A Tribute to Madhubala


By Himanshu Guru: It will not be wrong to accept Madhubala as a synonym of the word ‘beauty’.  Had she been alive, the diva would have turned 80 today. Born on Valentine’s Day, the great actor is rightly epithet as the ‘Venus of Indian Cinema’. But sadly, Madhubala died young at the age of 36 leaving an ineradicable memory in the minds of her huge number of fans across the globe.

Born as Mumtaz Jahan Dehlavi on February 14, 1933 she entered the Hindi Cinema world too early. The actress had performed splendidly in 70 movies within her career spanning over about eighteen years. If in India somebody has the unique merit of appearing in the most number of successful films in the shortest period of time, it undoubtedly is Madhubala.

The diva made her Bollywood debut with the 1942 film ‘Basant’. The movie was a box office success and she got unparalleled fame that her contemporary actors could only dream of. Later, she acted in several blockbuster films in the 50s and early 60s including K Asif’s epic ‘Mughal-E-Azam’, ‘Mrs. and Mr. 55’, ‘Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi’ and ‘Mahal’, many of which attained a ‘classic’ status. She was a part of the all time classic movie Mughal-e-Azam or we can say it was Madhubala who had offered the film the status of an all time classic movie, through her unmatched beauty.

No doubt Madhubala was an iconic beauty of Hindi cinema. Her charm was unparalleled. Such was the charm of this evergreen diva that every time she stepped into the frame, the audiences stayed mesmerized to her beauty. Even today, many refer to her as the most beautiful woman of the Indian film industry for ever.

Many female lead actors of yesteryears and contemporary films including Madhuri Dixit are not only ardent fans of Madhubala but they say that they are mostly inspired by her. Madhuri feels that Madhubala’s gripping smile is the best the industry has ever seen.

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Unfortunately Madhubala lived a personal life full of odds. While constant rumors of liaisons with many big names in the industry chased her all the way, it caused considerable damage to her image. Even, a debacle involving Dilip Kumar and Madhubala turned exceeding bitter and resulted in the end of the relationship between the two actors. Her marriage to Kishore Kumar, too, was full of distress.

Madhubala is considered to be one of the most iconic Bollywood actresses of all times. Often referred to as the ‘Venus of Indian Cinema’, the actress mesmerized her fans with her ethereal beauty and charm.

The actress shot to fame with her success in ‘Mahal’, and many remarkable films and stunning performances followed suit. Her performance in ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ won her much praise from her fans and critics alike.

Madhubala, the most sought actor of 1950s in Indian cinema, is also often compared to American sex symbol Marilyn Monroe, who was an equally successful actress in Hollywood around the same time. Thus some describes the diva as the Marilyn Monroe of India. The two actresses, were widely admired and adored by men all around the world, had kept their private lives under wraps and with several rumors that did rounds, the lives of the two most iconic women of 1950s —  Madhubala and Marilyn Monroe are still mysteries for everyone. They both came out of poverty and became extremely successful actresses and are still adored and remember. Madhubala and Marilyn both have postage stamps featuring them.

Perhaps cherished souls don’t live long. The eternal beauty suffered from a non-curable heart disease and passed away merely at an age of 36 years on February 23, 1969. Perhaps God had to take the bold decision to keep the beautiful image of the diva of people for ever. However, she has been immortalized by her contributions to Indian cinema.

Even Madhubala was once bestowed with the honor of being the ‘Biggest Star in The World’ (Theatre Arts Magazine, August 1952). But it is eternal truth that the actress will always stay alive in the memory of her huge fans for all the days to come.

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