Meena Shorey

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Meena Shorey
Meena Shorey (1949).jpg
Shorey in Actress (1948)
Khurshid Jehan

17 November 1921
Died3 September 1989(1989-09-03) (aged 67)
Resting placeLahore
Other namesThe Droll Queen of Partition[1]
Lux Lady of Pakistan[2]
The Lara Lappa Girl[2]
The Comedienne of Calibre[2]
Years active1941 - 1983
Spouse(s)Zahur Raja
Al Nasir
Roop K. Shorey
Raza Mir
Asad Bokhari
AwardsSpecial Nigar Award for 30 years of excellence in Pakistani film industry in 1982

Meena Shorey (17 November 1921 – 3 September 1989) was a Pakistani film actress who worked first in Indian cinema and later Pakistani cinema. She appeared in Hindi/Urdu and Punjabi films. Credited in films by her mononym, Meena, her real name was Khurshid Jehan. She started her acting career playing a character role, as Ambhi, Raja of Taxila's sister in Sohrab Modi's Sikandar (1941). Married to her third husband, Roop K. Shorey, by the mid-1940s, she found fame when she acted in her husband's film Ek Thi Larki (1949), opposite actor Motilal. The story was written by I. S. Johar, who also starred in the film. The "foot-tapping" music composed by Vinod became a "huge hit", with Meena becoming an "icon" for the "new liberated" young women. Meena was acclaimed as the "Lara Lappa Girl", from the song of same title in the film.[3] She was one of the first women to be recognised in Indian cinema as a "comedienne of calibre".[4] She was also popularly referred as The Droll Queen of Partition as she worked in both in India and Pakistan.[1]

In 1956, she went to Lahore, Pakistan with her husband, where they were invited by Pakistani producer J.C. Anand to make a film there following her mass popularity with the public in both India and Pakistan. The film Shorey made was Miss 56, a copy of the Guru Dutt-Madhubala starrer Mr. & Mrs. '55. Instead of returning to India when her husband did, she decided to stay back in Pakistan, continuing her acting career there.[5] Some of her best films in India included the Punjabi film Chaman (1948), Actress (1948), Ek Thi Ladki (1949), Dholak (1951), and Ek Do Teen (1953).

Early life[edit]

Meena was born Khurshid Jehan, on 17 November 1921, in Raiwind, Punjab, British India, the second of four children. Her family was poor and her father squandered what little property they had. He then worked at a dyeing business in Lahore, which also failed. Meena's elder sister, Wazir Begum, who was married and lived in Bombay, had their mother and siblings come there. Sohrab Modi noticed Meena at the launch of his film Sikandar (1941), which she attended with her brother-in-law, and offered her a supporting role in the film, giving her the name, Meena.[6]


In India[edit]

Ek Thi Ladki ad in Filmindia August 1949

Sikandar in 1941 was the first film Meena acted in, which had her in the small role of King of Taxila's sister.[4] This was a historical film about the invasion of India in the Jhelum region by Alexander (Sikandar). It was directed by Sohrab Modi and starred Prithviraj Kapoor as Sikandar. The film became "an all-India hit" and provided an instant launching pad for her. She then went on to act as the second lead in three more films under Modi's Minerva Movietone banner, Phir Milenge (1942), Prithvi Vallabh (1943) and Pattharon Ka Saudagar.[7]

Roop K. Shorey, who was based in Lahore, migrated to Bombay and wanted to sign Meena for his film, Shalimar (1946). However Meena had signed a contract with Sohrab Modi, which prevented her from working not only in Shalimar, but also in Mehboob Khan's Humayun (1945). On a visit to Lahore, she was signed by producer Dalsukh Pancholi, for two films Shehar Se Door (1946) and Arsi (1947). She finally freed herself from the contract by taking Modi's wife Mehtab's help, getting the amount of money asked for by Modi, lowered.[6]

In 1948, Chaman (Garden) in Punjabi, was directed by Roop K. Shorey, who having suffered a loss of the family business in Lahore had moved to Bombay following the partition. There he set up his banner Shorey Films and produced the film Chaman with the help of his wife's finances.[3] It had Meena act in the "first post—Partition, Punjabi film in India". It co-starred Karan Dewan, Kuldip Kaur and Majnu, and became a "major hit". The "melodious music", which was composed by Vinod became "instantly popular".[8] One of the famous songs from the film was "Chan Kithan Guzari Aai Raat Way" sung by Pushpa Hans and chorus. It was the debut of Pushpa Hans as a singer.[9]

