Does the name Mahajabeen Bano ring a bell? It's quite unlikely that many would remember who Mahajabeen Bano was, but if we tell you that she was one of Bollywood's finest actresses in the 50's and 60's, chances are you may start recollecting the various actresses who shone in the golden era and take a guess. Well we won't test your patience; the actress we are talking about is none other than the incredibly talented late Meena Kumari. Meena (whose original name is Mahajabeen Bano) began her acting career at the tender age of 7. However, she came into the limelight through her role in the popular film Baiju Bawra for which she won the Filmfare Best Actress Award. She later followed up her act of playing a woman in pain in films like Parineeta, Ek Hi Raasta and Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayi. Her career reached the pinnacle of success with the film Saheb, Bibi Aur Ghulam where she played the role of Choti Bahu (an alcoholic wife) alongside stalwarts like Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rehman. Unfortunately for Meena, alcohol became an inseparable part of even her real life which took a toll on her health. In between all this, she married filmmaker, Kamal Amrohi. It was for Kamal that she went out of the way to complete the cult classic Pakeezah despite her ill-health . Pakeezah finally saw the light of the day in Feb 1972, however a month after its release, the beautiful Meena Kumari left for eternal abode. On this very day (March 31st), 36 years ago, Indian cinema lost one of its most talented actresses and her sudden departure left a void which was hard to fill. We at Bollywood Hungama pay our respects to the legendary Meena Kumari on her death anniversary.
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