There have been many giddy romances and break-ups in Bollywood that garnered major attention, but not all of them were legends. It all started in the late 1930’s when a little girl accompanied by her father used to hang around the Mehboob studio in Mumbai. This small little girl would grow up to become the most enigmatic beauty that Indian film Industry ever produced. An actress, a charmer, a Goddess and a Diva, this small girl will emerge on the silver screen like nobody will ever do. Want to know who the little girl dressed in a floral coloured frock was? Born on the day of love 14th February 1933 her father named her Mumtaz Jahan Begum but she grew up to become MADHUBALA – the Diva who literally set the screen on fire.
We all are familiar with the Goddess that Madhubala was onscreen. People say that India could never after her present an actress as charismatic as she was. Every time she appeared on screen, Madhubala left the audiences wanting for more. A beauty with a heart-warming smile that could enliven even a corpse, every time she flashed her perfect set of teeth millions of hearts would go racing uncontrollably. Her glare, the way she used to look through the screen injured an unfathomable number of fans across India. She was not just a pretty face or a beauty with talent. Madhubala was a mystery, her beauty was profound and the charm she exuded was nothing less than heavenly.
Little did anybody know that her beauty, her smile and her royal stance was but just a camouflage to an ailing soul and withering body! The legend, the icon was terminally ill since she was a child. Doctors diagnosed a hole in her heart and she learnt to live with it. Her life, her decisions and even her daily schedules were under the strict vigil of her father Attaulla Khan, an orthodox Pathan, who was not ashamed of making his terminally ill daughter earn for the livelihood of anyone in his family but he certainly was embarrassed with her list of love affairs. Madhubala was born in abject poverty, she was the 5th child of 11 children that her parents had and she was also the sole earning member of her family.
When in one hand her heart ailment only aggravated with age, her soul kept wandering in search of true love, which she would never find in her life. There have been unsaid accounts of many love affairs that the Goddess had, but none could blossom into a relation that would last for a lifetime. There was nobody to hold her hand and pull her out of the quick sand that she was in! There were rumours of her alleged link ups with director Kidar Sharma, Kamal Amrohi and actor Premnath. When she abandoned the films at a tender age of 28 years and at a time when she was the ruling Diva, Madhubala got married to the exceptionally talented singer and actor Kishore Kumar. But they couldn’t give her the love that she was searching for. None but Dilip Kumar could touch her soul.
Madhubala and Dilip Kumar’s love story is the most tragic love affair that Indian Film Industry ever had to witness. The love between Madhubala and Dilip Kumar, who was also a Pathan blossomed when she was barely 17 years old. She fell in love with the most celebrated actor of Bollywood on the sets of Tarana. Madhubala was a confident lady and she didn’t deter from expressing her love towards Dilip Saab. It is said the she sent a red rose with a note to Dilip Kumar when he was in his dressing room. He was completely smitten by her uninhibited gesture. At that time Madhubala was naïve and young. She was playful and well aware of the beauty and magic that she exuded in her aura. This happened almost at the same time when Madhubala was already in relationship with director Kamal Amrohi, but the love and passion with which Dilip Saab reverted back to her completely swept her of her feet. Madhubala fell badly in love with Dilip Kumar. She had found her soul mate. They were made-for-each other in every aspect. The Diva thought that at last she found the love that she was in search for. But Alas! Faith was jealous of the beautiful maiden.
Apparently Madhubala’s father was afraid that if she got married to Dilip Kumar he would lose his financial coupon hence, he did everything and took every possible step to ensure that the eternal lovers were separated. He was successful!
Dilip Kumar and Madhubala had seven years of courtship and during that time they did four films together, including the unforgettable Magnum Opus Mughal-e-Azam. Their relationship came to an abrupt end when Madhubala’s father stopped her from going for an outdoor shoot for Naya Daur. As a result the director dropped her from the movie and she was replaced by Vaijanti Mala. Madhubala’s father got infuriated with the director for kicking his daughter out of the movie suddenly. He threatened to sue him. Ultimately the director counter sued Madhubala and the matter ended up in court where Dilip Kumar testified against her. On being questioned Dilip Kumar declared his undying love for Madhubala. Thus like the film and the court case, the love between Madhubala and Dilip Kumar ended abruptly. Although their relationship ended but their story was not over yet! The shooting for Mughal-e-Azam was not complete yet.
Dilip Saab and Madhubala dint spoke a word to each other on the set. They only uttered the dialogues which were written for them. It is said that in one scene Dilip Saab essaying the role of Prince Salim had to slap across the face of Anarkali – the role portrayed by Madhubala. Dilip couldn’t control his anger that he’d hidden all this while and slapped Madhubala actually while the scene was being shot. They say that the slap was so hard that Madhubala couldn’t stop her tears. This scene is very much in the film and it continues to remain as the most iconic scenes on Indian Silver Screen.
There came a time when the shooting for Mughal-e-Azam was complete. It was a wrap up both for the film and for Madhubala and her true love!