When Dilip Kumar declared his love for Madhubala in court


Madhubala, a great Indian screen beauty,   referred to as the Venus Queen of Indian cinema in the fifties and the sixties, once had many actors falling for her including Dilip Kumar. She was often compared to sex symbol Marilyn Monroe as they both were extremely beautiful and photogenic. Unfortunately they both died young. Madhubala flutters many a hearts even now when millions of admirers nostalgically search her on the net.

Born in 1933 on Valentine day, young Mumtaz dreamt of becoming a movie star at a very young age. Living in Delhi, her father struggled to get work. He went to Mumbai with young Mumtaz, hoping she would make it as a child artist. As luck would have it, Devika Rani gave the eight-year-old girl an opportunity in Basant in 1942. So she became the sole breadwinner of her family which included her 10 siblings and parents.

Later in her teenage years Devika Rani renamed her Madhubala. Her first adult role was with Raj Kapoor in the movie Neel Kamal when she was only 14 years old. In 1949, the movie which made her box office success was Mahal. At the age of sixteen Madhubala was a star.

On the sets of Tarana, Madhubala met and fell in love with co-star Dilip Kumar. She sent him a rose with a note when he was in the dressing room, telling him to accept it if he loved her. Dilip Kumar was quite amused with the gesture and accepted the rose, unaware that Madhubala had already done this with another co-star on the sets of her film Badal. At the time Madhubala was young and naive and was easily falling in love with her co-stars or directors, like Kamal Amrohi, the director of Mahal. However, Madhubala was madly in love with Dilip Kumar and had become so smitten by him that she totally forgot about her other love interests.

Unfortunately for Madhubala, Dilip Kumar and Premnath – her co-star in Badal, worked in a film together and they learnt of Madhubala’s deception. Premnath quickly stepped away from the relationship giving Dilip Kumar and Madhubala a chance to continue their courtship.

Dilip Kumar and Madhubala had a seven year courtship and during the time they made four movies together, including the unforgettable Mughal-e-Azam. Their relationship ended abruptly when Madhubala’s father refused her to go to outdoor shooting for the movie Naya Daur. The director, therefore, dropped Madhubala and asked another upcoming actress Vyjayanti Mala to take the role.

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Madhubala’s father became angry that his daughter had suddenly been kicked out from the movie. He threatened to sue the director; the director then counter sued and the matter ended up in court where Dilip Kumar testified against Madhubala. When being questioned, Dilip Kumar, however, declared his love for Madhubala.

Including the court case and other matters, Dilip Kumar and Madhubala’s relationship ended abruptly. There was also the matter of Madhubala’s father. The possessive and arrogant man didn’t want Madhubala to get married to Dilip Kumar as she was a sole earner of the family and if she left, she would take her income with her. Madhubala lost her only ray of happiness because of him.

Even though their relationship had ended, Dilip and Madhubala still had to work together as Mughal-e-Azam wasn’t complete yet. During the shooting of Mughal-e-Azam, Dilip Kumar did not utter a word to Madhubala; the only words he said to her were the words of Salim and his dialogues.

There was a scene in the movie where Salim slapped Anarkali across the face. Dilip Kumar did this with such force that tears came to Madhubala’s eyes. She couldn’t cope and put all her sorrows into the movie. Madhubala had now become like her character Anarkali, the father separating the two lovers.

In 1950, during a routine check up, Madhubala learnt of her heart defect. She hid this fact from the industry and carried on working in movies. She also went to extremes for movies knowing full well it would affect her health even more. For Mughal-e-Azam the director insisted that Madhubala wore real chains when Anarkali was imprisoned. Madhubala had to co-operate and did what the director wanted. She was only relieved from the chains when the director called for a break. A few times on the sets of her movies, she used to cough up blood and on one occasion she fainted.

Whilst making Jhumroo and Chalti Ka Naam Gadi, Madhubala met Kishore Kumar, her future husband. She was proposed by three men, but chose to marry Kishore Kumar, an already married man.

