Gah! The Pretty!

06 Jul

I can’t remember what I had scheduled for today because ever since a kind reader sent me these pics, they’re all I’ve been staring at.

You know, if I were even a fraction as beautiful as this woman, I would never pose for photographs and insist on candids like these. It’s not just that she has no bad angles – it’s the sheer vibrancy of her. Look at her! This is a woman who’d make you look up just by walking into a room even if she’d never made a movie in her life.

And, I’m sorry, I have a great deal of love for Mads Dixit but all that comparing business is nonsense and these pictures should tell you why. La Dixit is a fine, fine woman, but Madhubala isn’t just in a class by herself, she travels private jet.

Sigh. I have absolutely no thoughtful comment to make other than “OMG! GORGEOUS!” but wanted to share. Thanks, Reader! You know who you are! And you’re awesome!

Update: Since many of you asked for the full set, here it is. I have no idea who took these or where but it appears to be somebody’s apartment, most probably hers given her comfortable vibe, and she’s walking up the stairs to the terrace where she blows the camera a kiss. Enjoy!


Posted by on July 6, 2010 in Celebrity


Tags: , , , , ,

30 responses to “Gah! The Pretty!

  1. bollyviewer

    July 6, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    MADHUBALA!!!! Sigh… there is no one like her…

    And when it comes to comparisons with Mads, you must take into account the fact that the poor woman started out in the 80s and went on to be top star in the 90s. Naturally she can never ever compare with Madhubala who got the full 50s and 60s treatment!

  2. sitaji

    July 6, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Lovely! Thanks for posting these. Like you, I have absolutely no thoughtful comment to make other than “OMG! GORGEOUS!” I like the 3rd photo the best I think, since you can really see the movement. Come to me Madhubala!

  3. Exult in the Everyday!

    July 6, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Hear, hear! The retriever of golden oldies is at it again! But frankly Amrita, if I hadn’t read the post fully, I’d have no idea this was Madhubala you were rhapsodizing about, in her everyday allure. 😀

    I looked at the title, then looked at the pic and went “ah, such a natural (read non-photoshopped) picture; they probably shot this in black and white just to have this pretty lady looking like one of those old-bollywood lovelies”… So for a moment there, I was this dolt who just couldn’t connect the dots coz I’ve NEVER seen a “carefree Madhubala” capture, outside of filmic confines.

    Which reminds me of (DIGRESSION alert) this anecdote around Diwali time in 2005: A visibly pregnant me was flying Air Deccan from Coimbatore to Chennai. The smallish CBE airport has the scanning area located outdoors, enroute to the open field that’s the runway; i.e, you first get scanned, then groped, in a small curtained stall, then grab your carry-ons and just stroll up to the flight.

    During this stroll I found myself ambling alongside a rather pretty, pleasantly plump young woman dressed simply in a saffron-and-black patterned cotton salwar kameez, not unlike the the purple and light brown floral-patterned one that I was wearing, except mine was practically exploding at the seams from my second-trimester salubriousness (NOTE: please to nevah squeeze pregnant self into a “tailored to fit pre-pregnancy physique” salwar kameez).

    We smiled at each other. She said she had two of her own. I said this was my second as well. I followed her up the steep flight of (detachable) steel stairs leading up to the plane. We stashed our carry-ons alongside one another’s, in the overhead bin, exchanged smiles once more, then plonked ourselves at our respective window seats, she, seated in the one ahead of me. It wasn’t a full flight, so the aisle seats next to both of us were left untaken. I settled down to staring at wisps of her waistlength henna-colored hair that had snuck past her armrest and were gently rubbing against my right knee.

    We touched down in Chennai. No sooner had the plane taxied to a halt than a mad scramble to retrieve luggage from the overhead bins ensued. Me and the pretty lady smiled and gave each other the “you’d think the last bus to the terminal is just about to leave” look. (Patience, people! No one is runing off with your bags, really.) And in those few moments of proximity, when the two of us were practically standing face to face, waiting for the eager beavers to shuffle past us, is when I felt a twinge of knowing, for the first time.

