Tragedy Queen’s Curtain Call

Five years ago, when Pune-based theatre artiste Yogini Pophale came across poems written by Meena Kumari, she became curious to read other works penned by the late actor. She not only read every single book written on her and by her, but also managed to meet people who threw light on Meena Kumari as a poet. What followed was a discovery that Pophale was determined to share with others. For four years, Pophale researched and gathered every possible information about the actor. Finally, she is ready with Mehajabeen – Safar Meena Kumari Ka, a Urdu-Hindi drama that represents Meena Kumari's personal and professional journey with a special emphasis on her interest in writing. The drama also includes some of the immortal songs from her films and narratives, accompanied with dances. However, the highlight of the event is Meena Kumari's rare ghazals and poems to be recited in her own voice.

"Originally named Mehajabeen, Meena Kumari was always an enigma. Not many people know that she was interested in writing poetry, ghazals and nazms," says Pophale. The drama revolves around four characters — Kamal Amrohi (Meena Kumari's husband), her sister Khursheed Aapa, Baby Meena Kumari and Taazdaar (Amrohi's son from his first wife). Interestingly, no one is playing the late actor's role in the play. "I don't think anyone could do justice to her role. However, her soul's presence will be there throughout the play," says Pophale, who wants to take the play to Mumbai, Delhi and Dubai.

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