Legendary Meena Kumari, the ‘Tragedy queen’ who left an indelible mark on Hindi cinema continues to inspire even decades after her death. The actor who defined every nuance of cinema art through her niche and unique style still has a huge fan following. On her 89th birth anniversary fans out-poured their love for the actor and remembered her.
Known historically as an ‘incomparable actress’, Meena kumari was born as Mahajabeen Bano on August 1, 1933. The legendary actress started off her film career as a child artist in the 1939 release Leather Face, also known as Farzand-e-Watan. Baby Meena went on to work in several films as a child artist before featuring in Bachchon Ka Khel in 1946 with the screen name Meena Kumari, after which there was no looking back. She went on to deliver stellar performances in films like Pakeezah, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Mere Apne, Aarti, Baiju Bawra, and Parineeta and earned herself a reputation.
The actress had a tumultuous personal life but remained one of the greatest actresses in Bollywood. The cinema queen who ruled the cinema world for over two decades had to struggle with her loneliness.
Her father Ali Baksh was a Parsi theater artist and her mother was a famous theater actress and dancer, who belonged to the family of Rabindranath Tagore. As soon as she was born, Ali Baksh, frightened by the scarcity of money and the burden of two daughters, left her in a Muslim orphanage.
Meena Kumari did not want to act, she started working in films at the young age of four, and always cried while going on a shoot. Every time she used to request her mother and father that she wants to study just like other children but well, no one heard.
During the shooting of the ‘Tamasha’ movie, Dada Muni i.e. Ashok Kumar introduced her to filmmaker Kamal Amrohi. After this Kamal signed Meena for his movie ‘Anarkali.’ The actress was seriously injured in an accident in May 1951, just 5 days after the signing of the contract. In this one of her fingers was badly crushed.
At that time medical science was not so advanced, so no good treatment was possible. Because of this, as soon as the camera was turned on, she used to hide her finger with the dupatta or saree.
After this accident, Meena Kumari was hospitalized for several months, during which Kamal Amrohi often went to the hospital to meet her. While caring for the actress, Kamal had become emotionally attached to her.
On 14 February 1952, only 18 years old Meena Kumari got married to Kamal Amrohi, who was almost twice her age and was also the father of three children. Although this marriage did not last long, in the year 1964, Meena Kumari and Kamal Amrohi’s relationship broke down, both of them did not divorce but started living separately. Kamal Amrohi was the last word when she into a coma after the shoot of her last movie Pakeeza. She died a few days after the release of this movie.
She won four Filmfare Awards for best actress. Apart from being a capable actress, Meena was also a good singer and poet. While she left the world at the young age of 38 in 1972, Bollywood fans still remember and celebrate her work. As we remember the legendary actress on her 88th birth anniversary, we list some of her most iconic and popular songs: