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Directed by Kamal Amrohi
Produced by Kamal Amrohi
Written by Kamal Amrohi
Starring Meena Kumari
Raaj Kumar
Music by Ghulam Mohammed
Naushad Ali
Cinematography Josef Wirsching
Edited by D.N. Pai
Release dates
4 February 1972[1]
Running time
126 minutes
Country India
Language Urdu

Pakeezah (Urdu: پاکیزہ‎, Hindi: पाक़ीज़ा; Pākīza, meaning "Pure") is a 1972 Indian film, written and directed by Kamal Amrohi who was known for his perfectionism.[2][3] 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.[4]


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.



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 Studios, Mumbai.

Meena Kumari was very ill when filming resumed and one can note the difference in the portions shot earlier in the earlier sixties and the ones shot during her illness. All the kathak dance sequences were performed by Meena Kumari herself except for the last dance sequence of the movie wherein a body double (Padma Khanna) was used 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 1972 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.




Soundtrack album by Ghulam Mohammed & Naushad Ali
Released 1972(India)
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Label Sa Re Ga Ma
Ghulam Mohammed chronology
Naushad Ali chronology
Dil Ne Jise Apna Kaha
Review scores
Source Rating
Planet Bollywood 9/10 stars link

The soundtrack for the film was composed by Ghulam Mohammed and Naushad Ali with lyrics by Kaifi Azmi, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Kamal Amrohi and Kaif Bhopali. Due to the demise of the composer before the completion of the film, Naushad Ali was signed to compose the background score for the film. He also composed the songs, Nazaria Ki Maari, Title Music - Alap, Mora Saajan Sauten Ghar Jaye and Kaun Gali Gayo Shyam. These renderings are presented in the voices of the veteran singer Rajkumari, Parveen Sultana, Vani Jairam and Naseem Bano Chopra.

Track # Song Singer(s) Lyrics Composer
1 "Chalo Dildar Chalo" Mohammad Rafi & Lata Mangeshkar Kaif Bhopali Ghulam Muhammad
2 "Chalte Chalte" Lata Mangeshkar Kaifi Azmi Ghulam Mohammed
3 "Inhi Logon Ne" Lata Mangeshkar Majrooh Sultanpuri Ghulam Muhammad
4 "Mausam Hai Aashiqana" Lata Mangeshkar Kamal Amrohi Ghulam Muhammad
5 "Nazariya Ki Mari" Rajkumari Majrooh Sultanpuri Naushad Ali
6 "Teer-E-Nazar" Lata Mangeshkar Kaif Bhopali Ghulam Muhammad
7 "Thare Rahiyo" Lata Mangeshkar Majrooh Sultanpuri Ghulam Muhammad
8 "Mora Saajan Sauten Ghar Jaye" Vani Jairam Majrooh Sultanpuri Naushad Ali
9 "Kaun Gali Gayo Shyam" Parveen Sultana Majrooh Sultanpuri Naushad Ali
10 "Pi Ke Chale" Lata Mangeshkar Majrooh Sultanpuri Ghulam Muhammad
11 "Title Music - Alap" Lata Mangeshkar Majrooh Sultanpuri Naushad Ali

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b M.A. Khan (28 March 2008). "Remembering Meena Kumari". Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  2. ^ Bose, Mihir (2006). Bollywood: a history. Tempus. p. 236. ISBN 0-7524-2835-7. 
  3. ^ Rajiv Vijayakar (Mar 9, 2012). "Pakeezah one of a kind". Indian Express. Retrieved May 7, 2013. 
  4. ^ Gulzar; Govind Nihalani; Saibal Chatterjee (2003). Encyclopaedia of Hindi cinema. Popular Prakashan. p. 85. ISBN 81-7991-066-0. 
  5. ^ Awards IMDB.

External links[edit]