Meena kumari as lovely as her real-life name Mahjabeen (Moon faced) suggests has a passion for Urdu poetry.

Whenever she gets a day off from films, she spends hours reading poetry, and when inspiration compels her writes exquisite poems in blank verse.

Then when there is leisure again she revises her work until it gets the polish and finesse that satisfies her. Her compositions which she publishes under the pen-name Naaz, are eagerly awaited by lovers of Urdu poetry.

Poetry thus occupies pride of place when Meena has a holiday. Writing poems is strenuous mental work, but says Meena, it is a change from the routine at the studio although acting is also exacting.

Meena does not dwell in those sublime heights all the time, for she also has household chores to attend to. A connoisseur of food she is also a good cook.

  • meena kumari filmfare 1959

Whenever I have the time I make it a point to prepare a couple of Moglai dishes, she says. Cooking rests my mind after the strain of acting and writing poetry.

Fond of flowers she combs the town for mogras and champas her favorite varieties whenever she feels must have them. They are so soothing so comforting she remarks talking about flowers.

Sensitive to the beauty of nature, Meena spends an hour or so occasionally on the beach musing perhaps recollecting an experience or merely enjoying the sea breeze.

Card games are a pastime Meena welcomes even when she has only a few minutes to spares. Card playing does not tax the brain, she says. A couple of games make me fresh again.

Kamal Amrohi her husband is also fond of cards and both enjoy an occasional session of rummy.

A conscientious artist who has won the Filmfare best actress award twice and critics award for her performance in the title role of Sharada Meena kumari perhaps never had an opportunity to relax completely until her recent visit to Kashmir.

For the first time, she let herself go. She made friends with the shikara girls and flower sellers and laughed and joked with them.

At sonmarg the jewel of Kashmir, she cooked all the meals for the members of the unit and enjoyed every minute of the hard work. When it rained hard she went out and got drenched for fun.

She thought a storm that hit sonmarg very exciting. Enchanted by the surroundings she used to stretch herself on the riverbank in the lidar valley and give herself up to reverie.

At times the herbs of goats caught her fancy & she used to run after them or chase them playfully. She enjoyed cruising on the dal lake and sometimes rowed the shikara herself.

For a number of years, Meena never had an opportunity to go on a shopping spree in Bombay for years of being mobbed by fans. At Srinagar I was able to go about freely, she says.

I had a grand time shopping and bought a lot of lovely things. She was even able to go for walks on the bund. But in Kashmir, the poet has the most congenial surroundings.

When the mood was on her Meena put aside everything else and wrote beautiful verses. One of the poems she wrote there is titled (happily) relaxation.

Here, in a nutshell, is its main thought: “An artist’s mind gets complete relaxation only when his work be it poetry painting or sculpture earns true appreciation.” – Filmfare 1959

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