Sunil Dutt's 'Pakeezah' connection

Aug 01, 2012, 10:25 IST | By A Correspondent

On the birth anniversary of Meena Kumari, we look back at how her cult classic 'Pakeezah' eventually saw the light of day

‘Pakeezah’ was first planned in 1958. The film was to star Meena Kumari, and be directed by her husband Kamal Amrohi. The shooting of the film, however, did not begin until 1964. But, the film was shelved after Kumari and Amrohi separated the same year.

Sunil Dutt

Five years later, Sunil Dutt and Nargis previewed some reels of this film. They were so impressed by what they say that they coaxed Amrohi and Kumari to complete the film. Kumari, who was gravely ill by then, agreed to resume work on the film. ‘Pakeezah’ eventually released in February 1972. Kumari died a month later. The rest, as they say, is history

Other interesting facts about the ‘tragedy queen’

Meena Kumari

Meena Kumari’s real name was Mahjabeen Bano

She made her acting career at the age of 7 in ‘Leatherface’ (1939), with the screen name Baby Meena

Although appreciated for her portrayal of the suffering woman in most of her films, Kumari also did well in light-hearted roles in films like ‘Azaad’ (1955), ‘Miss Mary’ (1957) and ‘Shararat’ (1959)

Guru Dutt’s ‘Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam’ (1962), in which Kumari plays an alcoholic wife, is regarded among the finest performances in Hindi Cinema

In a cruel coincidence, her character in ‘Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam’ mirrored Kumari’s personal life, as she had turned to heavy drinking. Kumari eventually died of liver cirrhosis

Apart from being a talented actress, Kumari was a poetess as well. She recorded a disc of her Urdu poems ‘I write, I recite’. The music for the same was given by Khayyam

Bollywood’s legendary comedian Mehmood was married to Kumari’s sister Madhu 

Go to top