Pradeep Kumar and Meenakumari.
Pradeep Kumar and Meenakumari had acted together in successful films in the 60s and most of them created a lasting impact in the minds of the viewers. They performed well in the film Aarti. Pradeep Kumar was suffering from incurable disease in the film and Meena Kumari shared his grief in the film. Ashok Kumar also did well. Rafi and Lata’s songs in the film composed by Roshan including “aapne yaad dilaya”, “aab kya missal doon”, etc., created history.
Both of them were sublime in the film Bheegi Raat. They had an affair but after Meena Kumari met with an accident the engagement broke and Meenakumari lived with Ashok Kumar. Meenakumari attended the little child of Ashok Kumar. At the end of the film Ashok Kumar sacrificed his love and asked Pradeep Kumar to marry Meena Kumari. The songs in the film sung by Rafi and Lata and composed by Roshan including “dil jo na keh saka”, “jane who kaun hai”, etc. became big hits.
Bahu Begum had historical touch and showed the muslim pardanashin community. Again the affair between Pradeep Kumar and Meenakumari, could not succeed due to social obstacles. Meena Kumari was scheduled to marry Ashok kumar and she left her house on the day of marriage. Then she found herself in a kotha. The story had a number of twists and turns and ultimately Ashok Kumar burnt himself to sacrifice his love. The film depicted the conservative society very well and the actors showed the restraint that was followed at that point of time. Again Roshan came out with memorable compositions including songs given to Rafi, Lata, Asha, like “nikle the kaha”, “hum intezar karenge”, “duniya kare sawal”, etc.
Pradeep Kumar and Meena Kumari also acted in the film Chitralekha. The subject matter was bit complicated with philosophical thoughts being embedded in the film. Rafi’s song “man retu kahe nadhir dhare” had lyrics which raised a lot of questions. The film did moderately in the box-office.
Pradeep Kumar and Meena Kumari had tremendous popularity and their screen presence had helped in bringing serious subject matters close to the mass. The films should be preserved for aesthetic values.