Lahore (Web Desk) In the 1950s, there was a fork fight between Filmistan Studios and K. Asif to make ‘Anar Kali’. Filmistan Studios made Anarkali very fast and released it in 1953 under the same name.
Another filmmaker, Kamal Amrohi, who took part in the race, returned from the road. He wanted to portray Meenakamari as Anarkali, but Anarkali (1953), adorned with the wonderful music of C. Ramchandra, put a damper on his aspirations. He was now part of the Mughal emperor’s team of interlocutors. Kamal Amrohi could not help but be impressed by the great glory of the Mughal emperor and the devotion of K. Asif. It had also become clear to him that no one else could make a film like K. Asif on the theme of Anarkali. He changed the subject, kept the Muslim society of India in the background and decided to take a big leap. ‘Pakeeza’ is not the first dream that Kamal Amrohi and Meenakmari have seen together. After their marriage in 1952, the two had presented their love story in the form of Daira (1953). The film failed and Kamal Amrohi’s career took a turn for the worse. Now he had to not only express his love for Meena but also the challenge of saving his sinking career. The script was prepared in 1956 and many historical places were visited in Shimla, Delhi, Banaras and Lucknow for filming. Photography officially began on January 18, 1957. Who knew that this film would take 16 years to release. But some movies have two stories inside,
One story, which we see on screen and another story, which is about to become a movie hidden from our eyes. Today we will try to see in this context why one of the best films made on the subject of prostitution has become as long as the devil’s gut. Today, even though the melodious songs of Ghulam Muhammad begin to resound in my heart and mind as soon as I think of Pakiza, but without Kamal Amrohi and Meenakmari, that canvas would not have come into existence. Scatter the colors. Filmmaker and director Kamal Amrohi and main character Meenakmari were the two wheels of the car. So for Pakiza to move forward, not to move, fast or slow motion, so everything depended on both of them. At first, everything seemed to be going well, but soon their domestic bitterness began to sabotage this dream project. When Kamal Amrohi was exposed to Meena Kumari’s alleged closeness to youngsters like Dharmendra and Gulzar, Meena complained that she was being harassed without proper supervision. The melodious songs of love began to get lost in the noise of hatred. Instead of trust, the poison of doubt began to descend into hearts. Now the matter had reached the point of bitterness and quarreling and leaving the house. One day Meena Kumari went so far that Kamal and Pakeeza watched her for five years.
Initially, Kamal Amrohi tried to bring his Manju (he affectionately called his wife Manju) back home, but Meena Kumari, locked in a room at his sister’s house, did not open the door. After a long knock and pleading, Kamal said, “I am leaving and I will never come again.” Kamal’s problem was that no other actress could have become ‘Sahib Jan’ except Meena Kumari. For the role of Forest Officer Saleem, Kamal Amrohi initially chose himself, then Ashok Kumar and finally Raj Kumar but Sahib Jan was Meena Kumari from day one. German cinematographer Joseph Worsching died in 1967 and musician Ghulam Muhammad in 1968, leaving the masterpiece unfinished. At that time many people including Nargis and Sunil Dutt were trying to make peace. Seeing the untimely death of two very important people and the insistence of many well-meaning friends, Kamal Amrohi gave up his stubbornness. He wrote a letter to his manju, “You have made it a condition that you will not complete the chastity until I divorce you, I will set you free from the marriage.” After that, if you are willing to complete your purity, I will be very happy … Pakiza is a sinking ship, which will cross under your care. ”
At that time not only Pakiza needed Meena Kumari but also Meena Kumari needed Pakiza. Meenakamari’s beauty was fading and secondary roles were being offered instead of the central one. The two were brought closer by their own compulsions and thus on March 16, 1969, almost five years later, the shooting of the film resumed. Filming was completed by November 1971. From a Muslim social background, as much as Kamal Amrohi did justice, hardly any other filmmaker has done it except Asif. Kamal Amrohi spent nearly Rs 1 lakh to build a four-storey bazaar at Filmistan Studios just to paint a picture of reality in the filming of ‘These People’. The total budget of the film reached more or less one and a half crore. Kamal Amrohi’s ability to touch the limits of perfection has its place but the scale of box office has always been something else. Now the biggest challenge was the commercial success of the film. Kamal Amrohi’s everything was at stake. Initially, the film was supposed to hit cinemas in 1971, but it was delayed due to the Pak-India war. The film was released on February 4, 1972 and the initial reaction was disappointing. Bombay’s film industry was then on the cusp of Rajesh Khanna’s miraculous wave. Both the trend of filmmaking and the tastes of the audience had changed. The light of Mina Kumari’s lamp was dimming day by day due to heavy drinking. On March 31, the lamp of Meena Kumari’s life went out. The wave of sympathy drew people to the cinemas. A sea of people flocked to the seminary to pay their last respects to the Tragedy Queen. Initially, the loss-making film was the most successful film of the year, grossing about Rs 60 million. It has been half a century since the release of this film but even today this film attracts the viewers thanks to the lively acting of Meena Kumari, the perfect direction of Kamal Amrohi and the wonderful music of Ghulam Muhammad.