Mumtaz Jehan Begum Dehlavi, aka Madhubala, is one of the most revered and celebrated actresses in Indian cinema. Her magnetic, dreamy, and blissful reel life was miles apart from her tragic real life. While many are aware of her fondness for Dilip Kumar, not many know the circumstances under which she married Kishore Kumar.
Throughout her acting career, Madhubala’s name was romantically associated with several actors and directors, including Prem Nath, Kidar Sharma, and Kamal Amrohi. Nevertheless, the actress held a singular affection for the heartthrob of Indian cinema, Dilip Kumar.
As the world was captivated by Madhubala and her enchanting beauty, her heart belonged entirely to Dilip Sahab, the one individual seemingly unaffected by the magical allure of Madhubala. Discussing the late actress’s romantic entanglements, her sister, Madhur Bhushan, revealed to Filmfare, “Apa first fell in love with Premnath. The relationship lasted six months. It broke on grounds of religion. He asked her to convert, and she refused. The next relationship was with Dilip Kumar. She met Bhaijan (Dilip Kumar) on the sets of Tarana. They later worked in Sangdil, Amar, and Mughal-e-Azam. It was a nine-year-long affair. They even got engaged.”
Madhubala could never marry Dilip Kumar. Legend says that Madhubala’s marriage to Kishore Kumar was nothing less than a hasty decision taken in spite of Dilip Kumar, which oozed nothing but anger. Madhubala’s nine-year-long marriage with Kishore Kumar never got the attention it deserved.
According to reports, the father of the Mughal-e-Azam actress, Ataullah Khan, played a disruptive role in their marriage. As per the late actress’ sister, Zahida, also known as Madhur Bhushan, it was the court case during the production of Naya Daur that intensified the conflict, ultimately resulting in the separation of Madhubala and Dilip Kumar. Any remaining possibilities for reconciliation were marred by their respective egos.
The iconic singer, Kishore Kumar, captivated by Madhubala’s allure, proposed to her in 1960. This proposal coincided with a critical time in Madhubala’s life, as she was preparing to depart for London for medical treatment. Diagnosed with a hole in the heart (Ventricular Septal Defect) in 1957, her health was severely compromised, with a prognosis of only two years to survive. Experiencing symptoms such as excess blood discharge from her nose and mouth, Madhubala’s condition was deemed critical by doctors.
In a Rediff.com interview, Madhubala’s sister, Madhur, reflected on her marriage to Kishore Kumar, revealing that despite their union, Madhubala remained deeply in love with Dilip Kumar even after they had chosen separate paths. She said, “Madhubala married Kishore Kumar out of stubbornness and anger towards Dilip Sahab. They got married in 1960. She was 27 years old.”
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