Older, better

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Rekha turns 58 today. Did we just hear you gasp I disbelief? No one’s blaming you.
You know you’re famous when you go by only one name and Rekha is definitely at the top of that list. While some of the yesteryear actresses are mere shadows of what they used to be, Rekha continues to be an alpha female. Even today, she exudes a level of glamour and charisma that is difficult to replicate.

Rekha’s present day style is the product of years of trial and error. Her first appearance in “Sawan Bhadon” in 1970 did not give any inkling of what was yet to come. Her dusky skin, South Indian features and plump figure made her an unlikely success at the box office. Well, she transformed herself before the decade was up, and “Do Anjanee,” which released in 1976, saw her in a slimmer, hotter, well-styled avatar.

Revisiting her filmography makes it pretty obvious that it was in the 1980’s when she developed her signature look – long hair, radiant skin, scarlet lips, beautiful sarees and jewellery. This was also the decade when she delivered “Khoon Bhari Maang” and “Umrao Jaan” – two films that highlighted her beauty just as much as her acting chops. Who can forget her ‘caterpillar to butterfly’ act in “Khoon Bhari Maang” ?

In the 1990’s when most actresses opted for the clear skinned look, our war paint loving diva continued to reinvent herself. Remember Madame Maya in “Khiladiyon ka Khiladi”? Though her on screen appearances became sporadic after 2000, her cameo as a seductive club singer in Parieeti stole the show. Fast forward to 2012, and she counts the likes of Vidya Balan as her ardent fan. The latter has, in fact, made Kanjeevarams a red carpet staple following Rekha. The South Indian classical saree has become synonymous with Rekha as have flawless makeup complete with scarlet lips and temple jewellery. Here’s to the femme fatale who keeps everyone guessing about most things in her life.

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Images Courtesy: Memsaab Story, Rekha the Diva, Rekha the Legend, Fashionably Desi, Indian Fashion Police