Whenever her songs are played on various music channels, there hardly is a person, watching Madhubala perform on the song, who is not mesmerized by her beauty, her ease of performance, her sense of endearing and the ability to establish an instant rapport with the audience. She indeed was India’s answer to Marylyn Monroe, or rather the Indian Venus who still rules over the hearts of the romantics across generations.
It also is one of the greatest ironies of the world that such beauties, who are worshipped while they are alive contrastingly have very sad personal lived and Madhubala was no exception. May be it is the suffering at the personal front that is channelized to create a magic on the silver screen, and Madhubala was no exception to this premise.
While her face indeed conveyed beauty, a mischief and a sense of joy de vive about the life, beyond that beautiful face was a silence which endured pain for years on end. An actress, who started dawning grease paint when she was just eight years old, hung her boots at the ripe age of twenty seven years, though there still was quite a lot left in her as far as acting on the screen was concerned. So bewitching was her beauty that Shashi Kapoor went on record to say that for him Madhubala was indeed the sexiest star to grace silver screen as not only was she a perfectionist in conveying love on the screen, but brought an element of subtle sexiness to it, a feat which no other film actresses has been able to provide in such a heady combination.
How many of us are aware about the fact that Madhubala owing to her health conditions was prevented from doing dance numbers, but she was such a perfectionist, that ignoring these medical advises she continued to perform, as she did in MUGHAL-E-AZAM. As a matter of fact the dances that she did in this film were also instrumental in contributing towards her deteriorating health.
As an performer, her motto in life was “I want to live”, and probably it is because of this conviction that she has been the only film actor from the world of Hindi cinema who has been immortalized in a rare collection of stamps of 25 personalities which was issued in silver in limited edition of silver, under the title “pride of India”. Indeed she was and she would be our pride as long as magic of romance continues to create its miasma and sweep the romantics off their feet. Whatever be the generation, there hardly would be a lover who would not have crooned one of her songs to express his or her love to the beloved.
May be, from next year onwards, we need to remember Valentine’s Day associating with the image of Madhubala, rather than with the western imports, that have now come to dominate the landscape.