What if I say the Tragedy Queen? The only name that comes to your mind will be of legendary actress Meena Kumari. The tale of Meena Kumari’s tragical life is a must read the story for every Bollywood fanatic. She reigned the film industry for 30 years and closed her eyes at an early age of 38. Meena Kumari earned the title not just because of her reel life roles but also because of her real life that was nothing less than a tragedy.
She was an alcoholic and thus it was the reason she died at an early age. Did you know? Meena Kumari was born with the name Mahjabeen in a family of poor theatre artists, Ali Bux and Iqbal Begum on 1 August 1933. This was a great disappointment to Ali Bux because he wanted a son. So her father decided to leave her at an orphanage. She brought up as an orphan. But her life had some different plans for her. Meena Kumari never went to school in any meaningful sense, and her education was the result of private tuition, and more significantly the result of individual interest; in every sense she was self-educated.
She got a film offer as a child artist at the age of 4. Although she was in an orphanage her parents stayed connected with her and they were the ones who brought this film offer to her. At the age 4, she became a bread earner in the Bux family. She became a star. On the sets of Tamasha, Ashok Kumar introduced filmmaker Kamal Amrohi to Meena Kumari. They fell in love with each other and married and it was Kamal’s second marriage to her.
This marriage ruined her. Kamal was not a good husband. Her life was bound by the rules laid down by Amrohi. She could work but was to come home at six or seven in the evening. No one was allowed in her make-up room, and she was to travel in her own car, alone. She was also escorted everywhere she went by Baqar, Amrohi’s friend who kept a close tab on her. It was exactly the kind of life she wished she didn’t have. Meena Kumari also loved children, but Amrohi refused to have a child with her.
Meena Kumari died at age 38 on Good Friday, 31 March 1972 due to liver cirrhosis. She was buried at Rahematabad Qabristan, located at Narialwadi, Mazgaon, Mumbai.