A thing of beauty is a joy forever- Keats’ words can well be equated with the striking good looks of the gorgeous Madhubala who made an indelible mark on the Indian film industry within a short span of time. Often referred to as the Venus of the Indian Screen, Madhubala stunned the audiences with her magnificent personality and her brilliant acting skills. Born as Mumtaz Jahan Begum on the 14th of February, 1933, she entered the world of films as a child artist at the tender age of eight.
Madhubala got her first break in a lead role in Neel Kamal (1947), produced and directed by her mentor, veteran filmmaker Kidar Sharma. With her humble roots in a poor family of Pathan muslims in Delhi, she went on to become the queen of hearts with her memorable performances in movies like Mr. and Mrs. 55, Howrah Bridge and Chalti ka Naam Gaadi. But she caught the eye of the public with her romantic lead role opposite Raj Kapoor.
Her presence started being felt on the screen and over the next two years she bloomed and flowered into a truly rapturous beauty that wooed the Indian audience with her charisma. With the movie Mahal (1949) Madhubala now became a superstar.
The image of this ethereal enchantress taking twirls in the halls of the Mughal palace as she sings of love and life is perhaps how the world remembers this iconic artiste. Her ground-breaking performance in Mughal-e-Azam not only won the heart of Shahzade Saleem, but also garnered applause from millions of viewers.
Though she tasted the sweet flavours of success and fame, her life was nothing but a saga of melancholy and struggle. First her family’s relocation to Mumbai plunged them into a fight for survival in the initial years; later, Madhubala experienced the pain of love when she drifted away from Dilip Kumar. To add to her miseries, she was diagnosed with a heart disease at a young age. She battled her condition whilst grieving over her problematic marriage with Kishore Kumar. Madhubala’s last years were tough and sad, and she left the world on the 23rd of February, 1969.