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The Unforgettable Journey of Waheeda Rehman: From Aspiring Doctor to Cinematic Legend

Waheeda Rehman, one of the most celebrated actresses in the history of Indian cinema, gave blockbusters in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Even today, she turns heads with her grace, style, and beauty. She is an inspiration to millions. Today, we will delve into her journey and see how she transitioned from aspiring to be a doctor to become one of the biggest stars in the country. In a career spanning over five decades, Waheeda has worked in over 90 films, leaving an indelible mark on the film industry.

**Early life:**

Waheeda Rehman was born into a Tamil Deccani Muslim family in Tamil Nadu on February 3. She was the youngest of four siblings. Her father, Mohammed Abdur Rehman, worked as a district commissioner. However, tragedy struck early when her father passed away in 1951, leaving her in her early teens.

**Wanted to become a doctor**

Waheeda initially aspired to become a doctor, but her family’s financial constraints forced her to give up on that dream. At that time, her mother was also not well, adding to the familial responsibilities she had to shoulder. To support her family, she reluctantly accepted film offers.

While speaking with Twinkle Khanna about her unfulfilled dream, Waheeda stated, “I wanted to be a doctor. In those days, especially in Muslim families, the only respectable profession was in medicine. So, I thought, let’s do medicine only. Even today, I love reading medical journals and learning about different treatments.”

**Waheeda Rehman threatened by director**

Despite being a newcomer, Waheeda Rehman did not shy away from setting her own terms and conditions for work. In one of her early films alongside Dev Anand, she refused to wear revealing clothes. This decision angered the director, who threatened to end her career. He warned her, “This is your second or third movie, and it will be your last because you have too many conditions.” However, Dev Anand supported her and convinced the director to understand her perspective, allowing her to maintain her dignity and principles.

**When her father thought she would go mad**

Waheeda revealed in the same interview with Twinkle Khanna that she had a penchant for making funny faces in front of the mirror.

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. Her father was concerned that she might be going mad. “My mother told me that I used to make faces. I was very expressive and created funny faces standing in front of the mirror. My father asked, ‘Why are you doing this?’ I replied, ‘I want to make people laugh and cry.’ Even at that time, I didn’t know I wanted to act. Everything in my life—my career, my marriage—happened without any planning.”

**When she met Guru Dutt**

The relationship between Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rehman was the subject of much media speculation. Guru Dutt was already married to Geeta Roy Chowdhuri, and his closeness to Waheeda created tension in his married life. Despite the rumors, they collaborated on several iconic films such as “Kaagaz Ke Phool” and “Chaudhvin Ka Chand,” contributing greatly to the golden era of Indian cinema.

**When she slapped Amitabh Bachchan**

During an appearance on “The Kapil Sharma Show,” Waheeda recounted a funny incident where she accidentally slapped Amitabh Bachchan during a shoot. She had jokingly told Amitabh that she would slap him hard while preparing for a scene, but it wasn’t a serious threat. However, during the actual take, she hit him really hard by mistake. Waheeda laughed it off as an unintentional error.

**Personal life**

In April 1974, Waheeda Rehman married Shashi Rekhi, and they had two children together. The family resided in Bangalore post-marriage. Tragically, on November 21, 2000, Shashi Rekhi passed away. After his death, Waheeda moved back to Bandra, Mumbai.

Despite the many ups and downs in her personal and professional life, Waheeda Rehman remains an icon of grace, talent, and tenacity. Her journey from aspiring doctor to legendary actress inspires countless people. Waheeda’s story is not just one of success but also of resilience, reinforcing that with determination and integrity, one can conquer even the most challenging circumstances.

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