Remembering Meena Kumari: The Tragedy Queen Of Bollywood


Meena Kumari or Mahjabeen Bano, call her whatever you may, she was the epitome of acting in the Indian Film Industry. As long as she was alive, there was nobody, living or dead, man or woman that could come close to her art. Such was the effect of her when she was on the large screen, she could sway masses with her emotions. And when it came to portraying tragedy, till date, nobody, from the past to the present or probably in the future, there is nobody who can make you shed tears like Meena Kumari.

So, on the occasion of her 87th birth anniversary, we pay a tribute to her success by penning this ode in which we point out her iconic tragedy roles on screen.

Gauri(Baiju Bawra, 1952)

Gauri, Baiju’s childhood love has to yearn for her whole life, because Baiju is on a mission to defeat avenge his father’s death, for which he has sacrificed every pleasure in his life, even his love.

Lalita(Parineeta, 1953)

Lalita is in love with Shekhar who is blindsided by his father and he has abandoned Lalita as a result. Things get interesting as Girin comes in

Pakeezah Salim Ahmed Khan(Pakeezah, 1972)

Nargis aka Pakeezah, a courtesan falls in love with Salim, a nobleman. Nargis, like any normal woman, wants to be loved and wed somebody who loves him dearly. But the society rejects her because of her status.

Anandi Devi(Mere Apne, 1971)

Anandi or Nani Maa comes to town in her relative’s place to work as a servant. She is stuck in between a gangwar between two youth groups, led by Chennu and Shyam.

Chhoti Bahu(Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, 1962)

Chotti Bahu, the wife of the youngest zamindar, tries to appease her husband in one way or another unsuccessfully. She takes to drinking and has found a companion in Bhootnath.

Karuna(Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai, 1960)

Karuna is a dedicated nurse who fall in love with Sushil, a surgeon in Shimla Hospital. But Sushil has been engaged to Karuna, whose father has paid for his education.

Geeta(Bhabhi Ki Chudiyan, 1961)

Shyam and Geeta treat Mohan, Shyam’s younger brother as their own son(because Geeta cannot bear children). When Shyam gets married to Prabha, she is jealous because of his devotion to his fatherly elder brother and motherly sister-in-law, because of which she creates a ruckus in the family and separates from them.

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