In 1949, came Ek Thi Larki, produced and directed by Roop K. Shorey, with story written by I. S. Johar. The music was composed by Vinod whose song "Lara Lappa Lara Lappa Laayi Rakhdi" became the "highlight of the film". A "trendsetter", the song continued to remain popular over the years. The playback singing was provided by Lata Mangeshkar, and though it's counted as one of Lata's earliest hits, the person mainly remembered for the song is the actress lip-syncing it in the film, Meena, who became "known thereafter as the Lara-Lappa Girl".[10] The film was stated to be "the biggest runaway- hit" making Roop K. Shorey one of the top comedy film directors.[11]

She acted in Ek Teri Nishani in 1949 opposite Trilok Kapoor and the film also starred I. S. Johar, Cuckoo and Om Prakash. In 1950, she acted in the Karan Dewan Production's Anmol Ratan, with Karan Dewan and Nirmala. Dholak (1951) was produced by Shorey Films and directed by Roop Shorey. It starred Meena with Ajit, with music composed by Shyam Sunder. Shyam Sunder was stated to have given some "unforgettable melodies" in this film among others.[12] In 1953, in Ek Do Teen, Shorey tried to recreate the magic of Ek Thi Ladki, by continuing with the same "Lara Lappa" theme. Meena was once again paired with Motilal, and music was provided by Vinod. However, the film was unable to have the same effect as Ek Thi Ladki.[3] Her last two films released in India were G. P. Sippy's Shrimati 420 for Sippy Films and Chandu (1958) directed by Majnu and starring Om Prakash, Shashikala, Mehmood and Pran.

In Pakistan[edit]

Roop K. Shorey and Meena were invited to Pakistan by Pakistani film producer J.C. Anand to make a film. Miss 1956 (1956) was a plagiarised version of Guru Dutt's Mr. & Mrs. '55 (1955) and starred Meena Shorey, Santosh Kumar, Shamim Ara, and Noor Mohammed Charlie.[13] The music was composed by G. A. Chisti. Meena was well received in Lahore and she decided to stay back when her husband returned to India. She went on to become the "first Pakistani actress to model for Lux" and became known as the "Lux Lady of Pakistan".[6]

Her most famous film was Sarfarosh (1956), in which she had a special character role, with two very popular songs based around her. Originally slated to play the main lead, she was then assigned this side role and carried it off with aplomb. Directed by Anwar Kamal Pasha, the film starred Sabiha Khanum and Santosh Kumar and had music by Rasheed Attre. The film was a superhit box-office success.[14]

Some of the films she acted in a main role were Bara Aadmi (1957), directed by Humayun Mirza in Urdu and co-starring Meena Shorey and Ejaz Durrani, Sitaron ki Duniya (1958), directed by M. H. Mohib, Jagga (1958) in Punjabi and directed by Saqlain Rizvi, Behrupiya (1960) (Punjabi) directed by Aslam Irani.[15] Her other notable films were Mausiqar (1962) directed by Qadeer Ghori, Andhi Mohabbat (1964) and Khamosh Raho (1964) directed by Jameel Akhtar.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Meena is reported to have married five times.[16]

  1. Her first marriage was to actor-producer-director Zahur Raja. In Filmindia April 1942, it was mentioned in an interview with Zahur Raja that Zahur and Meena were married for the last "six months". The two met while shooting for Sikandar and fell in love. "Zahur has been married for six months to Meena, a pretty young actress who is at present making probably her last film Phir Milenge".[17]
  2. Her second marriage was to actor and co-star, Al Nasir. She separated from him by the mid-40s, and Al Nasir went on to marry the actress Veena. Baburao Patel mentioned him as one of Meena's ex-husbands in a column in Filmindia August 1946, "Al Nasir, the once reported ex-husband of film actress Meena, is now reported to have married film actress Manorama of Punjab".[18]
  3. Her third marriage was to Roop K. Shorey which lasted till 1956. Due to the relative length of the marriage, about 7–8 years, and the fact that she briefly attained success as an actress only in this period, she came to be known by her third husband's name. They separated after a successful trip to Pakistan, when Meena decided to remain in that country, while Roop Shorey, a Hindu gentleman, stuck to the original plan of returning to India.
  4. Her fourth marriage was to Raza Mir, a Pakistani film cinematographer and film producer
  5. Her fifth marriage was to Asad Bokhari, her co-star in Jamalo (1962).[6]

