Bollywood icon Rekha makes no compromise on her image of an evergreen actress. And the Maharashtra government, which honoured her with an award learned it the hard way.
Few days back the state cultural department had announced the “Raj Kapoor Jeevan Gaurav award” (Lifetime Achievement) to Rekha for her contribution to Hindi cinema.
The state goverment officials, however, were in for a surprise when Rekha told them that she was not inclined to accept the award as it went against her own concept of work and self-image.
The Maharashtra cultural affairs minister Harshwardhan Patil who spoke to media persons, said Rekha felt that she could not accept a Lifetime award because she was still pursuing an active film career, which has not ended.
To honour her sentiments, the government has now amended the title of the award to “Raj Kapoor Pratiba Gaurav”, putting an accent on the creative aspect of the artiste.
Now, the reinvented award will be presented to the veteran actress on the occasion of 46th Maharashtra state film award distribution ceremony slated for May 30 in the city.
The other awardees include Bollywood star Aamir Khan who too will be present at the felicitation.
Earlier, a statement by the publicist of the 55-year-old actress, who conveyed her displeasure to the government, clarified that being honoured with Lifetime Award did not mean that Rekha’s acting career is over.
“She continues to work in films and do challenging roles,” it said.
The award comprises Rs two lakh, citation and a memento. The cultural affairs department has also decided to felicitate recipients of the Padma awards this year who belong to the film industry including singers Udit Narayan, Kumar Sanu and Shamshad Begum apart from noted music director Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar.
There are also plans to felicitate the stars of the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire and double Oscar winner music director A R Rahman has also been invited, an official of the cultural department said.