MUMBAI: Veteran actor Waheeda Rehman was in for a surprise when she heard the news that she will be conferred the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Lifetime Achievement Award. “I was packing to go somewhere, so it was a jhatka for me for a second, and I couldn’t believe,” she tells us, adding, “God has been very kind to me. I am happy and feel honoured. Also, I’m thankful to the ministry for honouring me with this prestigious award. I am very thankful to my family, friends, fans, and colleagues.”
On Tuesday, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur announced that Rehman, who has been part of films such as Guide (1965), Pyaasa (1957), Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959), Kabhie Kabhie (1976), Rang De Basanti (2006), among several other would receive the coveted award, highest recognition in the field of Indian cinema.
Comparing the award to a pleasant blend of appreciation and love, she explains, “Jaise hum 1000 gulaab ko milaake ek shishi mein daal kar, uspar itr lagaate hain, award woh itr hota hai, jo usme aur khushboo daal deta hai. I’ve worked in this industry for so many years now, so awards are just an add-on, jisne uss achche kaam ko aur achcha kar dia. All the appreciation and love from people come together in form of an award.”
Rehman, whose career spans nearly seven decades, notes that she has never worked on any project thinking that she would get an award for her performance. “Jitna kaam kia, dil aur dedication se kia, and maza lekar kia.
No one can predict a film’s success or if the audience will like it or not, so jo kara hai, bas dil se kara hai. I have just always tried to choose different subjects for my films. I had a variety of movies in my career,” she says.
On whether she has observed any drastic changes in the entertainment industry, Rehman say there have been many, and they’re a mix of both positive and negative.
“While some societal matters are being touched upon sensitively in scripts these days, on the other hand, there is usage of foul language on OTT, which you cannot bear. But, things have become a trend now, so people don’t even object to it,” she points.
Her advice to aspiring actors and artistes to achieve such milestones: “Dil lagaake, sincerely and honestly, dedication ke saath kaam karo. Do not think that, ‘Meri picture chalegi ki nahi? or ‘Mujhe award chahie toh uske lie kya karna hoga?’
If you will work hard, then God will surely bless you. Moreover, not to fear the failures, as they are a part of life. Maidaan chhod kar chale nahin jaana chahiye, koshish karte rehna chahiye. Try to look up and aim to reach there, and you will be there one day.”