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Pakeezah (Urdu- “Pure”) is a 1972 Indian film, written and directed by Kamal Amrohi. The music is by Ghulam Mohammed and Naushad Ali. The film tells the story of a Lucknow tawaif played by actress Meena Kumari who died shortly after the film was completed.

Meena Kumari In Pakeezah

Meena Kumari In Pakeezah

This movie is about the tawaif Sahibjaan, (Meena Kumari), who is born to a courtesan, Nargis (also Meena Kumari). After being spurned by her lover Shahabuddin’s (Ashok Kumar) family, Nargis is driven to a graveyard where she gives birth to Sahibjaan secretly. Nargis dies during childbirth and her sister, Nawabjaan, takes the child as her own. Sahibjaan was brought up by brothel madame Nawabjaan (Veena). Unable to break away from the vicious circle, Sahibjaan grows up and becomes a beautiful and popular dancer/singer. Forest ranger Salim Ahmed Khan (Raaj Kumar) is enthralled by Sahibjaan’s beauty and innocence, and eventually convinces her to elope with him, which she does. But trials and tribulations await Sahibjaan as she is recognized by men wherever she goes in the company of Salim. When Salim renames her Pakeezah (pure of heart) and takes her to a priest to be legally married, she refuses, and returns to the brothel. Salim eventually decides to marry someone else, and invites Sahibjaan to dance at his wedding Sahibjaan agrees to this. During this event, the story reveals an exciting turn: Nawab recognises Shahabuddin and calls him to witness the irony of the situation. His own daughter employed to dance and entertain his own family without his knowing.

Trivia:

  • Pakeezah took nearly 14 years to shoot because of a change in relationship between Meena Kumari and the director. Meena Kumari and Kamal Amrohi were married when Pakeezah was first conceived. Ashok Kumar was to have played the part of Salim, but the part was later played by Raaj Kumar. The character was changed from a businessman to a forest ranger to suit Raaj Kumar’s more muscular physique. Both the film’s composer Ghulam Mohammed and cinematographer Josef Wirsching died during the period. Later composer Naushad Ali stepped in and composed the film’s background music as well as its title track. Over a dozen of Bombay’s top cinematographers pitched in when they had time; they however managed to maintain its uniform look.
  • Due to a variety of different factors Meena Kumari and Kamal Amrohi parted ways and the film remained incomplete. It was only when Nargis and Sunil Dutt saw the rushes of the film that they convinced Meena Kumari to complete it. It was mostly shot in Kamal Amrohi StudiosMumbai.
  • Meena Kumari was very ill when filming resumed and can be seen lying down in most of her scenes. For the dance sequences, Padma Khanna was used as a body double and can be seen in the long-shots. Meena Kumari died weeks after the film was released. The film, which had been declared a flop when first released, became a success.[1]
  • Pakeezah made news during the Filmfare Awards in 1971 when Pran refused to accept his award for Be-Imaan because he felt that Ghulam Mohammed deserved a posthumous Filmfare award for his songs in Pakeezah.

Given below are the lyrics of the song ” chalo dildar chalo chand ke par chalo” sung by Mohemmad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar

CHALO DILDAR CHALO

chalo dildaar chalo chaa.nd ke paar chalo Let’s go, darling, let’s go, let us go to the far side of the moon
ham hai.n taiyaar chalo I am ready; let’s go.
aa’o kho jaae.n sitaaro.n me.n kahii.n… Come, we shall lose ourselves in the stars
chhoD de.n aaj yeh duniyaa yeh zamiin duniyaa yeh zamiin Today we shall leave behind this world, this earth, this earth and world
chalo dildaar chalo chaa.nd ke paar chalo Let’s go, darling, let’s go, let us go to the far side of the moon
ham hai.n taiyaar chalo I am ready; let’s go
ham nashe me.n hai.n sambhaalo hame.n tum… I am intoxicated; take care of me.
nii.nd aatii hai jagaa lo hame.n tum jagaa lo hame.n tum I grow sleepy; wake me, wake me!
chalo dildaar chalo chaa.nd ke paar chalo Let’s go, darling, let’s go, let us go to the far side of the moon
ham hai.n taiyaar chalo I am ready; let’s go.
zi.ndagii khatm bhii ho jaa’e agar… Even if life should end…
na kabhii khatm ho ulfat ka safar ulfat ka safar love’s journey, love’s journey shall never end.
chalo dildaar chalo chaa.Nd ke paar chalo Let’s go, darling, let’s go, let us go to the far side of the moon
ham hai.n taiyaar chalo I am ready; let’s go.

Click on the link to hear the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPlruJiaAIE