Popularly known as Bollywood’s ‘tragic queen,’ Meena Kumari who was born on August 1, 1933 starred in more than 90 films in her 30-year-long career in the film industry. The legendary actor delivered power-packed performances in movies like Pakeezah, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Mere Apne, Aarti, Baiju Bawra and Parineeta.
She bagged four Filmfare awards over the course of her career and in 1963, received and won all nominations as Best Actress for Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam. The film, in which Kumari plays a tippler wife, echoes her own struggles with alcoholism, which led to liver cirrhosis and caused her death.
Kumari was also a playback singer, as a child artist till 1945, later as an actress and as a heroine in Duniya Ek Sarai , Piya Ghar Aaja and Bichchade Balam.
The greatest hallmark of Meena Kumari lied in her ability to depict the struggle of Indian women existing specially in the 50s and 60s, Kumari Onscreen Persona is described as a perfect example of real traditional Bharatiya Nari by the Indian film fraternity like Mohammed Zahur Khayyam and Javed Akhtar.
On the occasion of Meena Kumari’s 49th birthday, here are some evergeen songs of the tragedy queen on screen:
Mausam Hai Aashiqana
The music of this romantic mumber was given by Ghulam Mohammad. This beautiful track is from Pakeezah and the voice of Lata Mangeshkar has immortalised this song.
Inhi Logon Ne
This popular song from Pakeezah (1972) was crooned by legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar. Composed by Ghulam Mohammad, Inhi Logon Ne song stars Meena Kumari, Raaj Kumar, Ashok Kumar and Veena.
Piya Aiso Jiya Mein
The lovely song from Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam (1962) was composed by Hemant Kumar. Geeta Dutt gave her voice to this song. The song became popular soon after its release.
Mujhe Pyar Ki Zindagi Denewale
This song from Pyaar Ka Saagar (1961) was sung by Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle and composed by Ravi. The number features Rajendra Kumar and Meena Kumari.
Duniya Kare Sawal
Duniya Kare Sawal from Bahu Begum (1967) has always been loved by music lovers. The song was composed by Roshan and crooned by Lata Mangeshkar.