Madhubala | A Legend of Limitless Beauty And Grace
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If the name Madhubala is the epitome for unbound and limitless beauty, it also stands for boundless pain. Madhubala born as Mumtaz Begum was without a doubt the most beautiful actress to have been part of the Indian film industry. The name Madhubala conjures up so many images and images associated with the yester-year actress, in our minds.
Her beauty, grace, comic timing - everything about her has contributed in creating an image of a legend over the last 50 years.
Often perceived as the 'Marilyn Monroe of Bollywood', Madhubala was one of the most influential personalities who started her acting career at the age of nine.
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Madhubala worked in approximately 70 odd films and strangely, for a celebrity of her stature and repute there is barely any documentation of the actress' life and time.
She was not only good looking and glamorous in her ‘avatar’ on screen, but also an exceptionally talented artist. Despite her personal life being extremely tragic, it is her smile that is remembered the most. But few could see the other side of the face that continues to be the ultimate parameter of beauty in Bollywood.
When others of her era have been long forgotten, Madhubala's posters graced with her mischievous smile can still be found jostling alongside posters of new age actresses.
Madhubala was an example of a dutiful Indian girl torn between family and love. Her discipline for work was unparalleled. Punctuality, commitment to work and professionalism were her hallmarks. Her self control was amazing. Her world began and ended in a film studio.
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She was never seen at any parties, film premier’s, award functions, film festivals, picnics or races for fund-raising initiatives. She had no fascination for jewellery, be it on-screen or off-screen. She hardly wore any because she considered it a waste of money.
There is always a leading lady in every decade that makes the world stand up and notice the trends she endorses.
When you think of timeless Indian stylistas, Madhubala is the first name comes to mind, her gorgeous smile and shoulderlength waves proving the perfect accessory for anything she wore.
Her beautiful attire in the song, Jab pyaar kiya toh darna kya from the epic that was Mughal-e-Azam. Her iconic eye makeup, fashion statements with wavy hair and being a ravishing diva of her times, Madhubala had the carefree attitude when it came to being who she was. Madhubala, was a lady that knew exactly what she wanted from knowing how she wanted her celebrity status to be upheld to knowing how she wanted to reign over many hearts, but she didn’t go over the top and was never ever caught up in unwanted controversies too.
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Madhubala, during her reign in the industry became the role model and inspiration for many in the world of fashion.
Going back in time, the gorgeous diva sported light and soft fabrics in sarees that had broad prints, and she seemed to love her floral touches too.
The tucking of the pallu to the right side of her waist or leaving it free and flowing, were her signature styles. In movies though, she followed the directors touch, and was always ready to gel into the look that was being ready for her.
Back then, she was a cult queen of minimalistic fashion, and she had no qualms making the same known to the world. Madhubala was always the talk of the town. The charming character of Madhubala cannot be underestimated, onscreen and otherwise.
Back then an American magazine in the 50’s spoke of the Indian diva with high respect and regards, stating “she’s not in Beverly Hills”, and comparing her on high pedestal along with the divas and beauties of Hollywood.
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Madhubala, thus set a very high standard with regard to female fashion, grooming, hair and makeup.
Madhubala always believed in being herself. She was comfortable in everything she wore and also carried it off well. She had no qualms about wearing clothes that were a little to revealing for her times, and she never really cared about anyone from the media talking about it. You have it, you flaunt it, and that is what she believed in.
Most of us millennials remember her as Anarkali from Mughal-e-azam. She was the Anarkali that was thrown behind a brick wall and kept away from her beloved. It’s funny and ironic how the movie reflects and mirrors so much that went on in her life.
Coming from a conservative Muslim family, her father was more strict than usual and didn’t like her fraternising with her male co-stars or others co-workers. This didn’t stop her from following her heart and her feelings which led her to fall in love with a co-star, and eventually led her to doom. Her story is heart-wrenching for those who hear it for the first time, but nobody else and especially no other actress could so publicly declare her love for her co-actor Dillip Kumar, who she vowed to love for eternity.
As much as we remember Madhubala for her style, beauty and grace she has never much been appreciated for her ability to love and love endlessly.
Madhubala never found true love during her lifetime. Partly it was due to her father's obsession of not allowing her to mingle with anybody. She was at a young and vulnerable age when she fell in love with her Dillip Kumar and their not-so-happy love affair began. Her love was incomparable and saw no bounds of age and religion.
Their love saga witnessed a lot of hurdles and negative reactions from her family and co-workers and it eventually came to an end. Even marrying Kishore Kumar didn’t help her because she had deeply and wholly given herself up to the love she felt for Dillip Kumar. She was a beautiful lover. To love like this, without hesitation, and to love so fiercely was how Madhubala dedicated herself to him.
There was no happy ending to her love affair, he moved on and married and so did she, but despite that she never loved anyone with the same ferocity. Many knew that Madhubala suffered from a chronic heart disease which had no cure back then. Everyone who knows of Madhubala knew that she had gone through a terrible heartbreak and tragedy in her affair with Dillip Kumar and how she unfortunately ended up in a loveless marriage with Kishore Kumar with no love to give him.
Everyone thought she was strong and could handle it. Her illness took away a lot, her career, love and repute as a brilliant artist. She endured the pain for nine years as her health deteriorated and loneliness increased.
All that she had left were days with the hope that things would get better.
But unlike any other Bollywood film, she died with the hope still lingering and giving us all something to reflect upon. How to love and love without inhibitions is what we must take away from her glorious yet heartbreaking life story. If there’s anything we must learn from her, is the power of love and how it keeps you and your hope alive.
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