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Pakeezah - A magnum opus & its unknown facts. (Movies To See Before You Die - Love Theme) (Did You Know - 16)

09 Sep, 2009 | Did You Know! / Movies To See Before You Die / Love Theme

Pakeezah - Bobby Talks Cinema.com

“Pakeezah”, a magnum opus of poetic expressions on celluloid remains as pure as its apt title, even in these progressive years of the twenty first century. It still has the power to teleport you into those innocent years of the bygone era, wherein music, poetry, dance and love were cherished as the most valuable possessions of a living human being. Featuring the legendary tragedy queen, Meena Kumari, the movie is considered to be an important milestone in the history of Hindi Cinema. It enjoys a huge cult status due to it’s out of the world direction, poetic dialogues, realistic performances and pure immortal music.
Incidentally, as it was destined to be, the movie which got launched initially in 1958, took almost 14 long years to shine in the darkness of the theaters. And in this long span of time, it witnessed several break ups, separations, changes and additions, which are still unknown to many film lovers all over the world.

Here are some of those amazing facts and trivia related to the making and completion of this musical classic called “Pakeezah”.
1. It was planned together by Kamal Amrohi & Meena Kumari in 1958 and at first, was launched as a Black & White venture. Later with color technology coming in, Kamal Amrohi started it all again in the new color format. But soon after that when Cinemascope also got introduced, Amrohi now wanted to shoot it in Cinemascope. So he brought the required lens from MGM on royalty basis and started shooting. However, after a while an error was detected in the shoot being done with the new lens. The matter was reported to MGM, who after studying the problem, didn’t collect their due royalties and also gifted that lens to Amrohi as an appreciation gesture.
2. The film was still being made, when in 1964, Kamal Amrohi and Meena Kumari got separated due to their mutual differences. The project came to a halt for some time and then was resumed in 1968 with an intervention from Sunil Dutt & Nargis. After watching the rushes of the movie, both Sunil and Nargis persuaded Meena Kumari to support the project and revive it. Getting convinced, she started shooting again in 1968 and the project got a new life.
3. Ghulam Mohammed, the music director of Pakeezah, sadly could not be alive to see the success of his film. It is said that he did not get his due in the Hindi Film Industry in spite of his brilliant work in films like Mirza Ghalib (1954) and Shama (1961).
When “Pakeezah” was resumed in 1968, many exhibitors suggested Kamal Amrohi to change the music according to the then famous trend and style. To this Amrohi said that he would have readily done this if only 'Ghulam Mohammed' was still breathing alive. But, now he cannot betray a man, who gave him such melodious songs, after his unexpected & untimely death. So he kept his music intact, but used fewer songs as planned to keep up with the fast changing times.

Later, the legendary composer Naushad was brought in to do the background score for the movie and he also added some fine ‘Thumris’ in it as required. After few years HMV (now SAREGAMA) released all the remaining 9 unreleased tracks in a different LP titled PAKEEZAH – RANG BARANG, about which many are still not aware of.
Pakeezah - Bobby Talks Cinema.com4. At the initial stages Ashok Kumar was to play the character of Salim in the movie. When the project got resumed, Dharmendra, Rajendra Kumar and Sunil Dutt were considered for the same role which eventually went to Raaj Kumar. And after Raaj accepting the role, it was modified from being a businessman’s character to a forest officer according to the strong built and impressive persona of Raaj Kumar.

