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Meena Kumari has been an extraordinary phenomenon in herself and the analysis of her personality can be discussed on and on. But then if you so believe, she was as simple and everyday person as you and me. She has indeed been a phenomenon beyond compare. A multi faceted personality capable of acting, writing as well as dress design, her contributions are made at a crucial turning point of cinema of this regionof world. The performances, which were are characterized more by perfection then drama were more importantly designed and borrowed from her personal life rather than just performed for the sake of fulfilment of direction. The latter was indeed done always without fail. The former, ie, the perfection, was bonus for the team. That is what made her famous. That is what made her popular among the teams and that is what made her beloved so much.
A beautiful face with a tear ready to drop and a state of despair always ready to show up, Meena Kumari was the one of the most dedicated persons in the film industry at that time. However, the ever sensitive Meena Kumari of the childhood Baby Meena fame, remained sensitive till her last role. So much that she left herself to the hands of the tragedy of life. A tragedy which was perhaps designed by life for her. Right at the time of birth for as soon as she was six, she had to work and face the flashlights of studio at that small age. Cinema is where she learned the ABC of life and this was where she grew up. Against her will though her films wanted her.
Cinema is where she grew up and she worked in her first film in 1939. The Mahech Bhatt film was called Leatherface. The director - Mahesh Bhatt. Later on she went on to do mythologicals and was a regular performer. Life would perhaps have it, she was to become a superstar. But her rescuer in films was again the same person - Mahesh Bhatt. This tile Baiju Bawra. The musical was a superhit, got her the maiden film fare award in 1950 in the first ever filmfare awards. She was rich overnight. Meena Kumari was a superstar.
The other story was going on and it had started much before Baiju Bawra and went on for some time. Baiju Bawra released and the story was in the foreground. The story - Meena Kumari and Kamal Amrohi story. The new love story. They met they decided to marry and she married Kamal Amrohi after Baiju Bawra. Tragically, this story would be sad ending.
Baiju Bawra was not her last movie as a happy performer. She performed light hearted roles in many films later on which include Mr and Mr 55, Kinare Kinare and so many others.
The important thing that happened in this part of her life is that Pakeezah was conceived on the honeymoon of Meena and Kamal. Interestingly, Pakeezah would follow her life and would finally become the mark of her life. So much that the film became a hit only after her death. The film conceived at this time, would finish only in 1970 and would see all the changes in Meena Kumari's personality over years. Is it possible to find such a film which followed the central character in real life! Pakeezah is such a film - Meena Kumari immortalized.
Meena Kumari would perform her roles with commitment and dedication. And these were her inherent qualities. She gave tragedy a position which is very difficult if not impossible to achieve.
However, her performance by design is reflected in her films where she has presented excellent performance in tragedy roles and where her personal life is so danferously close to her films. Sahib, Biwi aur Ghulam was perhaps the most dangerous mix. She moulded her own life into it the film. She found herself into the roles of chhoti bahu in real life (as stated to Ghulzaar). She would shed tears and dull her senses with liquor. The feeling being fuelled by the fact of her own divorce with Kamal Amrohi. Perhaps the author of Sahib, Biwi Ghulam had written the role for Meena Kumari herself as she fits so well into the role.
Morover, her personality would so much dominate the film that it is difficult to find anyone else in the film. Meena Kumari's films were a lot of Meena Kumari and she would effortlessly be the central character of the film.
Meena Kumari was a person of integrity. She lived her code, kept her word and she kept her promises. Still a person who would not raise her voice and would be as agreeable as possible.
Also Meena Kumari is an example of a person who lived on the right terms, each moment of life being a battle as well as a dream and a deep feeling. She was a expression of nature and she knew it and lived it. She lived it positively and not tragically though her life was a silent battle of objectivism and the battle againt attitudes, not people.
In some ways Meena Kumari's life is a great example of "if life hands you a lemon, make a lemonade".In the end, in spite of this silent battle, the promise of Meena Kumari was kept at the cost her life and in the end she was a big Meena Kumari.
She remains an example of positiveness, confidence and fighting spirit and her constant battle is evidence to it.
On the left one can read a piece of poetry from Meena Kumari which has no sadness. She has written a number of such positive poetry from her heart.
But then she was a simple human being with normal human desires like all of us. She had her own positive and negative sides and she never hid them and was rather open about her feelings. She would tell you her problem, cry out to the heart's extent and would then offer her help to you. She was a simple, straight nice human being with her own problems and feelings.
If there is something to be seen in the life of Meena Kumari, it is the spirit positive energy. And we have our tributes to Meena Kumari.