Google is celebrating the 85th birthday of late actress Meena Kumari with a doodle. The actress is known for some of the iconic characters she played in Indian cinema. The beautiful actress was also a singer and a poet and much loved by her fans. Just like the roles she played in movies, her life story resonated the same. Often referred to as "tragedy queen" of Bollywood, her personal life was filled with ups and downs. From being almost abandoned at birth to being forced to act in films, Meena Kumari's life was not a normal one.
Born on August 1, 1933, in the family of poor theatre artists, she was named Mahjabeen. The actress first appeared in the 1939 movie Leatherface at the age of four. Her parents forced her to work in films as it brought home good money, however, little Mahjabeen did not enjoy the working back then. The film schedule also affected her studies thus not being able to receive proper education. She later self-educated and was nicknamed 'Reading Mahjabeen' for bringing books to sets. She wrote Urdu poems under the pseudonym 'Naaz'.
The Google doodle shows the beautiful actress in one of her iconic character in the cult movie Pakeezah where she played a courtesan starring opposite Ashok Kumar and Rajkummar. Some of her other famous movies include Baiju Bawra (1952) and Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962). She was soon typecast as a long-suffering Indian woman who had no ways to escape her tyranny.
Her romance with filmmaker Kamal Amrohi, 15 years her senior, bloomed in a marriage, however, could not last long. He allegedly mistreated her and put restrictions on her acting career. The couple separated ways after a decade.
It is said that she was obsessed with white colour and used to wear white sarees and loved to buy white objects. However, following her separation from her husband, she started drinking heavily. The perpetual habit got her liver damaged in 1968 and made her terribly ill. She died of the illness on March 31, 1972.