Whenever Indian cinema will remember powerful actresses in tragedy roles yesteryear actress Meena Kumari’s name will top the list unanimously because she was undisputedly the Tragedy Queen of Indian Cinema.
August 1, marks the death anniversary of this great actress Raaga.Com pays our humble homage and looks at career in films where she excelled in ‘Tragedy’.
Though Meena Kumar was specialized in ‘Tragedy’ and she did many movies like Dil APNA AUR PREET PARAYI, DIL EK MANDIR, CHIRAG KAHAN ROSHNI KAHAN, BHABHI KI CHUDIYAAN, KAAJAL etc. Yet the movie that brought her melancholy to the hilt was indeed Guru Dutt’s black and white classic SAHIB BIWI AUR GHULAM
Film historians say the reason why Meena Kumari excelled in SAHIB BIWI AUR GHULAM was related to her personal trauma in marriage. Hence after her rebellious outbreak from film maker Kamal Amrohi, Meena Kumari took to heavy drinking and poetry to solace herself.
Film legend Guru Dutt, who was close to Meena Kumari and was witness to her agonies hence while planning SAHIB BIWI AUR GHULAM, he had just Meena Kumari in mind to play the character of the tragic wife neglected by her affluent husband.
And as expected when Meena Kumari faced the camera she made her loneliness hauntingly vivid on the screen recollecting her personal sufferings in details.
Thus for SAHIB BIWI AUR GHULAM she deservedly won the Best actress Filmfare award. In fact that year she made a kind of history at Filmfare Awards, as she was the only actress to be nominated that year - the other two nominations were for her performance in AARTI and MAIN CHOOP RAHOONGI, incidentally both tragedies.
After this Meena Kumari went strength to strength representing a rarefied concept of a traditional womanhood that was divested of all its physical antecedents with movies.
Finally with PAKEEZAH she became epitome of ‘Tragedy’ and registered her name in the annals of Indian Cinema as Tragedy Queen.