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Subhash K Jha Speaks  To Reena Roy Who Turns  A Year Older On January 7



Reena Roy

You were massive star  in the 1970s.Somehow you didn’t get the  recognition that  you deserved?

You think so? I was just working working like  crazy. I never stopped  to think  about what I  deserve etc etc. Jo mila  main usse khush thi(I was  happy with what I got). Now I am fully into looking after  my home and my daughter. I am not a  multi-tasker.I did more than a hundred films in the  70s and  80s.Now  I am  into my household.

Which are your favourite films  from your own repertoire?

I like  J Om Prakashji’s Asha  and  Rajkumar Kohli’s Nagin the most. Nagin gave me a chance to play the avenging hero. I killed so  many heroes in that film.As  for  Sheesha  it  is my  most recognized  film.

The  songs that Lataji sang for you, like ab ke sawan  mein jee jare Ja re ja o harjaee, Sheesha  ho ya  dil ho,  Pardes jaake pardesia  played  a huge part  in shaping your career.

Oh huge  huge! When Lataji sang for me I  had to do  nothing but follow her voice. Even today  I am known  by her song Sheesha ho ya dil ho  aakhir toot jata hai. It became the signature tune of my career.

What about your life, does the song also reflect the truth about your life?

My tears have all dried up. Now I laugh at  every adversity.

Let’s talk about your sudden  retirement.Did you quite because of  marriage and  motherhood?

My daughter, of course mattered more than my career. Also, I had started very young and I was exhausted and satiated. I decided to take  a break to look after my daughter.

Is your daughter with you?(Her father is  the Pakistani cricketer Mohsin Khan)

Yes yes, shukar  Mata Rani  ki.My daughter is now 26.She is  talented. And yes she is interested  in acting. But she won’t wear  a bikini and  do kissing scenes. I never did. And she feels no need  to.She is not conservative. She is very much  a girl of today.But she  doesn’t believe doing certain things will make a  difference to her career.

She is right. So your daughter got  a mother we lost a lovely actress?

It  is  all destiny  and I very happy with my  decision to  take  a break.

Do you watch your films?

I do, and  I  keep remembering what  happened  behind the scene during this scene and that, and I keep laughing.  But it’s not as if I am obsessed  with seeing myself on screen. Do I like myself on screen? I was very innocent very mischievous. Now I am a  mother. So things are different.My films seem like  a different era . But yes, I am still little  naughty.

Life’s experiences  haven’t changed you?

Badalke karenge kya? Aatma toh wohi rehti hai. Times change,people don’t . I guess I was  chosen to be a name in my field, just like you are.I worked very hard to get where I did. Horse riding at 5 am then  rushing to dancing classes with Gopi Krishnaji. But I never went to a gym. I’ve never seen  one.

Your philosophy of life?

Never  look back. Keep moving.  Fulfil your responsibilities.  I am very attached to my family.My sister Barkha used to look after all my work and she was my  constant  companion on the sets, bodyguard type.

Any more ambitions?

I want to see  my daughter settled in life. No other ambitions I want my selected friends  to remain healthy.

Who are  your friends?

Very few. Like Mumtazji. She is  so lovely.I  have done only one  film with  her Nagin. And yet we are close.

Any chance of a comeback?

After marriage  I did J P Dutta’s  Refugee ,and  J Om Prakash’s Aadmi Khilona Hai which didn’t run. The subject was powerful but the execution got diluted. I would like to do something powerful . Aise hi thali pakad  ke nahin khadi honi chahiye(I don’t want to stand around holding a plate).

You are not seen  in public?

don’t socialize. I  never did. Even  when I was working I never went to parties.My mother  always said, ‘Bandd mutthi toh lakh hi khul gayi toh phir khaak ki.’ The public is interested in you only if you remain out of the public eye. Would  you believe, I never did   any ads in my heydays.

Are you happy with your life and career?

Very happy. I am thankful to  the one above  for what he has given me. I can’t understand how I got the  fame  and popularity that I did. When someone like you says such  nice things only then I stop  to think that  perhaps I have achieved something.

Did you  have crazy fans?

Haan  bilkul.There were letters written in  blood. And fans threatening to  commit suicide in front of my home if I didn’t meet them.

What  did you do with such  insistent fans?

My  family and team would take  care of them. I was scared to face fanatical fans.Suppose  they pounced on me? There were out of towners from distant places  like Punjab. They would be fed, given money to return home.

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