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Tilak Rishi, born in India, has been working as a career corporate executive, after doing his MBA. Passionately pursuing his hobby for writing, he also remained a regular contributor to newspapers in India and the U.S. Many true happenings and characters he came across in life, including interaction with former president Bill Clinton, inspired Paradise Lost and Found, his first novel. A family saga, it starts from Kashmir, when this paradise on earth is lost for the tourists who thronged in thousands every year to enjoy its scenic splendor. Terrorists have turned it into one of the most dangerous places in the world. The family is not only a witness to the loss of this paradise, but also to another tragedy of much bigger magnitude. In the aftermath of the partition of India, along with millions uprooted from their homes in Pakistan, the family leaves behind all that it has in Lahore. Starting from a scratch on the difficult path to progress, it still has many joyful moments when along the way it makes a difference in many a life. The survival-to-success story climaxes in California where the family finds the paradise that was lost in Kashmir.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Meena Kumari - The Poet Par Excellence!

the technology is advanced so much in our time that whatever we do is recorded for ever on the various forms of social networking  after our passing. It is especially so for celebrities, whose every step taken in their lifetime, in public or in  privacy, remains open for posterity to read and then respect or denigrate it, depending on their own individual thinking about those who are no longer there to challenge or cheer their thoughts.

It seems like celebrity news is everywhere these days, from tabloids to mainstream media to reality news shows, but it exists because we love to hear about what they do and why they do it. The internet is full of stories about Bollywood stars; you may find these in leading websites such as, Wikipedia, internet movie database,...These stories about our acting "nobility" are quite down to earth. Being a great fan of Bollywood films and filmstars, I am often enthralled with all the accounts of some of the celebrities we have come to know and love as legends, but most importantly, what we come to realize is that they were just people trying to live their lives as only they could. I would love to share from time to time some  anecdotes in Bollywood's behind-the-scene stories, especially of its bygone era:

Meena Kumari - the poet par excellence!

Meena Kumari can be considered as the greatest actress of Bollywood during the golden age. There was something mystical about the legendary Meena Kumari. It's probably those eloquent eyes and oomphy body language. But ultimately, the fact is that she was extremely attractive and seemed to bring grace to whatever films she did. She had portrayed images and characters showing complexity of the mind of the Indian women and the social ostentatious that they had faced during different periods of time. Not only she was the Queen of Tragedy in reel life but was so also in real life. The dominant strain in Meena Kumari’s life was love, or rather the impossibility of finding love. And it would be true to say that she looked and searched, wept and cried in its pursuit. "In fact,” she said,” love is my biggest weakness-and greatest strength too. I am in love with love. I am craving for love. I have been craving for it since my childhood.” We all know she was unsuccessful. Though not amongst the famous poets, she was the poetess par excellence, who translated her life into verse. Her verses were entirely in character with her life:

“aghaaz to hotaa hai anjaam nahi hotaa
jab meri kahaani mein vo naam nahi hotaa
jab zulf kii kaalik mein ghul jaaye koii nahii
badnaam sahi lekin gum naam nahii n hotaa
hans hans ke javaan dil ke ham kyon na choone tukare
har shakhs ki qismat mein inaam nahin hotaa
din dooba hai yaa dubbii baaraat liye kishti
saahil pe magar koi kohraam nahin hotaa “

Sensitive and cheerful Meena Kumari fell in love after she met Kamal Amrohi on the sets of a film and she was head over heels for him as she herself has written about Kamal Amrohi-

“Dil saa jab saathi paya
Bechaini bhi woh saath le aaya.”

Her marriage with Kamal Amrohi had turned sour and resulted into separation and divorce in 1964. This event shaped her personal life also. The once very happy Meena Kumari turned into the epitome of tragedy in a short time when she took refuge in alcohol (and poetry). She herself has expressed her sorrows and miseries in many places and most importantly in her poetry which is the best reflection of her feelings. The same person who wrote beautiful poetry about Kamal Amrohi said-

“Tum kya karoge sunkar mujhse meri kahani,
Be Lutf zindagi ke kisse hain pheeke pheeke!”

And at the time of divorce she had said-

“Talaq to de rahe ho
Nazre Kaha ke saath
Jawani bhi meri lauta do
Mehar ke saath”

Life was never the same again and she was probably the saddest person as she could not stabilize later on in her life. It is known that Meena Kumari liked tragedy and wanted to lose herself into it, which she did so often. She could cry at any moment without any aids. We never know but probably she enjoyed it and wanted to be just tragic, enjoying every moment of it and finally turned her own life into a tragic story!


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