Her radiant beauty and graceful demeanour have for years made her fans wonder what she eats to look the way she does. It's love, says Rekha, who will be seen on the silver screen as 'Super Naani' soon.
"I consume love," the actress told veteran film critic Bhawana Somaaya in a radio interview to be broadcast on 92.7 FM on her birthday Friday.
"I think this is because before my parents gave birth to me, they were completely in love. They consumed a lot of love. So that's what is in my DNA now and that is what I consume and feel.
"And with each moment love generates, like when you wake up in the morning and brush your teeth, for me when I just open my eyes, all I feel is love in my heart, my mind and my subconscious," said the evergreen and ageless diva.
Rekha believes love has a childlike innocence.
"It is something that you can express only for god or for one's mother and not even a lover," she said.
Love apart, she also believes that a person's beauty emerges from one's "spiritual self".
"You use a lot of make-up or use the latest shade of lipstick or eye-shadow or if you wash your hair with thousand different types of shampoos or use oil to make it shine, but until your spirit is not clean, your upbringing, your thoughts, your behaviour is not right, it doesn't matter.
"You need to be the way you want the world to see you."
She says her mother taught her to never focus on the negative.
"It became a part of my nature. If I see a certain faults in people, I know there will be more faults in me as well. I'd rather focus on how I should work on my faults. So it no rocket science that you need to be pure from your soul and positive in your thoughts," she said.
There's definitely more that she does beyond her thoughts and spiritualism. She wakes up early, eats well and doesn't consume tea or coffee.
When Somaaya asked her as to who inculcated these habits in her, Rekha said: "I think it is to do with being a South Indian. Although I don't drink coffee myself. Neither do I have tea, aerated waters or alcohol, not even champagne. So it is a very boring life."
What do you eat?
"I am vegetarian, an eggetarian rather ... because of its proteins. So it has been like a habit since childhood that has worked for me. I have made it a rule in life and live by it.
"Forming a good habit early in life is very important as it goes on to become your nature. By nature, I am very simple," she said, adding that "it's a very big luxury to be simple".