“Talking about Yashji would be like ‘chota muh badi baat’… what can we say about him? I’d like to definitely state that he taught me how to love. Not just by watching his films (did) I understand ‘Oh, this is love’, not just by speaking or watching that there is beauty and a very tender emotion, but a feeling that is invisible which every person definitely feels it – that Yashji taught me,” Rekha said in her speech after accepting the award.
It was Rekha’s turn to receive an award after she is usually the one who is seen presenting awards to the best actor or actress. On this, she said: “I’ve always maintained that it’s more important for me to give than to receive. I guess I gave my share of the only thing I know of, that is love.”
“I take this award as not just an award or a validation but I think it is something of a reminder to say that the curtains have not fallen yet but the best is still to come in the near future. And it will definitely be a reminder for me to do better than the best, better than ever before and this is not my last chapter but it is the best chapter, yet to begin.”
Rekha had acted in Chopra’s films such as “Faasle” and “Silsila” starring Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan, both of which were strong love stories.
“Being in Yashji’s company, I have become a ‘shayar’, I’ve written one ‘sher’. He inspired me and taught me this,” she added and then recited the couplet as well as one of her dialogues which had been written by Gulzar.
As someone tried to imitate Chopra’s “hmm” after her recital, Rekha responded that no one could replicate it the same way because of the base it had.
The award has been instituted by the T.S.R. Foundation of T Subbarami Reddy in the memory of the producer-director, who died in 2012, to annually honour a distinguished senior film personality for outstanding contribution to film industry with a gold medal and a cash prize of Rs.10 lakh.
Previous recipients include Melody Queen Lata Mangeshkar and megastar Amitabh Bachchan.
The Jury constituted to zero in on this year’s awardee comprised Pamela Chopra, Simi Garewal, Boney Kapoor, Jayaprada, Pinki Reddy and Reddy himself as its chairman and they unanimously decided that the third award should go to the actress par-excellence.
Among the celebrity guests included Ranveer Singh, David Dhawan, Poonam Dhillon, Jaya Prada, Adnan Sami, Mohan Babu, Gulshan Grover and many others.