The bestselling biography – REKHA: The Untold Story

She was sexy and bold. And an unsettled Bollywood tried to tame her…



Rekha: The Untold Story’ has been #7 on the HT-Nielsen Bookscan (Non-fiction) and #1 on the Amazon Biographies (India).



Praise for the book:

Document[s]… the phenomenal rise of the underdog in an overtly patriarchal industry — Vogue

A riveting book — The Mint

A racy read — The Asian Age

[Has] to be read to be believed — India Today

Reveals shocking details  — DNA

An eye-opener — The News Minute

Crisp, well paced — The First Post

It is difficult to be unmoved by Rekha’s story – The Hindustan Times

[Usman] has an eye for human drama… we are constantly intrigued by and care about [Rekha’s] story… [Also] He shows empathy, something Rekha has been denied for long – OPEN Magazine

About the book: Unloved by her father, and pushed into Bollywood by her mother’s gambling habit, Rekha, a plump and dark-skinned fourteen-year-old, was mocked ruthlessly and shamed for her looks. Still, she rose to become the most glamorous sex symbol of the film industry. But her outspoken attitude and sexual openness raised eyebrows and rattled people. Bollywood wasn’t ready for such an irrepressible woman, and tried desperately to suppress her and her body. This book tells the truth about her relationship with the reigning superstar of the time, her many other love affairs, the shocking suicide of her husband, and her curious relationship with her androgynous secretary Farzana.


Author Editorials:



THE HINDUSTAN TIMES: New book on Rekha looks at the Bollywood diva’s life with sympathy and awe



THE HINDU: Fame Fatale – Yasser Usman on the Rekha mystique




Author Interviews:




THE HINDUSTAN TIMES –   It is difficult to be unmoved by Rekha’s story: Video Interview with Author Yasser Usman

The ASIAN AGE: “It is filmmakers like Gulzar saab, Khalid Mohamed, Shyam Benegal, Muzaffar Ali and some co-actors to name a few who shared great anecdotes that gave an insight into Rekha as a person, as an actor.”




SCROLL.IN –  ‘Rekha was honest about everything and Bollywood tried to tame her’: Biographer Yasser Usman

“I didn’t follow stories that were too scandalous, and I stuck to her interviews and her voice,” Usman said. “I picked up the bits where she was revealing her emotions… I aimed for a graceful account and a balanced journalist account… It will be very difficult to write a biography or a history of Bollywood based on the current lot [of Film magazines]… The conversations in these magazines are heartfelt and speak of the access that journalists had to the stars.”


THE TELEGRAPH – ‘Writing a biography of Rekha was not easy’, Yasser Usman says.




VOGUE Magazine: “Look at what we’re doing to Kangana Ranaut,” Yasser says. “Sadly, this industry still has no room for a woman who speaks her mind.”  Read full interview by Shahnaz Singanporia here. 




Book Coverage:

MUMBAI MIRROR: Double Spread on SundaySnapshots from the WitchHunt





THE TIMES OF INDIA: 3 Things you didn’t now about Rekha




ELLE MAGAZINE: Everything you have ever wanted to know about Rekha















Book Reviews:


THE MINT: Reviewed by Sanjukta Sharma

Rekha: The Untold Story is a riveting book. It taps into that irresistible fancy of knowing the different aspects of a star as mythologized as Rekha.”



THE ASIAN AGE: Rekha the eternal fighter Reviewed by Nayare Ali

“Usman specialises in digging up the dirt from old Bollywood magazines and grilling yesteryears film journos. He garnishes it with some juicy masala and re-serves it as a contemporary read.”





THE OPEN MAGAZINE: Reviewed by Tanul Thakur

“Usman understands the mechanics of a narrative; the different transitions in the book feel smooth and credible. He has an eye for human drama, cleverly defining what’s at stake in different phases of Rekha’s life, so that we are constantly intrigued by and care about her story. But, most importantly, Usman does something more valuable: he shows empathy, something Rekha has been denied for long, both by journalists and those who were once close to her.” “205 pages of engrossing reading” says Soumyadip Choudhury



Times of India: “a seamless whole but [also] manages to break some new ground by seeking views of those behind some of her finest performances – Gulzar (“Khoobsurat”, “Ghar” and “Ijazat”), Shyam Benegal (“Kalyug”) and Muzaffar Ali (“Umrao Jaan”)” says Vikas Datta



The News Minute: “Rekha: The Untold Story” is fast-paced and lucidly written with plenty of spice, making it a perfect airplane read. It also comes across as an honest attempt to look into the life of one of the most enigmatic stars of our times though it’s not without its limitations.” says Sowm’t ya Rajendran



The First Post: “Usman’s writing of Rekha’s story doesn’t flag at any point. It is crisp, it is well-paced, it draws on numerous sources to make its point.” says Rohini Nair



Anupama Chopra’s Film Companion: “… It’s making you an offer that’s hard to resist. The transformation from Bhanurekha to the enigmatic Rekha is a fascinating tale, and author Yasser Usman does well in documenting the tumultuous journey.” says Mohini Chaudhuri


#Biography on #Rekha

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