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Google honours Meena Kumari on her 85th birth anniversary

The late actress, who started out as a child artiste, acted in over 90 films and won acclaim for her performances in Baiju Bawra (1952), Parineeta (1953), Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai (1960) and Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962).

Sonal Pandya

Along with Nargis, Nutan and Madhubala, actress Meena Kumari, née Mahjabeen Bano, is remembered as one of Hindi cinema's foremost actresses. On her 85th birth anniversary (she was born on 1 August 1933), Google.com honoured the late actress with a beautiful doodle on their widely used search engine.

The beautiful painting shows Meena Kumari dressed in a red sari with gold jewellery. The Google doodle page said the actress "captivated audiences with her beautiful, expressive eyes." Indeed, in the painting , the actress is featured centrestage, looking pensive and a bit melancholy.

"Today, her screen appearances are studied for flawless moments and the complex emotions she could evoke without uttering a word," the Google doodle page further states. And that is what the image manages to capture.

The talented actress began working at age 4 in Hindi cinema with Vijay Bhatt's Leather Face (1939). As 'Baby Meena' grew older, she was renamed Meena Kumari. Her leading role in Baiju Bawra (1952) for mentor Bhatt proclaimed her as an actress of note. She won her first Filmfare award for Best Actress for the performance and soon became one of the highest paid actresses.

She had starring roles in films like Parineeta (1953), Azaad (1955) and Ek Hi Rasta (1956) and gained the moniker of the 'tragedy queen of Hindi cinema' for her performances in films like Sharada (1957), Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai (1960).

But it was her performances in Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962) and the long-in-the-making Pakeezah (1972) that are recalled today. She died at age 38 from complications of liver cirrhosis on 31 March 1972, soon after Pakeezah was released.