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Flashback...... Meena kumari

Discussion in 'Movies' started by lollipop, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. lollipop

    lollipop Bronze IL'ite

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    The renowed Bollywood actress of erstwhile time Meena kumari is remembered by all as the "Tragedy Queen". Her real name was Mahjabeen Bux(nicknamed Manju).She was born on Aug 1st in 1932 in Dr. Gadre's clinic in Bombay(now Mumbai) to a Muslim father, Ali Bux, and a Hindu mother, Iqbal Begum (Nee Prabhavati Tagore).At the time of her birth, her parents were unable to pay the fees of Dr. Gadre, who had delivered her, so her father left her a muslim orphanage,however, he picked her up after a few hours. She had two sisters Khurshid and Madhu. Mahjabeen wanted to study in school and write poems but was compelled to act in Hindi movies as a child artiste(sarted acting at the age of 9 ), and ended up becoming the sole bread earner of the family.Her mother who was an unsuccessful actress in her times also wanted Mahjabeen to fulfill her long cherished dream.

    Meena Kumari went on to act in a total of 94 movies, in a career that spanned from 1939 through to 1972. She become a household name after her performances in 'Baiju Bawra', 'Parineeta', 'Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam', 'Kaajal' as well as received 'Best Actress' awards for these titles.

    Meena fell in love with a married film director and ultimately in 1952 she got married to Kamal Amrohi, and had a son named Taajdaar. The marriage was harmonious and resulted in joint movie ventures, namely 'Daera' and 'Pakeezah'. Neither knew that the latter would take over 14 years to complete.

    A few years after the marriage, Kamal and Meena started having differences, and started to drift apart, and finally divorced during 1964, leaving 'Pakeezah' incomplete.But Meena couldn't accept this seperation and took recourse to drinking and her health deteriorated gradually.

    'Pakeezah' was finally completed when Meena was very sick and released on 4 February 1972, but flopped at the box office. A few weeks later Meena was hospitalized in St. Elizabeth's Nursing Home, but passed away on March 31, 1972 due to liver cirrhosis. It is learnt that at this time she was almost immersed in debt and had neither bank balance nor friends to support her.

    Shortly after her passing, the public took a renewed interest in 'Pakeezah' and the film subsequently went on to become a hit.

    The "Tragedy Queen" of Bollywood was also a tragedy heroin in her real life. There was a lot of similarities in her reel and real life story.Her friends said she loved to live a life of meloncholy.Her tormented childhood and later betrayal and failing love made her a lover of sadness. This inspired her to write many urdu poems which were also also published.


    She expressed her sorrows prominently in her poetry. About Kamal Amrohi (her husband) she wrote:
    Tum kya karoge sunkar mujhse meri kahani
    Belutf zindagi ke kisse hain pheeke pheeke

    Why do you want to listen to my story:
    Colourless tales of a joyless life

    At the time of the divorce, she wrote:
    Talaak to de rahe ho Nazar-e-kahar ke saath
    Jawani bhi mere lauta do Mehar ke saath

    You are divorcing me with rage in your eyes
    Return to me, also, my youth along with the dowry!

     
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  2. lollipop

    lollipop Bronze IL'ite

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    Hi All !

    It's great to see 92 of you to view this thread . Please let me know how was it to read the tragic life of one time Bollywood heroin Meena Kumari.

    Best Regards,
    Lollipop :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2011
  3. Coffeelover

    Coffeelover Platinum IL'ite

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    She was a great actress. But it was hard, sad life. What happened to her child? I have read somewhere that Dharmendra used her to come in his career. Is it true? From her mom's maiden name, I guessed she was half a Bengali.

    I loved her poem. Thanks for sharing her story.

    CL
     
  4. lollipop

    lollipop Bronze IL'ite

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    Thanks for your reply CL. Sorry I am a bit late to acknowlege . Even I have heard Dharmendra used Meena Kumari who was then at the zenith of her popularity , to further his career. The whole truth is still not out, but the fact remains that within 2-3 years after the arrival of Dharmendra, relations between the once happy couple nose-dived so much that Kamaal Amrohi divorced Meena Kumari in 1964 and stopped the shooting of Pakeezah.Even after all these sorry incidents, Dharmendra kept close to Meena Kumari because that was required to further his career.

    And yet, once Dharmendra was a star on his own, something changed again. He apparently moved on to greener pasture while Meena felt dumped. And then began the phase of excessive drinking in Meena's life which ultimately cost her, her life. But throughout all these years, that Meena continued to love Kamaal Amrohi is never in doubt.

    I read in a vernacular newspaper that Meena had a son. But other sources say that Kamal and Meen had no issue . Kamal had three children from his other marriage.

    Meena's mother Iqbal Begum, apparently the second wife of Ali Bux had Bengali roots. One tradition connects her to the Tagore family of Bengal. Meena Kumari's grandmother, Hem Sundari Thakur (Tagore) was married into the Tagore family but after her husband, Rev Bill's death, she was compelled to give up connection with the family by the powerful Tagore clan. Her daughter, Prabhawati Devi was a stage actress and dancer with the stage name Kamini before meeting Ali Bux.
     

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