Waheeda Rehman breaks her silence on Nandas death

"On Saturday Nanda and I had lunch together. She was not the least unwell. If she had felt even a little uneasy she would not have stepped out of the house. We were together till 5 pm on Saturday. She had her favourite coffee. Asha Parekh and Helen spoke to her on Monday night. And on Tuesday she was gone. We were friends for 55 years, from the time when we worked together in Vijay Anand's Kala Bazaar. After marriage friends, especially women friends, tend to drift away as they've their husband and children to look after. But Nanda and I remained close friends even after my marriage. We were part of one group…Nanda, Jabeen, Shakila and I. Later Sadhana, Asha Parekh and Helen also became part of our circle of friends. Even Shakila and Jabeen have remained my close friends after their marriage. When I visited London I stayed with Shakila. Jabeen got married and left for the US. But we've stayed connected. In fact I gave the bad news of Nanda's death to Jabeen and Shakila. Nanda and I were very different individuals, quite a study in contrasts. And yet we were very close friends. Or maybe we were close friends because we were so different, so we found those personality traits lacking in ourselves within each other. I've remained active in the public with various activities including the occasional films. She gave it all up, cut herself away completely from the limelight. The last films she did were Mazdoor, Ahista Ahista and Prem Rog. Usske baad ek baar bhi mud kar nahin dekha. Unhone bilkul tyaag dee. She was….it hurts to talk about her in the past tense…..an extremely sensitive person, very thoughtful and caring. And she was a very loyal friend. She never visited anyone or anywhere. But she'd regularly visit me and my husband in Bangalore.

Although very shy in male company except her brother's, she was very comfortable with my husband. We went on picnics together in and around Bangalore. Both Nanda and I were fond of cooking. Whenever she visited me she'd be in the kitchen cooking up a fun meal and ask me to cook up something. She was like my soul-sister. People wonder how two heroines could be so friendly. But let me tell you there was not an iota of professional insecurity between us. Both of us believed in destiny and that whatever work was meant to come our way would come. Yeh nahin ki ussne mera role le liya. Never like that. We were both very secure about our careers. And we were both firm believers in God and destiny. It happened many times in the past that producers who came to me with roles went to Nanda because we didn't agree on certain issues. Nanda and I never discussed work. Our work never came into our friendship. We were both down-to-earth and very Indian. We didn't quite fit into the glamorous image on screen. We both attempted glamorous roles. But we realized it's better to do roles close to our personalities. To take an example, I'd look so odd if I played Zeenat Aman's role in Manoranjan. Luckily for me I could do something a little more adventurous than Nanda because I could dance. But Nanda was as sweet and innocent in person as she was on screen.She was very introverted. Bahot darr thi thi woh. Basically she was a loner. She was nervous of crowds. I am a little more outgoing. But like I said, we were like-minded people. We shared the same values. She went suddenly. Agar jaana ho toh aise hi jaana chahiye Nanda at least got the kind of death that she wanted. She deserved a lot more than she got."

Article written by staff at Bollywood Hungama. Read more

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