Waheeda Rehman knows the secret to staying young
Good news: it’s infectious
It’s April 1955. The beating of a drum marks the arrival of 17-year-old Waheeda Rehman in the Telugu film, Rojulu Marayi. This dance sequence would set off a prolific film career spanning decades yet to come. From being the Rosie to Dev Anand’s Raju in Guide, to starring alongside Guru Dutt in Chaudhvin Ka Chand and more recently, with Kamal Haasan in Vishwaroopam 2, Rehman has cruised through the film industry’s ever-shifting landscape and, through it, found fame, wealth and love.
Whether raising her children on a farmhouse in Bengaluru or soaking up the limelight, riding a camel and performing Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai, all while clad in a sari, Rehman defined her own terms and lived by them. All these years later, she still shines her signature smile and gracefully beckons us into her private world, opening up about her career, the lessons she’s learned and more.
We wanted to know how she manages to stay evergreen, forever young in spirit and sentiment and she shared some of her secrets with Twinkle Khanna in this episode of The Icons.
Focus on the positive
When something good comes into your life, enjoy it, says Rehman. As a happy-go-lucky person, she believes that every stage of her life has been bountiful. “Kudrati mujh mein ek aadat hain to see the beautiful things first and be happy about it.” She prefers not to focus on the less-than-pleasant details, an approach that allows her to enjoy gratitude every day. And that approach, she says, has kept her happy and content.
Good friends will keep you young
Waheeda Rehman, Asha Parekh and Helen – a girl gang that we’d love to go on safari with. Rehman says that there’s strength in having a close group of friends to support you, and enjoy some RnR with. They’ve travelled to Turkey together, and gone on a cruise to the Scandinavian countries.
The advice for maintaining a healthy friendship over the years? She says, “You have to understand them, what they are. One shouldn’t try to change them. Ki, main aisi hoon, aap bhi aise ho jaiye. Why? You are what you are, and you accept them as they are.”
Keep adding new adventures to your bucket list
Waheeda ji may be in her 80s but to her, it’s just a number. There’s still a lot left to do and see. Topping her bucking list – scuba diving.
Have you always wanted to learn how to play the violin? Go for it. Wanted to write the next big psychologically thrilling novel? Get to your computer and start writing. Don’t let your age put mental restrictions on what you can and cannot do. As long as it’s medically and financially feasible, why not give it a try?