Iconic charming veteran Bollywood actress Waheeda Rehman known for her memorable roles in numerous retro classic movies like ‘Guide’, ‘Chaudhvin Ka Chaand’, ‘Khaamoshi’ and ‘Teesri Kasam’ finally unveiled her secret ‘wild’ passion. That of being an adept still-photographer, who loves to click nature and wildlife in safari parks.

Speaking to this senior film journalist, the dignified senior actress Waheeda-ji said, “Hardly anyone knew about my photo-clicking hobby, not even our legendary movie cameraman V.K.Murthy-saab. That’s because with my small personal camera I would click mostly when were outdoors amidst nature. Shooting nature and wildlife would give me a sheer ecstatic creative joy. You need lots of patience, alertness and a stroke of good luck to capture those rare candid moments.” 

Iconic Waheeda Rehman with Reewa, Roopkumar and Sunali at photo-book launch

She continues, “Along with popular Bollywood playback singer Roopkumar Rathod we formed a small team and we would travel to various countries in East Africa like Tanzania and Kenya and even to Indian wild-life sanctuaries for our shooting spree. Maybe  I may also consider bringing out my image-collections in the form of a coffee-table book, in future, ” smiled the revered senior actress-danseuse, as she indulged in cheerful banter with her former showbiz colleagues and close buddies Asha Parekh and Helen.

The legendary Waheeda-jee fondly blessed her ‘partner-in-camera-crime’ Roopkumar as he launched his coffee-table photo-book perfectly titled Wild Voyage. The occasion was the opening preview of  Meraki, a group photography classic exhibition at Nine Fish Art Gallery in central Mumbai in the presence of photo-safari ‘guru’ Himanshuu Sheth, Urvi Piramal, immensely talented young photographers Puja Shah and US-based Natasha Sawhney (grand-niece of Waheeda).

Helen, Waheeda Rehman and Asha Parekh at photo-exhibition

Speaking exclusively to me, the modest dance-icon Helen said that she would refer to Waheeda-ji and Roopkumar as the ‘Chuppa Rustoms’ with extraordinary hidden talents-- being behind the camera and making wild-life animals the silent stars”.  

Discloses Rathod, “Whenever I went for these ‘jungle-mein-mangal’ photo-shoot safaris, I had to request show-organizers to re-schedule my live concerts, during that period—such was and is my passion, who along with his charming singer-actress daughter Reewa and talented singer wife Sunali personally attended to all the celeb guests, whom they had invited that evening including actors Satish Shah with wife Madhu, singer Hariharan,  famed multi-faceted restaurateur Dr Suhas Awchat with his wife Deepa and film-maker Rakeysh O P Mehra.

The crowning glory for Roopkumar’s coffee-table book is that the inspiring eloquent foreword is written by superstar Amitabh Bachchan, who has also blessed him.