Madhubala chose to marry Kishore Kumar because it was just after her break up from Dilip Kumar. Kishore Kumar came as a breath of fresh air. After he divorced his first wife in 1958 he married Madhubala and he converted to Islam.

Kishore Kumar’s parents weren’t too happy about the marriage and refused to accept Madhubala as a daughter-in-law. To please them, Madhubala and Kishore Kumar had Hindu wedding ceremony but it was to no avail as they did not change their mind.

Kishore Kumar loved Madhubala but he was not a decent husband. He had married Madhubala because he thought she could help him financially. The only reason Kishore Kumar signed Chalti Ka Naam Gadi was because he thought it would flop at the box office and he would be relieved from paying tax.

At the time of their marriage, Kishore Kumar wasn’t financially secure and wished Madhubala would help him out. Of course, Madhubala only used her money on her family and didn’t help Kishore Kumar but after the success of Chalti Ka Naam Gadi, Kishore Kumar didn’t need any money from her.

In 1960, Mughal-e-Azam was finally finished. After working on it for ten years, Madhubala finally completed the five hour movie which had become a classic in Indian cinema. Even though she portrayed the tragedian Anarkali with such conviction, Madhubala didn’t receive the Filmfare award that she deserved.

By 1960, Madhubala’s health had deteriorated and she had to step down from making any more movies. Such movies as Half Ticket with Kishore Kumar, Sharabi and Passport and her last movie, Jwala with Sunil Dutt, was the only colour movie that she made in her lifetime. Mughal-e-Azam was turned into colour and re-released after her death.

In her last days Madhubala was confined to her bed; she had odd visits from friends and family but no one wanted to know about her anymore. When she was famous and in the lime light, everyone was falling at her feet but when she was dying no one was there, not even her husband.

Madhubala tried making a comeback in a movie with Raj Kapoor but on the very first day she collapsed on the set and the movie was shelved. She also tried filmmaking but she never had the chance to fulfill her desire. Madhubala died on February 23, 1969 on a Sunday morning, nine days after her 36th birthday. The day before her death, Madhubala expressed her feelings to see Dilip Kumar but he did not come. Madhubala was buried at Santacruz burial ground with her diary. Dilip Kumar did not attend the funeral, and it is not known if he was invited.

Madhubala has more fans now than she did when she was alive as people of her era remember watching her movies and how they were mad about her movie releases. Some youngsters have become fascinated with the beautiful Anarkali and the actress Madhubala after watching Mughal-e-Azam. Her young fans are dedicating videos on ”˜Youtube’ and making tribute videos in her memory. Madhubala has more videos dedicated to her on ”˜Youtube’ then any other thespian in the movie industry. On March 18, 2008 a stamp was released by the Indian Post featuring pictures of Madhubala. The only other actors to be given this honour were Nargis, Guru Dutt and Kishore Kumar.

Madhubala will remain an icon around the globe for many years to come. After the re-release of Mughal-e-Azam in full colour the current young generation has been able to appreciate Madhubala and get mesmerised by her beauty and talent. May she rest in peace, the wonderful, talented, beautiful and the one and only Madhubala!

By Rukhsana Aslam

Songs with Lata Mangeshkar



 Aayega aanewala


 Seene mein
sulagte hain


 Tere sadqe


 Guzra hua

 Shirin Farhad

 Sab kuch
lutake hosh

 Ek Saal

 Jab pyar kiya toh
darna kya

 Mughal-e-  Azam

 Piya piya na
laage mora jiya


 Aaiye meharbaan

 Howrah Bridge

 Achhaji main  haari

 Kaala Paani

 Haal kaisa hai
janab ka

 Chalti Ka
Naam Gaadi

 Janu janu ri
kahe khanke

 Insaan Jaag


Madhubala’s Landmark Films






 Ashok Kumar



 Dilip Kumar



 Dilip Kumar


 Mr And Mrs 55

 Guru Dutt


 Howrah Bridge

 Ashok Kumar


 Kaala Paani

 Dev Anand


 Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi

 Kishore Kumar



 Dilip Kumar


 Barsaat Ki Raat

 Bharat Bhushan


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