Throwback to when the late veteran filmmaker Sawaan Kumar Tak spoke about his muse Meena Kumari
Yeh chirag bujh rahein hain,
Yeh chirag bujh rahein hain …
Mere saath jalte jalte…
Her lyrical longing in Pakeezah, in tandem with composer Ghulam Mohammed’s frenzied tabla, solely to be silenced by a prepare whistling by way of the evening, might properly be the metaphor of Meena Kumari’s life … and maybe loss of life. Tragedienne on display, mimic in actual life. Poetess in pursuit of affection or masochist celebrating ache? Mahjabeen to household, Manju to husband Kamal Amrohi and Meena Kumari to hundreds of thousands, the actress continues to stay an enigma.
‘Roses and handsome men could not take away her tragedies’
– SAWAN KUMAR TAK (filmmaker and ex-lover)
I used to be in my early 20s after I wrote the story of Gomti Ke Kinare. My filmmaker buddy, B N Sharma, believed solely Meena Kumari might do justice to it. She was an enormous star however I dared to name her up. Her sister Khursheed Apa picked up the telephone. I advised her I had produced Naunihaal (1967) and the Maharashtra Government had conferred an award on it.
I used to be requested to come back over. Meenaji was stunned to see a younger boy narrating the story. She agreed to do the movie on the situation that I might direct it.
She steered I signal debutant Sameer Khan (brother of Sanjay Khan). I gave him Rs 101 as token. Meenaji spoke to Mumtaz for the feminine lead and he or she agreed. The track Aaj to meri hansi udaayi was recorded. I accomplished half the movie inside six months. Meenaji was very proud of the rushes. But after that she fell sick and every part collapsed. I began the movie in 1968 and it was launched in 1972. So you may think about the delay!
But I had grown connected to her. One evening she took me to her bed room. She had the picture of a tragedy queen however was in actual fact a fantastic mimic. I couldn’t cease laughing on the tales she narrated. She then unfold rose petals on her mattress and went to sleep. I sat on the carpet and slept resting my head on the mattress. When I got here out of the room subsequent morning, Khursheed Apa requested me satirically, “Did you sleep well?” It was pure for anyone to misconstrue.
After that I began shopping for her flowers day by day. I used to be spending Rs 300 day by day. She liked adorning the flowers in Ikebana model. The petals, she would strew on the mattress. Her well being was however deteriorating (she was affected by cirrhosis of the liver). She would vomit blood. I might take it in my palms, wipe her face and put her to sleep. Her household could be quick asleep. My relationship along with her had became unsiyat (worship). It had gone above romance and intercourse. It was a ruhani ishq (religious love). I used to be in my ’20s whereas she was in her late ’30s. But I did’nt really feel the age distinction. She was my world.
Once she checked out me intently and mentioned, “You are the first person in whom I have seen God. You collect the blood I vomit in your hands. Not once do you show displeasure. Nobody has ever done this for me — neither my sisters, nor my friends nor those who loved me. My bedsheet would get stained; I would change it myself.”
I additionally requested her about her link-ups. She mentioned, “They are like books on the shelf of my life. Those I found interesting I read again and again. Those I didn’t, I put back. You are the last book I am reading.”
I suppose, Meenaji as a baby felt uncared for as Khursheed Apa was a star and all consideration was showered on her. But when Baiju Bawra turned a success, there was no wanting again. She met Kamal Amrohi, a profitable filmmaker, and married him. Then some variations developed between them and he or she left him. But she by no means spoke in opposition to him. She would affectionately name him Chandan. Kamal sahab, Ashok Kumar, Rajendra Kumar and Dharmendra, would all come to see her throughout her sickness.
Coming again to Gomti Ke Kinare, we had stopped capturing due to her poor well being. One day I advised her, “Because of the delay I have exhausted all the finances.” She mentioned, ‘Don’t fear.” I wanted one and half lakh rupees. After 5 to 6 days, she gave me the quantity saying, “I am not giving you charity. You can return the money.” Later, I got here to know that she had offered her bungalow in Bandra to Mumtaz to offer me that cash. She would preserve insisting, “Shooting karo, I will go away.” We started capturing. I might maintain her and duck down when the lights went on. When the final shot was canned, all people clapped and threw flowers. We even celebrated her birthday on the set. We stopped her automotive on the gate and requested her to stroll to the set. The path was strewn with flowers. We even bought a cake. She was 41 however she blushed like a woman.
After Pakeezah launched we went to see it at Regal cinema. She might hardly stroll. I attempted holding her however she mentioned, “Don’t hold me, I can walk.” Soon she was hospitalised for the final time. She requested for me and mentioned, “I first experienced love on the terrace of my home (referring to her first relationship). That was when life had just begun. Now when I am going, I have found love again. Do not stay away from me.”
But docs wouldn’t permit me to see her. I as soon as footed the invoice of Rs 15,000. I offered my Standard automotive for this. She died a number of weeks after that. I gave her kandha (shouldered her coffin). Meenaji confronted a lot heartbreak in her life. Roses and good-looking males couldn’t take away her tragedies.