31 March : Remembering ‘The’ Meena kumari

Popularly known as ‘Tragedy Queen’, Meena Kumari’s birth and death both were actually tragic. She was born to a poor family as Mehajabeen Naaz, and started earning at the age of 4 to support the family.

She made her acting debut at the age of 7, as a child actor in Farzand-e-Watan. Her film career earned her name, fame and money but no peace of mind. She died a tragic death at the age of 40, just three weeks after the release of Pakeezah and in the same financial condition as she was born.

Meena kumari was also a poet. She had no formal education but she was well verse with hindi and urdu.

An excerpt from Meena’s diary comes in handy for throwing a light on the great performance she gave in the film: “This woman (Chhoti Bahu) is troubling me a great deal. All day long — and a good part of the night — it is nothing else but Chhoti Bahu’s smiles, hopes, tribulations… Oh! I am sick of it!” 

The marriage of her choice with Kamal Amrohi didn’t work. In Meena’s words, Kamal Amrohi was the perfect man for her. But lately they developed conflicts and Meena Kumari became alcoholic which was the cause of her death. She took her last breadth on 31 March 1972.

When they got married, Meena Kumari wrote :

“Dil saa saathi jab paya
Bechaini bhi saath mili”

In sour relationship days, she wrote about Kamal Amrohi:

“Tum kya karo ge sun kar mujh se meri kahani
Bay lutf zindagi ke qissay hain pheekay pheekay”

At the time of divorce, Meena Kumari wrote :

“Talaaq to day rahay ho Nazar-e-qehar ke saath
Jawani bhi meri lauta do Mehar ke saath”

I remember her for the iconic role in ‘Mere Apne’.

#Hindi 
मीना कुमारी…एक ऐसी शख्सियत जो जब भी बड़े पर्दे पर आईं… न जाने कितने दिल मचल गए, कितनी आंखें चमक गईं, कितनी मुस्कान खिल गईं। लेकिन वो कहते हैं न कि सोना दिखने वाली हर चीज़ सोना नहीं होती। मीना कुमारी भी पर्दे पर बहुत दिन नाटक नहीं कर पाईं और उनके जीवन का दर्द उनकी फिल्मों और किरदारों में दिखने ही लगा। वक्त के साथ हिन्दी फिल्म जगत ने उन्हें ‘ट्रैजेडी क्वीन’ का खिताब दे दिया। वो एक महान अदाकारा तो थी हीं, साथ ही एक लेखिका और कवियत्री भी थीं। उनकी लिखी कुछ लाइनें उनके जीवन के हर पहलू को बड़ी खूबसूरती से बयां करती हैं। ऊपर अंग्रेजी के सेक्शन में मैंने उनकी लिखी कुछ नज़्में साझा की हैं। दो लाइनों में जीवन का बड़े से बड़ा दर्द मीना कुमारी ने बयां किया है।