    She reached up and pulled her small suitcase down, then reached up again to haul my heavy backpack next. Oh thanks, you didn’t have to, I said. She smiled. We were among the last to exit the flight and board the shuttle bus that would ferry us to the terminal. During the four-minute ride, we sat opposite each other. And that’s when I blurted, “you know, you look a lot like Khusboo, the actress”. She smiled, a wider-toothed grin this time and that’s when it struck me even as she said, matter-of-factly, “I am Kushboo.”

    I was dumbstruck coz I’d never really bumped into stars like that before and somehow the ease of her confession had inserted an uneasy distance between us. The casualness in our interactions earlier seemed to have been instantly obliterated, if only inside my own head. “Can I have your autograph?” seemed like a really dumb schoolgirly thing to say but, like it or not, those were the exact words that slipped out of my mouth that instant. She smiled. She nodded. She seemed same old, same old. It was just me being this wreck for no reason at all other than the fact the six or seven people seated within earshot of us were all now staring, big time, as I rummaged thru my purse for a scrap paper and pen that I then shoved at her for scribbling purposes. “Good luck and much love, Kushboo” she scrawled on it, in her moving-bus handwriting.

    When we exited the shuttle bus, I said a quick “bye” and fell behind, fiddling with my backpack, letting her walk ahead. Then I followed her into the terminal, and from the “safeness” of my new-found distance, watched her run into the arms of a very tall C. Sundar, wearing a black shirt and blue jeans. (He must have got a special pass or something, to come in like that, I thought.) I could have sworn she started sobbing uncontrollably even as he held her close. I wondered why. Maybe she was away for a long while and missed her husband sorely?

    I walked on, and right outside was dad, yay!! I felt normal again. He had a call taxi waiting and I jumped right in. He was escorting me to my in-laws place and I started relating my pleasant yet entirely unexpected run-in with Kushboo. That’s it. Dad went on and on about how Kushboo was all over the newspapers that week and how she was just returning from a court appearance in CBE where she was summoned to face defamation charges thanks to her “radical” stance on “controversial” topics like virginity, premarital sex, etc…

    Poor thing. Small wonder she seemed relieved to carry on a NORMAL if brief conversation with someone who had no idea who she was, someone not privy to all this political drama she was embroiled in, someone who wouldn’t instant-judge her. I bet those minor moments with a nobody mattered to her. (End of DIGRESSION.)

  4. sachita

    July 6, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    what ‘ada’ right? i didnt think it was madhubala either, thinking it was some contemporary personality who was shot in black & white.

    ps: debate is still on for whether to forgive ppl who revealed her skin isnt smooth as all the old movies/ photos are showed.

  5. Shalini

    July 6, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    I think the phrase “lush beauty” was coined expressly for Madhubala.

    I recently rediscovered “saaz-e-dil chhed de” from Passport and can’t decide which is more beautiful – Madhubala or Lata’s voice. Dilip Kumar was an idiot!

  6. Kanan

    July 6, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    OMG! She’s GORGEOS!!! I can’t even type properflyt. Is this all? I want more pics.

    • henna

      May 13, 2011 at 6:57 pm

      yeah we want more pics!!! lol 😉

  7. Gradwolf

    July 7, 2010 at 12:27 am


  8. Banno

    July 7, 2010 at 2:13 am

    Oh My God! I want to scream like Janice, and flutter my hands, and jump around. These are the most beautiful photographs, ever. I’ve never seen such candid photos of Madhubala. No wonder Manto said that the movies did not capture her beauty at all. She’s so much more gorgeous than she’s ever looked in her films.

  9. Banno

    July 7, 2010 at 2:14 am

    By the way, have tagged you. Please go look.

  10. Deepti

    July 7, 2010 at 2:52 am

    Wow, just WOW!!! Have been a silent reader on your awesome blog for a while…but that first photograph just compels me to say…WOW!! 🙂
    And same as Exult in the Everyday…did not realise who it was right up to the end…

  11. DewdropDream

    July 7, 2010 at 5:15 am

    *Deep sigh* I think I’m going to treat these pictures as therapy. Anytime I’m feeling down, I shall look at these photos and feel happy. How breahttaking is she!

    Thank you, Amrita. You bring us some really good stuff!

  12. neha

    July 7, 2010 at 5:31 am

    Gosh.. she is gorgeous. So breezy, such lovely eyes..

