If MOTHER INDIA immortalized yesteryear legendary actress Nargis than PAKEEZAH, unarguably embossed tragedy oueen Meena Kumari’s name in golden letters in the annals of Indian Cinema. However, PAKEEZAH faced many hurdles during its making and at one time it was shelved and didn’t seem that it will ever see the light of the day.
However, PAKEEZAH was Amrohi’s most cherished film as he wanted to stun the world by the mesmerizing beauty of Meena Kumari. According to reports, Amrohi had planned PAKEEZAH during their honeymoon way back in the mid-50s, and wanted to present it as a gift to his beloved wife Meena Kumari, on their first wedding anniversary. But destiny had something else in store. What began as a love story soon turned into violent clashes and the duo had to separate. This put Amrohi’s dream project on back-burner.
However, the filmmaker was hell-bent on completing his magnum opus, so he crushed his ego and went back to Meena Kumari requesting her to complete the film. But it was too late by then as the actress, in despair, had taken to alcohol and her health had deteriorated. Further she was so infuriated with Amrohi that she declined the offer.
This added salt to his woes but Amrohi was not the one to give up. He brilliantly shot the remaining portion of the film using Meena Kumari’s body double, without giving room for inch of suspicion.
When the film was complete Amrohi had just one ambition to have Meena Kumari at the premiere. After all, Amrohi had toiled for 17 years to present it as a gift to Meena Kumari. So yet again, burying his ego he went to the actress’ house and pleaded her to fulfill his wish. Meena Kumari this time around sympathized and agreed. On the day of premiere Amrohi himself fetched Meena Kumari from her house and the two came together at Maratha Mandir theatre in Mumbai.
After watching the film, Meena Kumari was overwhelmed by the magnificence and splendor of the movie. She could not control her tears of joy and in admiration, she forgave him of all his wrongs.