Born as Mumtaz Jehan Dehlavi, she was the fifth one of eleven of children. They relocated to Mumbai after her father left a job, where ‘baby Mumtaz’ was introduced to the film industry at the age of 9. She managed to share the screen with veteran actors like Ashok Kumar and Devikarani who later renamed her as ‘ Madhubala’. After gathering experience from films like Besant (1942), Mumtaz Mahal (1944) etc. as a child artist, Kidar Sharma presented her as a lead in Neel Kamal (1947) opposite Raj Kapoor. With the release of Mahal (1949), she climbed the peak of stardom and blossomed, being the ‘venus’ of Indian film industry.
|Wall painting at Bandra, Mumbai|
After facing heartbreak from her 9 years old togetherness with Dilip Kumar, she literally suffered from a heart disorder. She was completely broken and wanted to get over this. She was taken to London for the treatment after getting married to Kishore Kumar but was not given more than two years of survival. She was losing her charm, her strength, her willpower day by day and getting weaker. She concealed all her pains behind the mask of ‘great giggler’ who was perhaps laughing at the world around her that was unaware that she had a damaged heart and would die soon.
On 23 February 1969, time froze then and there and she left the world just with her memories. Even God, himself couldn't have endured his favourite flower getting withered, so he plucked her while she was just 36. Early death has immortalized her beauty.
This timeless beauty is now a shadow in our memories, who will remain always elusive.
Written by Medini Kajarekar
Walking through the pages to find home in words.