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Rekha puts heart'n soul in <i>Yatra</i>

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By: Upala KBR, Mid-Day
Thursday, August 24, 2006
We have heard about stars getting passionately involved in acting, but this one is a first of sorts. While shooting for Gautam Ghosh's Yatra recently, Rekha got so involved with the film that she even gave suggestions about set design.

Keemti suggestions

Says executive producer, Agnidev Chatterjee, "Rekha liked the concept and her character in Yatra so much that she became very involved in the film. She personally supervised the set designs of the song sequence Saroj Khan choreographed for her.

Gautam wasn't personally present during the dance sequence so Saroj, Rekha, the cinematographer, Ashok and I sat together and discussed the camera angles and dance steps. It was a mujra dance sequence.

Rekha specifically requested that the set look exactly like a Hyderabadi mujra house of 20 years ago. Since she is from the south, she knows a lot about Hyderabadi culture, especially of that era.

Rekha gave us a lot of valuable suggestions as to what sort of props should be used of that time, the lighting and background. Rekha would go around the sets saying 'yeh theek hai' or 'yeh lighting aisa karna chahiye,' suggestions we duly incorporated."

Love for Urdu

Chatterjee adds, "We came to realise how passionately Rekha is involved with her character when she told us to utilise her properly. 'Do some justice to me when you are taking me in your film', she told us. The mujra dance number was her suggestion. Another time when she got involved was when she started taking lessons from lyricist Nida Fazli on her Urdu diction. While listening to the script, she suggested that it required some sher and shairis."

Rekha and Nida got along well on the sets. "Rekha insisted that Nida be present during the shoot. She would tape his words, listen to them, practice them and make him hear her.

Rekha would get so engrossed with her dialogues that she would rehearse with Nida till late in the night and work on her diction so that she could give perfect dialogue delivery in Urdu. That's why even though she knows Urdu very well she has recited Urdu shairis with such a variety of modulations."

Interesting kirdaar

Rekha adds, "Lajwanti in Yatra is one of the most interesting characters I have performed in recent times. It has given me various shades that are not commonly found in Hindi films. I took special efforts to deliver my dialogues with the proper accent and modulation and I must say I received the fullest cooperation from my producer, Bipin Kumar Vohra and Nida Fazliji."

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