    This is more than just happiness – I feel slightly giddy now.

  13. Srinivas

    July 7, 2010 at 5:58 am

    Wow…Amrita..what a great post!!! Like somebody said above, could not point her out in the first pic. But that second one is just gorgeous. Just perfect.

    Please put up any more that you may have. And thanks to whoever gave you these. 🙂

  14. BlueMist

    July 7, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Could not identify that she is madhubala. Gorgeous pics. 🙂

  15. aandthirtyeights

    July 7, 2010 at 6:39 am

    I shall pass out now. At this instant.

  16. sharbori

    July 7, 2010 at 8:31 am

    These pics are awesome. thank you. never have seen her candid pics before. no wonder kishor kumar went diwana after her death. she is ethereal.

  17. Banno

    July 7, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Had to come back again to look at the photos. Sigh! Who’s taken these? The details are so lovely, the terrace, the bedsheet, the switch board, the room in the b/g

  18. Reema

    July 7, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Venus reincarnated 🙂
    P.S. Whats with the longg pallu? what do u think?

  19. ramesh

    July 7, 2010 at 11:00 am

    wow those are some really nice pictures .. but then old filmfares must be having quite a bit of madhubala no and @Exult .. that was a lovely anecdote ..

  20. M

    July 7, 2010 at 11:25 am

    What a beauty! No one comes close! LOVE how UN-Plastic she is – something ALL present-day actors need to figure out how to do!

    EitE – lovely anecdote about Khushboo..


  21. sophy

    July 7, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Thanks Amrita–will join the chorus. I love Madhubala’s vivacity and thats part of her visual appeal. Strangely though I didn’t like the first photograph much–I think the camera got her in an uncomplimentary angle (well makes her more human). The last two are the Madhubala I know and love.

  22. Amrita

    July 7, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Yay, I’m so glad you all share the love. 😀 I’ve updated with the full set for you to enjoy. That’s all I got but all six are something else, I think!

    Exult – that’s a lovely little anecdote. I have a lot of respect for her Khushboo for sticking to her guns and now I like her even more because it’s not everybody who’s nice in the best of conditions so it goes double for her in her time of trouble.

    Sachita – what’s wrong with her skin? 😦 Whatever’s wrong with it, it photographs like a dream!

    Shalini – I don’t think I’ve seen Passport and obviously need to!

    Aandthirtyeights – my feelings exactly when I opened up my mail to find these! 😀

    Reema – I dont know but it seems to have been the style back then. My mom used to wear outfits like those (and lived in a house that looked a lot like that one!) and her pallus from that time (or a little later than this I assume) were similarly long.

    • Exult

      July 7, 2010 at 6:03 pm

      “My mom used to wear outfits like those (and lived in a house that looked a lot like that one!) and her pallus from that time…were similarly long” — and you also noted earlier that your mom totally had that tribal necklace Madhubala wore in Ek Saal… Hmmm. 😀 I don’t know what to make of this, Amrita. It’s an intriguing toss-up, whether all this parallel accessorizing is life imitating art, or art imitating life (as da “bro” describes the drivers of Delhi 6).

  23. le embrouille blogueur

    July 7, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Oh so beautiful. My cousin sent me the set couple of months back and I could tear myself away from the computer for some time.Excuse while I stare some more.

  24. memsaab

    July 7, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    I have these pictures too, someone sent them to me. They are beautiful. They remind me of the last photo session of Marilyn Monroe. They had that same little-girl vulnerability with a steely core and were such great comic actresses and so beautiful. And gone way too soon…I hope I age as gracefully as I know they would have.

    • memsaab

      July 7, 2010 at 7:04 pm

      and PS Dilip Kumar was a full-on IDIOT.

  25. M

    July 7, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Came back to drool over Madhubala and saw Memsaab’s last comment – I SO agree! 🙂 🙂 Dilip Kumar, you Moron of the first order…

  26. Falaxy

    July 12, 2010 at 12:10 pm


  27. pitu

    July 24, 2010 at 11:07 am

    I’m playing catchup with all the blogposts I missed today and am thunderstruck by this one. THUNDERSTRUCK, I say!! What. A. Creature!

    *fervently blesses kind dear reader and kind dear Amrita*.

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