As the shooting again started in 1968, Meena Kumari was suffering from alcoholism and was in serious critical condition under observation. But since, she was still Amrohi's only choice, she agreed to complete the film, despite her severe ill health conditions.
6. Meena Kumari’s not so good health insisted that some of the dance sequences and scenes should be shot without her. So, Amrohi shot the entire song “Chalo Dildaar Chalo”  without showing her face. See the song once again and you will notice it now. Also for the long shots in dance sequences of various other songs 'Padma Khanna' was used as a double.
7. Sadly, Meena Kumari died just two months after the film got released. Till then, the movie was having a lukewarm response at the box-office, but as the news of her death spread, the movie unintentionally got associated with it and started getting huge response. Later it was declared a hit and acquired a cult status in the history of Indian Cinema. It is also now remembered as Meena Kumari’s last film.
8. In 1972, Filmfare Awards raised many controversies for not giving due importance to “Pakeezah” and its unforgettable music.
Veteran actor Pran turned down his own Best Supporting Actor Award for Be-imaan (1972) in protest of the Best Music Award, not being given to “Pakeezah”. The prestigious award was given to “Be-imaan” for its commercially successful music. But Pran refused to take his own award as he felt “Pakeezah” and late 'Ghulam Mohammed' was the most deserving candidate for the honor than any other name in the nomination list.
9. The movie had a loving sequence with some great poetic lines written beautifully. Those particular words spoken by Raaj Kumar are still considered among the Top 10 most remembered dialogues ever in Indian Cinema. The lines are uttered in a train sequence, when Raaj Kumar meets Meena Kumari for the first time. And they go as :
“Aap ke paon dekhey, Bahut haseen hain,
Inhen zameen par mat utariyega, Mailey ho jayengey”
With so many interesting facts and trivia associated with the epic movie, it really feels great to have this famous masterpiece in our home library today. But I only wish that its DVD was also loaded with few extra features like a commentary by any key personality related to the movie or a feature on the making of this spectacular musical.
May be the makers get an idea from this……
Directed By Kamal Amrohi
Starring : Ashok Kumar, Meena Kumari, Raaj Kumar

Music : Ghulam Mohammed (and Naushad)

Tags : Pakeezah, Bollywood Trivia, Unknown Facts of Bollywood, Movie Review Pakeezah, Pakeezah Movie Review, Famous Dialogues of Hindi Cinema, Sleeping Meena Kumari, Must See Movies, Movies To See Before You Die, Must See Movies List by Bobby Sing
09 Sep 2009 / Comments ( 29 )
Aaah, what a movie! It remains one of my all time favourites. The songs were brilliant. The dialogues were amazing. Thanks for the trivia. Some movies have amazing grace and Pakeezah was one of them.

Very true Swapnila......
Thanks for your comment.
And Keep visiting.......Cheers!

mahtab khan

we are both like minded the same as kamal amrohi. the visionary as kamaal amrohi, the music director as ghulaam mohammed and actor/acresses like raaj kumaar and meena kumaari are rarest creation of art on the earth.
I first watched the movie Pakeezah when I was a kid. no movie has ever had the impact on me as the Pakeezah did. when we watch this movie we become a part of that. how could such a movie be a big flop in beginning? the reason is that ; most people have always liked the cheap stuff and classic creations are ignored.

Bobby Sing

Hi Mahtab,
You are very right but thats the way world likes it.
Still its glad to know that you loved the movie a lot..
Keep Writing....!

Pradeep Tupal

Amazing movie , Agree completely with mahtab such a classic movie had a impact on me as well.

Bobby Sing

Thanks for your comment and Keep Visiting....!

Zed Hache
The movie is very well made. A true tragedy.

Pakeezah is one of my favorite movies; thanks for sharing the little known facts about this movie. I wonder how they have shown Meena Kumari to be quite slim, because i think she had put a lot of weight by then.....

Bobby Sing

Hi Shiela,
Thanks for visiting and writing in.
Pakeezah is surely one of the finest creations of Hindi Cinema.
As it was shot again after the gap, at many places a body double was used for Meena Kumari as mentioned in my write up too.

Keep Visiting and Writing in.


Since the movie sequences were shot over a decade, in certain scenes there is a very young Meena Kumari (Inhi Logon Ne) - and in parts she looks ill and worn out, especially in the scene in Salim\'s tent where she looks to be in pain and touches her stomach.
Bobby Sing

Yes, you are very right Sheena, in your observation.
And thanks for visiting and writing in.
Hope you would like the other articles in the site too.


What does \"Aap ke paon dekhey, Bahut haseen hain,
Inhen zameen par mat utariyega, Mailey ho jayengey\" mean in English,exactly?

Thanks for your help.....
Bobby Sing

Hi April,

The phrase is a poetic expression which means the following : 
"Aap ke paon dekhey, Bahut haseen hain"
I saw your feet, they are really beautiful

"Inhen zameen par mat utariyega, Mailey ho jayengey"
Please dont put them down, as they will become unclean"


Gajendra Singh

Pakizah movie had total 15 recorded songs but due its length or some other problem 5 songs were not included in the movie. A separate cassette was released by HMV/SaReGaMa for the songs not included in the movie. These songs were
1. Gir gai re more maathe ki bindiya (Lata)
2. Peeke Chale (Lata)
3. Pyare Babul Tumhare Duhai (Lata)
4. Tanhai Sunaya Karati hai (Lata)
5. Ye kis ki aankhon ka noor ho tum (Md Rafi)

Somehow I have these songs.

