Many of you will be surprised that Madhubala, the original diva of Bollywood was born today; i.e. on Valentine’s Day. Yes, today, 14th Feb is the 83rd birth anniversary of the legendary beauty queen of Bollywood.
Madhubala was born on 14th Feb, 1933 as Mumtaz Begum Jehan Dehlavi, in a conservative Pathan family from New Delhi. She had 10 siblings, while she was the 5th child amongst the 11 children. Her father, Ataullah Khan was working in Peshawar (now in Pakistan). However, when he lost his job, his family relocated to Mumbai. This is where Madhubala’s tough childhood days started. Three of her sisters and two brothers died at a very young age of five and six. In April 1944, their house got wiped out in a fire that broke due to an explosion in the dock. To feed the remaining family, young Madhubala and her father started visiting the Bombay Film studio in search of work.
On her remembrance, here are 10 of her most memorable films.
Madhubala’s memorable films
1) Basant: This was the debut film of Madhubala and was a super hit film of 1942. Young Mumtaz was a child artist and played the role of the daughter of actress Mumtaz Shanti. After this film, she acted in several movies as a child actor.
2) Neel Kamal: This movie of 1947 was a milestone in Madhubala’s film career. In the film, she was the lead actress opposite to legendary actor Raj Kapoor. This movie was specially remembered the movie served as the starting point for both of these great actors.
3) Mahal: This was one of the first biggest hits of this beautiful actress, which made her popular across the country. Mahal was a thriller film of 1949 starring Madhubala and Ashok Kumar; and was the first Indian film that was based on reincarnation. The song “Aayega Aane Waala” sung by Lata Mangeshkar is still loved by the masses.
4) Dulari: The year 1949 was a lucky year for the actress, as her second movie Dulari was also a hit in the same year. Many remember the movie because of the song “Suhani Raat Dhal Chuki, Na Jaane Tum Kab Aaogi”.
5) Beqasoor: As if with Mahal, Madhubala’s stars started shining, as she gave back-to-back hits. Beqasoor was a 1950 hit movie where she played a simple girl caught in the cross-fire of a deep-rooted sibling rivalry between her upright husband and her scheming brother-in-law.
6) Howrah Bridge: Fast forward to 1958 and the legendary actress delivered yet another hit, Howrah Bridge. The movie stars Madhubala along with Ashok Kumar and Om Prakash. The movie is remembered for the songs “Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu” picturized on Helen and “Aaiye Meherbaan” picturized on Madhubala.
7) Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi: This is one of the films where chemistry between Madhubala and Kishor Kumar was apparent. A box-office hit of 1958, this was a comedy movie starring the Kumar brothers (Ashok Kumar, Kishor Kumar and Anoop Kumar) alongside Madhubala. The film consists of many hit songs such as “Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si”, “Babu Samjho Ishare” and “Haal Kaisa Hai Janaab Ka”.
8) Barsaat Ki Raat: Directed by P.L. Santoshi, this film was a super-hit of 1960. The movie became particularly popular for its Qawwali songs and its unconventional story.
9) Mughal-e-Azam: Biggest epic drama of Indian cinema, Mughal-e-Azam was a super-duper hit of 1960, which had the biggest stars of that era, such as Madhubala, Dilip Kumar, Prithvirak Kapoor and Durga Khote. This was the biggest milestone of the actress’s film career and the movie is still remembered and watched by Indian audiences.
10) Half Ticket: By the year 1962, Madhubala’s health had started deteriorating. Half ticket was Madhubala’s second last film before her life ended. Starring opposite to Kishor Kumar, this was a comedy classic film.
Madhubala is known as many names, like the Marylin Monroe of Bollywood. The Indian Cinema lost one of its most shining stars on 23 February 1969, shortly after Madhubala’s 36th birthday.