Veteran actor Saira Banu penned a long note fondly reminiscing about her long-standing friendship with the legendary Waheeda Rehman on Instagram. She penned the note on the occasion of Waheeda Aapa’s birthday. Recalling their early encounters, Sairaji shared an amusing incident where she was introduced with a stumble.
The connection between the two actresses blossomed over the years. And it started with Waheeda Rehman’s encouraging words for Saira Banu during the release of JUNGLEE. In a recent post, Saira Banu extended warm birthday wishes to her dear friend Waheeda Rehman. She praised Waheeda Rehman’s simplicity, admiring her for a genuine demeanour devoid of airs and graces. Apart from that, she even penned down an untold story about herself and Waheeda Rehman.
“I have known her for long as my mother Naseem Banuji and Waheeda Aapa resided in the very same building at Nepean Sea Road. The first time I saw Waheeda Aapa was at a function in an Auditorium where we were invited. The Chief Guest was Dilip Sahib, whom I was dying to see at any given opportunity”.
“My mother and I sat with all the prime guests, Waheeda Rehmanji, the poetess cum filmstar Tabassum, the maestro Shankerji of the Shanker-Jaikishan musical team. The compere at the mike started to invite the celebrities onto the stage, of course starting with Sahib. When he called out all the names I was sitting with my mother who was busy signing autographs. Meanwhile, the compere called out the famous celebrities. But when my turn arrived, he fumbled and it was like thousands of hours of embarrassment to me. I was drained in nervous perspiration that this man was fumbling to find my name! How embarrassing for me”! She further wrote.
“That very instant, Sahib took the mike from the Compere and said, “Saira Banu, daughter of Naseemji, Please come on to the stage”. Imagine my nervousness after this little faux pas by the Compere when I was already struggling to look composed in the newness and discomfort of a Sari. Waheeda Aapa gave me a warm smile as I came on stage. We both seemed very reserved, I with my London upbringing and she always accompanied by her sister. During our school holidays in Bombay from London, we’d often find ourselves in the same lift, where Sayeeda Aapa would exchange pleasantries“.
“Shortly, my grandmother, Sultan Bhai, and I returned permanently to Bombay. As luck would have it within a month’s time, “JUNGLEE” came about and there was no looking back for me. One day, Waheeda Aapa dropped in to convey to my mother that Guru Duttji wanted to meet us regarding a film. When “JUNGLEE” released, Waheeda Aapa walked over to me and declared “You really are a Beauty Queen”. I was flattered that she said this to me. I always admired her simplicity in personal life. She hardly wore any make-up and seemed very down to earth with no airs and graces. There is a lot to tell when relations go way back in time. I will talk about that time and era at length tomorrow“.