Film debut at 2, marriage at 18... Rekha Ratheesh speaks on her life and career

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Rekha Ratheesh has wooed the mini screen audience with her amazing screen presence and impeccable acting prowess. She was greatly appreciated for the character called Padmavati in the serial Parasparam that had earned her countless fans as well. Though she has been enjoying a dream run in her acting career, Rekha’s personal life has always made her feel dejected and sad. Her multiple love affairs and false decisions had negatively affected both her personal life and her career as well. In an interview, Rekha talks about her career, roles and personal life.

Child artist

Rekha was just two and a half years old when she faced the camera for the first time. She played the childhood of popular actress Revathy in the Tamil movie ‘Unnai Nan Sandhithen’. Her father Ratheesh worked as a production controller on the movie sets and was also an actor and a dubbing artist. Her mother too was an actress and had played the mother of late actor Prem Nazir and second heroine of veteran star Madhu in many films. Her father hailed from Thiruvananthapuram while her mother was a native of Thrissur. Rekha is the only child and she grew up in Chennai as the family was settled there, owing to her parents’ profession.

The actress says with a smile that her surname Ratheesh is actually her father’s name and not her husband’s.

“I was offered the role in ‘Unnai Nan Sandhithen’ after the makers saw me with my mother. But, my father wasn’t interested in making me an actress. He had agreed only because I was just a toddler then. I was closer to my father. My parents divorced when I was studying in class six and I stayed with my father after that. Though neither of them got married again, they lived separately. Now, both of them are not alive,” says Rekha.

Lucky Subadra

Rekha was 14 years old when she debuted in the serial ‘Nirakoottu’ directed by Sreevalsan, opposite popular mini screen actor Yadhu Krishnan. However, it was the character called Subadra from the serial Manassu directed by AM Nazeer which made her a household name. “That role was initially done by someone else. But, it didn’t work out well and I joined that serial as a replacement for that artist. That character was introduced in a positive light and then she suddenly turns villain. Later, she again becomes a good person. This character arc was well received and instantly became a hit. My father was happy when his friends appreciated me for that role. His initial disagreement for choosing acting as my profession was beginning to go away. Though I was bombarded with amazing roles after that, few unexpected twists in my life had ruined everything,” admits Rekha.

Wrong decisions

Rekha was at the peak of her career when she fell in love with someone and decided to get married to him. She was, around the same time, offered a dream role in a Tamil movie, opposite a super star. “My father told me then, ‘This is a turning point in your life. If you choose this role, then your career would soar. Or else you could just say ‘no’ and retreat to a domestic life.’ However, my lover asked me whether I wanted to live with him or act alongside a super star. For me, my lover was the most important person in my life at that time. So, I refused that big offer and got married at the age of 18. That decision turned out to be disastrous. I got married in April and divorced in December the same year. I couldn’t act even in serials during that time. Now, I feel sad and disappointed for giving up such an amazing opportunity. My eyes still well up whenever I think about it,” reveals the actress.

Comeback

After her divorce, Rekha made her come back through the television serial ‘Swantham’. She was then offered a variety of roles including negative characters and supporting roles. She also played the lead role in the serial titled ‘Devi’. Rekha says she has often taken sabbaticals and then returned to acting, a few times in her career. The character called Madathil Amma in the serial Ayirathil Oruval was her first onscreen role as a mother. The role in the super hit serial Parasparam was well appreciated. Rekha currently acts in serials Manjil Virinja Pookkal and Pookalam Varavayi.

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Rekha (R) on the sets of the serial Parasparam

Stint in movies

“I have acted in just two movies – Pallavur Devanarayanan and Mambazhakalam. VM Vinu, the director of Pallavur Devanarayanan was my father’s friend. He called up my father and offered me a role in it. Meanwhile, it was actress Mallika Sukumaran who suggested my name to Sidhu Panackal, the production controller of Mambazhakalam while he was looking for artists. I and Mallika chechi hadn’t even met at that time,” says Rekha.

Flopped decisions

Rekha confesses that she wasn’t someone who was greatly interested in acting. She attributes her lack of interest as the reason for not taking the right decisions regarding her career. She had always dreamt to enjoy domestic bliss as a good housewife. However, life had something else in store for her. She says it was only after the birth of her son Ayan, who is now a class three student, that she became more responsible.

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Rekha with son

“Many of my decisions in my personal life had flopped. After my parents divorced, I thought I was homeless and had no one. At that time, all I wanted was to settle in love. However, now I realize that those thoughts were all foolish. Everyone wanted my money and no one loved me genuinely. They didn’t even have a reason to explain, when they decided to quit and leave. No one bothered to tell me what my mistakes were or why were they abandoning me. The fact is that there is nothing to say. I have loved only one person, my first husband. I was in fact addicted to him. Though three more persons had come into my life, I didn’t feel that kind of an intense love,” admits Rekha.

Rekha says she has been living only for her son for the last eight years. The mother and son are extremely happy and share a very close bond. Rekha is sure that she wouldn’t get married again and vows that she has dedicated her life for her son. The actress leaves the rest to God. She even has something to say to those who troll her on social media and spread rumors and lies about her life on Youtube or Facebook.

“Those who scrutinize my personal life to create stories should understand that I am a mother and that I have a son. It is not right to play with the life of an innocent child. Besides, I don’t live expecting sympathy from anyone else. That is why I have expressed my opinions and made myself clear through this interview,” concluded Rekha.

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