A commemorative postage stamp on ‘The Tragedy Queen’ Meena Kumari, an Indian film actress, singer and poet under pseudonym ‘Naaz‘ [a part of the series ‘Legendary Heroines of India‘] :
Issued on Feb 13, 2011
Issued for : India Post is happy to issue a commemorative postage stamp on Meena Kumari.
Stamp & FDC : Sankha Samanta
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Miniature Sheet, Mint Condition
Colour : Multi colour
Denomination : 500 Paisa
Stamps Printed : 0.4 Million (0.3 million for normal distribution and 0.1 million for Indipex-2011)
Miniature Sheets : 0.3 Million (0.2 million for normal distribution and 0.1 million for Indipex-2011)
Printing Process : Wet Offset
Printer : India Security Press, Nashik
Name : Mahjabeen Bano
Born on Aug 1, 1933 at Meetawala Chawl, Dadar East, Bombay presidency, British India [now in Mumbai, India]
Died on Mar 31, 1972 at Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
- Meena Kumari was born in Bombay, one of the daughters of the Parsee theatre actor, singer and music teacher Ali Bux and dancer lqbal Begum. Having hit upon hard times and living near the Rooptara Studios, Ali Bux sought to get his three daughters into films. The middle daughter, Mahajabeen, was hired aged 6, renamed Baby Meena and cast by Vijay Bhatt in ‘Leatherface‘. Later, for Bhatt‘s big musical ‘Baiju Bawra‘ she was named Meena Kumari. She acted in mythologicals by Homi Wadia and Nanabhai Bhatt. Best known in the 50s for comedies (Miss Mary) and socials (Parineeta), she gave a stellar performance in ‘Do Bigha Zameen‘. Her main persona was constructed through movies like Kamal Amrohi‘s ‘Daera‘, Bimal Roy‘s ‘Yahudi‘ and Guru Dutt‘s ‘Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam‘, culminating in her most famous film, ‘Pakeezah‘. She married Amrohi, who directed some of her best work. The couple eventually completed the film they had jointly conceived, ‘Pakeezah‘, in 1971 just before her death. She wrote Urdu poetry using the pen-name Naaz, a collection of which, Tanha Chand (The Solitary Moon), compiled by Gulzar, was published after her death and some of it was sung by her.
- Text : Text provided by the Film Archives.