He gave up the Venus of India and married a girl, half his age and later tarnished his image with the Asma Episode. The crowing beauty, Madhubala, ended up with an earlier flop singer who failed to take care of her in her last days. In her last journey, of course, he appeared to shoulder the coffin that carried the ONLY MARBLE STATUE of Hindi cinema. The whole story of Madhubala is the glaring example of exploitation of women by men.
She had made no slogans, no value statements, and no pearls of wisdom dropped from her lips. She was the embodiment of weak Indian Nari. For long time, I for one, didn’t see any movie after her death.
Just for the uninitiated, let me put his life in few words, not all my own.
Madhubala was found to have a heart problem after she coughed up blood in 1950. She hid her illness from the film industry for many years, but this one incident was widely reported by the media in the year 1954. In the early 1950s as Madhubala became one of the most sought after actresses in India, she also attracted interest from Hollywood.
She has appeared in many American magazines. She was featured in an extensive article with a full page photograph. The piece was entitled: The Biggest Star in the World. It presented the actress as a mysterious and ethereal woman of mythical beauty with a legion of fans. The American filmmaker Francis Capra wanted to meet Madhubala. A meeting to discuss an opening for Madhubala in Hollywood was proposed by Capra. However, her father declined his proposal and put an emphatic end to her potential Hollywood career.
In 1960, Madhubala sought treatment in London as her condition deteriorated. She finally succumbed to her illness and died on 23 February 1969, shortly after her 36th birthday. She was buried at Santa Cruz cemetery with her diary by her family and husband. Madhubala's tomb at the Juhu /Santa Cruz cemetery was carved in pure marble and aayats from the Holy Qur’an. In 2008, a commemorative postage stamp featuring Madhubala was issued. Her tomb was demolished in 2010 to make space for new graves.
Again, I had fallen in love of Smita Patil when she was a news reader on Bombay TV. My friends were annoyed as I would be glued to screen as long as she was there to read. I was least interested in news. She was a fine artist, an intellectual and the newly coined words like ‘Parallel Cinema’, ‘New Wave Movement’ and ‘Women Empowerment’ were associated with her name. Most of that was moon shine as she herself knowingly disturbed and destroyed the happy family life of Nadirah Babbar who had jumped a religious divide to meet Raj Babbar. All those slogans were empty as her act contradicted the fundamental principles of mutual existence. “If you destroy someone’s habitat, your palace would not burn but you can't live in it happily hereafter.”
I loved her as a natural actress and I put her at the highest pedestal, above Nargis, Meena Kumari and Madhubala. I have never seen any complete film of any actor after her death.
She was born in 1955 and was an alumna of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. In the year 1977, she received the National Award for best actress for her remarkable performance in the film Bhumika. In most of her films, she was portrayed as a very strong woman, who is able to endure the pressures created by the male dominated society. Due to complications arising from the birth of son, she died on the December 13, 1986. Nishant, Mandi, Haadsa, Umbartha, Bazaar, Manthan, Bhumika,Namak Halaal, Dard Ka Rishta, Arth, Chakra and Shakti were her most prominent films. She was a great photographer also.
With so much versatility in her character she could have performed better with her personal life. Marriage is the most sacred and strong institution of human existence. But, how many of us could honestly claim to be a SUCCESS in it. Yes in Capital words it is a moot point. Most of us carry on the journey for the sake of multiple factors and end up without knowing why we made the beginning.
However, there is one girl who is reassuring me to be true champion for her womanhood – let me say a true Chand Bibi of Indian Cinema. Her name is Kangna Ranaut and you may or may not agree with me. I am sharing her recent interview that appeared in the most prominent newspaper of the country only a few days back. Here are some excerpts.
“I come from Surajpur, a valley near Manali that is named after my great grandfather Sarju Singh Ranaut. He was a minister for fifteen years. I come from a big family not in terms of money but reputation and grew up in a protective mountain environment.
My grandfather was an IAS officer; my father ran a construction business and mother was a teacher. I moved to a hostel in Chandigarh to pursue Science, but got exposed to art and culture. I had a close encounter with dissection that depressed me. Ever since I have been a child, I would start crying seeing anyone in pain.
I wanted to quit studies and move to Delhi to pursue sculpture making. My father slapped me for the first time at 15 and I told him, ‘If you slap me I will slap you back.’ My dad asked me to leave the house and I did without a single penny in my pocket.
I did everything a girl of that age can do to damage herself for food and shelter. Today, when I am a successful, my father, who is also a self-made man, is trying to find a part of my success which is his also and he is not able to.
I was considered a B-grade actress and was a sidekick even though I was good at what I did. Star kids are considered blue blood babas and babies, even though they are older to me, where as a Jenny from the hill, as I am referred to, is always someone to be made fun of.
People have humiliated me and scared me. They wasted time and money to destroy my career. I’m a soft target and don’t have a big daddy. I am deeply sensitive and that is what makes me a good artist. I don’t put up a fake front.
My struggle with my parents combined with the industry not accepting me made me feel alienated. I had decided to pack my bags and run from this place to live the life of anonymity.
I love my father and if there was one thing that I could change going back in time, I would have accepted the money he wanted to give me so that he could feel a part of my success story. I have everything in terms of assets, in fact everything I don’t need.
No, I don’t want to ever get married. I can’t handle a full time boyfriend. I have so much to do every day and cannot address the person’s needs of just wanting to be around them. People who get married need to go to a psychiatrist. Even if people are happily married, a legal contract for possessing someone’s body and soul is so needy.
‘If someone does that to me I will lose interest in that person.’ I like intelligent people and most actors do not have knowledge of the world around them. I want to do more things with my life. I see a number of people around me whose lives are only about money and grabbing things but are still empty and shallow. I have always done things I wanted to do and have never pleased anybody who I did not like.”
Great! Great! Marvelous! You are figure among cipher, Kangna Ranaut. You are sure, self-respecting and confident. Keep it up! I salute you for what you believe and what you do.
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