly gotten married to each other. Post rumours of these kinds started floating, Jaya Bachchan had put a ban on Amitabh further sharing the screen space with Rekha. When asked about how she felt upon hearing this, Rekha had shared,
“A week later [after the trial show of Muqaddar Ka Sikandar], everybody in the industry was telling me that he [Amitabh] has made it clear to his producers that he was not going to work with me. Everybody else informed me about it but he didn’t say a word on the subject. When I tried to question him about it, he said, ‘I am not going to say a word. Don’t ask me about it’.”
In an explosive 1984 throwback interview with Filmfare, Rekha, at length, had spoken about Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan and relationships. She had revealed,
“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, Rekha was then 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.”
But looks like all’s well that ends up! While Amitabh Bachchan is happily married to Jaya Bachchan, Rekha is always sported with sindoor-smeared maang. The only curiosity is, we don’t know for whom.