When Kamal Amrohi slapped Meena Kumari....
The recent showdown between Om Puri and his wife Nandita has brought back the memories of Bollywood couple's whose relation went kaput. From famous couples like Aamir Khan and Reena, Sanjay Dutt and Rhea Pillai, Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh to the golden era couples like Guru Dutt and Geeta Dutt, Dev Anand and Kalpana Kartik none had a bitter climax as that of Meena Kumari and Kamal Amrohi. Read on their love story that turned sour!
Few may know that Meena Kumar was actually discovered by Film legend Kamal Amrohi, who saw her when she was 7 years old and recommended her to film maker Sohrab Modi for his movie JAILOR ( 1939) as Baby Meena. Later during the making of DAERA (1953) which was produced and directed by Kamal Amrohi, the two fell in love. It's reported that Meena Kumari fell head over heel in love with the sensitive poet in Amrohi - so much that she not only ignored the vast age difference of 15 years between the two but also over looked her earlier two marriages and readily agreed to become his third wife!!!
In fact, in a lighter mood she had even written in one of her couplets -
Dil sa jab sathi paaya,
Bechaini bhi woh saath mein le aaya...
(When I found someone like my heart
He also brought sorrow with him)
But the amount of 'Bechaini' (Sorrow) Meena Kumari had perceived proved just too much as quarrels and arguments soon became part of her daily routine. The spark for which began first with ego clashes. Once during a party the organizer introduced Kamal Sahab to his friend as - 'Yeh Meena Kumari ke husband hain!' (He is husband of Meena Kumari). This insulted Kamal Sahab and he left the party in anger. Later he never attended any party along with Meena Kumari.
Further Kamal Sahab's regular interference in selecting Meena Kumari's movies created a lot of problems and finally Kamal Sahab's constant negligence to Meena Kumari and more concentration on his work widened their gap which ultimately gave way when one evening Kamal Sahab in a fit of rage slapped Meena Kumari and furiously uttered Talaq! Talaq!! Talaq!!! (Though later he repented.)
At that very moment Meena Kumari abandoned Kamal Sahab's house not before lamenting ....
"Talaaq to day rahay ho Nazar-e-qehar ke saath
Jawani bhi meri lauta do Mehar ke saath"
(You are divorcing me with rage in your eyes
Return to me, also, my youth along with the alimony!)
After her rebellious outbreak from Kamal Sahab, Meena Kumari took to heavy drinking and poetry to solace herself. In Guru Dutt's SAHIB BIBI AUR GHULAM (1963) Meena Kumari made her loneliness hauntingly vivid with reel character of Chhoti Bahu, a beautiful, yet doomed wife, of an uncaring aristocratic feudal lord, who takes to alcohol. She poured out all her hidden emotions so convincingly that her evocative portrayal of the suffering women struck a responsive chord in millions of women. She went on to win the Filmfare Best Actress Award too.