Meena Kumari — the ‘ajeeb dastan’ Bollywood actor who never needed glycerin to shed tear

For someone who won seven trophies—Filmfare, BFJA, Shama-Sushma awards— choosing Meena Kumari’s best five films was tough. But here’s our pick.

Afull 50 years have passed since Meena Kumari left the world on 31 March 1972. Her will-of-the-wisp persona was much more than an ‘actress nonpareil 

she was a playback singer, poet, fashion trendsetter, model, and more.  

From Leatherface in 1939, wherein she made her acting debut as Baby Mahjabeen (she was six then) to Gomti Ke Kinare (1972), her last release, and Mere Apne (1971),  

the last film she actually shot for, Meena Kumari, personally and professionally, was a story by herself — an ajeeb dastaan, just as one of her biggest chartbusters from Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai (1960) went. 

For someone who won seven acting trophies — across Filmfare, the Bengal Film Journalists’  

Association or the BFJA, and the Shama magazine’s Shama-Sushma awards) — choosing her best five films of all time is a daunting task 

We managed it though, narrowly skipping her wonderful performance as the exploited old widow in Mere Apne (1971) because Meena was about powerful acting as a leading lady. 

For someone who won seven acting trophies — across Filmfare, the Bengal Film Journalists’