Bobby Sing

Hi Gajendra Singh,
Thanks for adding this valuable info and I will love to update the post soon with this.
However a true fan has made life easier for explorers like me as he has uploaded not 5 but 6 unused songs from Pakeezah on Youtube. 

Just chek out at the following link :

A big thanks to both you and him for sharing these songs.




Hi Bobby,
Excellent trivia on a terrific movie. I just think that today\'s directors (that includes Yash Chopra, Subhash Ghai etc also) don\'t have the same kind of passion and the madness that directors like K. Asif, Mehboob Khan, Kamal Amrohi had. They were literally driven by their dedication and commitment to the vision that they wanted to depict on the screen. You just have to see the canvas that they painted with their images. Wonderful!
One thing that really makes me wonder was the point of depth in Pakeezah, wherein you can see many of the "kothas" with their dancers. Superb!

And the other thing that I haven\'t still figured out is what is the meaning of the train whistle at the end of the song "Chalte Chalte?"
Maybe you, Bobby, could help me figure out that part. I always love to see cinema with its hidden metaphors and symbology.
Thanks and regards,

Bobby Sing

Hi Altaf,
Thanks for your kind comment with the appreciation.
Regarding the train whistle at the end of the song "Chalte Chalte", this is what I feel.

Since the song had a lyrics saying that "We just met by Chance" which they actually did in a train only.
So both their first meeting and the feeling of a path on which they both are walking, is shown with a Train Whistle symbolically.



Beautiful! Its 1 of my all-time Favourites Hindi movies. And I rank it among 10 Best Hindi Classics & Music Album among top 3.
Wonderful Writeup!! But just 1 correction. The film was not released 2 months before Meena\'s death. It was released in Feb72, most probably on 3rd or 4th Friday. And of course you know date of Meena\'s death
Bobby Sing

Hi Parag,
Thanks for writing in for our favourite movie.
But I couldnt understand the mistake pointed out be you as,

The Film released on 4th February 1972 (as also stated in IMDB)
and Meena Kumari passed away on 31st March 1972 (as stated in Wikipedia)
So that perfectly makes the film releasing two months before Meena's death as mentioned in the article.

Kindly let me know if there is still any confusion or correction to be made.


Payal Bansal

I didn\'t know many of these, especially about Pakeezah- Rang Barang.
Pakeezah is my personal favorite movie, and I love all the songs of this movie, will definitely buy this audio Pakeeza Rang Barang & listen the unheard songs of this Epic Movie.

Thanks for the post :)

Bobby Sing

Hi Payal Bansal,
Glad to know that the article could give you something rare about your favourite film and regarding the unused songs you can easily find them on the youtube if you wish.

Hope you will have a good time reading more similar articles at the site too.
Keep Visiting and Writing In.


Pakeezah is one of my favorite movie. Till now I have not see such a tremendous movie like this.

Bobby Sing

It certainly is Joseph!
Thanks for writing in and Keep Visiting.


Pakeezah was really awesome movie and i always like to see the films of Rajkumar. His acting always made me happy. Thanks for the post.

Bobby Sing

Glad that you liked the post Avnish,
Please do try to read more articles on the site too as there is lot in store here for a true lover of cinema.

Keep Visiting and Writing in.

BB Murty

Dear Mr. Bobby.

thank you for an excellent write-up on the Pakeeezah, truly a magnum opus. several stalwarts meena kumari, raaj kumar, ashok kumar, sapru, tajour sultana, nadira. all actors/actresses par excellence. a musical melody. waiting for some other cinema to beat this.

special thanks for your patience to respond to each and every post on this. best wishes

Bobby Sing

The pleasure is really mine BB Murty Ji,
Incidentally PAKEEZAH is one of the chapters in my first book titled DID YOU KNOW Vol.1 (51 Interesting Facts about Hindi Cinema)
Hope you have read it too.

Keep Visiting and Writing in,





Bobby Sing

Its indeed a great film for the students of cinema.
Keep Visiting and Writing in,

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