How Meena Kumari Became The Tragedy Queen: A Look at Her Poetry

In this episode of Urdunama, we revisit the story of the tragedienne through her poetry.

1 min read

Guest: Rashmi Agarwal, Indian Sufi singer.
Host, Writer and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed
Editor: Shelly Walia
Music: Big Bang Fuzz


Often dubbed as the 'tragedy queen' of Hindi cinema, legendary actor Meena Kumari was not only a powerful star but also a poet.

Born as Mehjabeen Bano to Ali Bux, a Parsi theatre veteran, and Iqbal Begum in Mumbai, Meena Kumari started her career at the age of 4. From being credited as ‘Baby Meena’ in her initial films as a child artiste, to becoming a powerful star who helped actors like Dharmendra establish their careers, Meena Kumari became one of the first icons of Indian cinema. Yet there was a real-life tragedy that many believe drove her to the limits of self-destruction.

In this episode of Urdunama, we revisit the life of Meena Kumari through her poetry.

Also, featuring in this podcast is famous Sufi singer, Rashmi Agarwal, recipient of the Grand-Prix Award at the prestigious 9th International World Music Festival in 2013. Agarwal performs Kumari’s ‘Chand Tanha’.

Tune in.

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