I had earlier written a post on Madhubala. Today I read her younger sister’s interview on rediff, where Madhur Bhushan (real name Zahida) discusses the three important relationships in Madhubala’s life: her Father, Dilip Kumar, and Kishore Kumar.
You then realize how egotistic and full of themselves the big stars have been.
Entry into movies:
My father, Ataullah Khan, was working in the Imperial Tobacco Company in Peshawar, Pakistan, when he lost his job and decided to come to Mumbai. Madhubala was seven at that time. Her real name was Mumtaz Begum. We called her Mazliappa, as she was the fifth child.
My father started looking for a job. He also took Madhubala to film studios. She got work in Basant (1942) at the age of nine. The leading lady’s name was Mumtaz Shanti, so Madhubala was called Baby Mumtaz, when she was a child actress.
She got her first break in Kirdar Sharma’s Neel Kamal. Kirdar’s wife was supposed to play the lead role but she passed away. As Madhubala knew the dialogues, she became a heroine at the age of 13. From this film onwards, she was credited as Madhubala. The film did not do well, but her work was appreciated.
Madhubala shot to fame in 1949 with Mahal. She was 16. At that time, no one realised that she was sick, not even my father. Madhubala was a healthy child, and very bubbly.
Madhubala first vomited blood when she was in Chennai shooting for S S Vassan’s Bahut Din Huwe (1954). She was treated, and she resumed shooting. Nobody thought she was sick until she fainted on J K Nanda’s sets while shooting with Raj Kapoor on Chalack (1957). The film never got completed. That’s when the doctor said that she had a hole in her heart. She was 24 then.