New Delhi, July 10, 2018 (India Today): If Madhubala stands for boundless beauty, it also stands for limitless pain. However, very few could see that side of the actress, whose ethereal face continues to be the ultimate parameter of beauty in Bollywood.
“Her face is a rare combination of innocence and mischief. You could never predict when one will give way to the other,” says Sushila Kumari, who has written about Madhubala’s painful journey in her biography, Madhubala – Dard Ka Safar.
LIFE OF UNENDING TRAGEDIES
Indeed, Madubala’s life was anything but peaceful. Her father, Ataullah Khan, lost his job as a worker at the Imperial Tobacco Company in Peshawar, Pakistan, shifted to Bombay. It was a bitter struggle for the family, as they tried to make ends meet. Madhubala’s father would often take her to the studios, in search of work. At the age of 9, she starred in Basant, in 1942. She shot to fame with the 1949 film Mahal.
However, it turned out, that the actress had a severe condition of cyanosis and poor oxygen perfusion, which in layman’s terms is called “hole in the heart.” The medical community’s understanding of the condition was in its nascent stages, and there was no available treatment.
Health wasn’t the only battle Madhubala had to fight. On one hand she was fighting for her life and trying to do justice to her films, on the other hand, she was dealing with a tumultuous personal life. She was in love with Dilip Kumar. Their relationship crashed and burned, as her father wasn’t happy with it.
And then, much to everyone’s shock, she married Kishore Kumar.
‘MADHUBALA MARRIED KISHORE KUMAR OUT OF STUBBORNNESS’
In an interview with Rediff, Madhubala’s younger sister, Zahida aka Madhur Bhushan, discussed three important relationships in Madhubala’s life- her father, Dilip Kumar and Kishore Kumar. She has a rather harsh take on Kishore Kumar and Madhubala’s love story.
When she fell ill again and was planning to go to London for treatment, Kishore Kumar proposed to her. Her father wanted her to get a clean chit from the London doctors, first. According to Zahida, “Madhubala married Kishore Kumar out of stubbornness, and anger towards Dilipsaab.”
They married in 1960, when Madhubala was just 27 years old.
Ashok Kumar reminisced in a Filmfare interview: “She suffered a lot and her illness made her very bad-tempered. She often fought with Kishore, and would take off to her father’s house where she spent most of her time.”
The doctors gave their verdict, that she would not live for very long.
Kishore Kumar bought her a house in Mumbai’s Carter Road, and left her there with a nurse and driver. He would come to see her, and did not take her phone calls. He was madly in love with her, but once she returned from London, he dumped her, according to Bhushan.
Bhushan reported that Kishore Kumar said, “I tried my best, I took her to London. But the doctors have said she won’t survive. What’s my fault?’
Bhushan said, “After marriage they flew to London where the doctor told her she had only two years to live. After that Kishore left her at our house saying: ‘I can’t look after her. I’m on outdoors often’. But she wanted to be with him. He’d visit her once in two months, though. Maybe he wanted to detach himself from her so that the final separation wouldn’t hurt. But he never abused her as was reported. He bore her medical expenses.”
She added, “Often Kishore Bhaiyya’s phone was disconnected. He’d visit her once in two to three months. He’d say, ‘If I come, you’ll cry and it will not be good for your heart. You’ll go into depression. You should rest’. She was young, jealousy was natural. Perhaps, a feeling of being abandoned killed her.” No one came to meet Madhubala, and she grew depressed. She died at the age of 36. One of the most beautiful faces to grace Bollywood screens was left al