Rekha, the name says it all. Her undying beauty, grace, the Millenials perceive Rekha as one of the stunning actresses of her time but was she perceived the same way back in time. According to writer Yasser Usman who wrote Rekha's biography writes, Rekha fell in love several times — with Jeetendra, Vinod Mehra, and Kiran Kumar, among others — but each relationship was fated to end the same way.

The men in Rekha's life could not stand up for a woman who had an 'illegitimate' past (her father never married her mother). She was left heartbroken each time, even publicly humiliated.

Rekha with husband Mukesh Agarwal
Rekha with husband Mukesh Agarwal

But Rekha successfully emerged in spite of innumerable hurdles that came up. The 70s saw Rekha's drastic makeover for which she publicly credited Amitabh Bachchan for it. Their alleged romance was the talk of the town.

The screen sparked by their sizzling chemistry but according to the writer, this is not what changed Rekha completely, the storm in her life was yet to arrive. It all began in Delhi where she met businessman Mukesh Agarwal and at that very moment the two decided to tie the knot and Rekha finally was to cherish being married after a series of unsuccessful relationships.

But things are not always the way we think. According to author Yasser Usman who penned down Rekha: The Untold Story has mentioned in his book. In October 1990, just seven months after their wedding, Agarwal committed suicide by hanging, apparently using Rekha's dupatta. On that tragic day, Rekha was in the US for a stage show. Agarwal's sister-in-law spoke with Rekha over the phone and consoled her, saying that the Agarwal family stood by her.

Rekha with husband Mukesh Agarwal
Rekha with husband Mukesh Agarwal

But this was not to be. Rather than commiserating with her, the whole country was soon baying for Rekha's blood, triggered by Agarwal's mother's wail: " Woh daayan mere bete ko kha gayi (That witch devoured my son)." By the time Rekha came back, the press had fuelled the witch hunt with libellous headlines like 'The Black Widow' and 'The Macabre Truth behind Mukesh's Suicide'. Delhi high society and Bombay's film industry vociferously condemned Rekha for "murdering" Agarwal.

In those trying times, even Rekha's fans deserted her. The posters of her film Sheshnaag were vandalized. Members of the film fraternity were categorical that nobody would work with Rekha ever again. "Rekha has put such a blot on the face of the film industry that it'll be difficult to wash it away easily.

Families will think twice before accepting any actress as their bahu'

I think after this any respectable family will think twice before accepting any actress as their bahu," said director Subhash Ghai. Rekha was branded a witch who had helped kill her husband. There was no future for her, it was deemed.

The Rekha we seen today has emerged successful taking all the pain that she suffered back in time and has grown even more strong. Probably this strength she derived from the people around her. It was not the nation that outcasted Rekha but on the contrary Rekha outcast the nation.