She describes herself as a "student of life" and believes in acting upon things. Bollywood's ageless beauty Rekha, who turns 60 Friday, says she is still put through the practice of warding away the evil eye -- a ritual that her mother exercised for her well being.
"On my birthday, I remember my amma (Pushpavalli) a lot. Every word of hers, I remember. Yes, she would always 'nazar utaro' on me and that ritual continues till date," Rekha said in an exclusive radio interview to 92.7 BIG FM.
Now, she has an 'amma", who has been with the family since many years.
"She used to work for my grandmother and she is the one who performs all these rituals. So, if I yawn or sneeze or laugh and even when I'm just thinking something, she is the first one to 'nazar utaro'.
"I also remember my mother's blessings and this is the day I feel grateful to her for the genes that I have inherited from her and my father (Gemini Ganesan)," said the actress, who metamorphosed into a diva from the overweight young actress she was in her first Hindi film "Sawan Bhadon".
Rekha doesn't believe in celebrating her birthday by doing anything special because she feels "every day, I'm born anew".
"I genuinely don't understand the importance that people give to their birthdays or any special day, be it a festival or a birthday. I believe that every day is a celebration and everyday I'm born anew and genuinely try to leave every day differently. Everyday I like to learn something new, something different; I'd like to teach others something new too.
"I can't give advice per say to someone because I'm a student of life myself, but whatever experiences I have had in my life, I like to share that with people and when someone talks to me, I give them my two-bits," she said.
There sure is a lot to learn from Rekha, who has continued her tryst with movies, and will soon be seen in Bollywood entertainer "Super Naani".
Her "Sawan Bhadon" (1970) made her an overnight star and over a decade later she touched new heights in Muzaffar Ali's period drama "Umrao Jaan" (1981) that even won her a National Award.
Rekha has acted in over 150 films. Movie after movie, she proved her versatility with films like "Do Anjaane" (1976), "Ghar" (1978), "Muqaddar Ka Sikander" (1978), "Khubsoorat" (1980), "Silsila" (1981), "Basera" (1981), "Utsav" (1984), "Khoon Bhari Maang" (1988), "Ijaazat" (1988), "Kama Sutra" (1996) and "Zubeidaa" (2001).
She has seen ups and downs in her life, but Rekha doesn't contemplate about them.
"I never end up thinking about all this on my birthday. In fact, I don't think of all this otherwise either. I only act upon things," she said, and added: "I believe there's nothing really there to think."
"It's just important to be extremely grateful for being where you are and how god has kept you and keep working towards your goal, be responsible and fulfill your duties.
"Nothing really manifests if all you do is think about everything; time will just continue to pass and you won't be able to get any work done."