In Pakistan, Meena lived a life of poverty towards the end of her life, and had to struggle to survive after 1974–75.[19] Then Meena went to live with her nephew and Malika Pukhraj helped her financially. Upon her death, her funeral arrangements were made by charity money.[20] She died on 3 September 1989, in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan.[6]


In India[edit]


Year Film Director Co-stars Composer Studio/Producer
1941 Sikandar (Alexander) Sohrab Modi Sohrab Modi, Prithviraj Kapoor, Vanmala, Zahur Raja Mir Saheb, Rafiq Ghaznavi Minerva Movietone
1942 Phir Milenge Sohrab Modi Sohrab Modi, Sardar Akhtar, K. N. Singh Mir Saheb Minerva Movietone
1943 Prithvi Vallabh Sohrab Modi Sohrab Modi, Durga Khote, K. N. Singh, Al Nasir, Vanmala Rafiq Ghaznavi, Saraswati Devi Minerva Movietone
1943 Sahara J. P. Advani (Jagatrai Pesumal Advani) Renuka Devi, Narang, Pran Gobind Ram Vaswani Art Productions
1944 Pattharon Ka Saudagar Shorey Daulatvi Al Nasir, Sheela, K. N. Singh Mir Saheb Minerva Movietone
1945 Bhai Jaan S. Khalil Noor Jehan, Karan Dewan, Anees Khatoon, Shah Nawaz Shyam Sunder United Films
1945 Neelam Essa Sadhana Bose, Khursheed, Harish Khan Mastana A. H. Productions
1946 Shehar Se Door Barkat Mehra Al Nisar, Om Prakash, Ajmal Amarnath Pradhan Pictures
1947 Arsi Daud Chand Al Nasir, Pran, Cuckoo, Asha Posle Lachhiram, Shyam Sunder Jeewan Pictures
1947 Ek Teri Nishani B. K. Sagar Trilok Kapoor, Om Prakash, Shyama, I. S. Johar Amarnath, Sardul Kwatra Kwatra Art
1948 Actress Najam Naqvi Rehana, Prem Adeeb, David, Misra, Abbas Nausha, Mukri Shyam Sunder Filmistan
1948 Dukhiyari D. K. Ratan Surendra, Trilok Kapoor, Chandra Mohan, Cuckoo Gyan Dutt Jeevan Jyot Kala
1948 Chaman Roop K. Shorey Meena Shorey, Karan Dewan, Majnu, Shyama Vinod Shorey Films
1948 Patjhad[6] (Autumn) Ravindra Dave Geeta Bali, Om Prakash, Amarnath Ghulam Haider, S. D. Batish Pancholi Art
1949 Ek Thi Larki Roop K. Shorey Motilal, Kuldip Kaur, I. S. Johar, Majnu Vinod Shorey Films
1949 Zevaraat Habib Sarhadi Yakub, Masood, Jayant Hansraj Behl Habib Productions
1950 Anmol Ratan (Rare Jewel) M. Sadiq Karan Dewan, Nirmala, Gulab, Gope Vinod Dewan Productions
1950 Raj Rani Satish Nigam Usha Kiran, Rehman, Satish Hansraj Behl Jagat Pictures
1951 Dholak Roop K. Shorey Ajit, Majnu, Manmohan Krishna, Yashodhara Katju Shyam Sunder Shorey Films
1951 Kale Badal (Black Clouds) Anant Thakur Shyam, Pushpa Hans, Jeevan Shyam Sunder National Film of India
1952 Ajeeb Ladki Mohammed Ehsan Naseem Banu, Rehman, Shashikala Ghulam Mohammed Taj Mahal Pictures
1953 Ek Do Teen Roop K. Shorey Motilal, Satish, Majnu, Yashodhara Katju Vinod Shorey Films
1953 Aag Ka Dariya Roop K. Shorey Karan Dewan, Prithviraj Kapoor, Shammi, Majnu Vinod Shorey Films
1954 Raman Hiren Bose Karan Dewan, Purnima, Om Prakash, Majnu, Cuckoo Vinod Metropolitan Films
1955 Jalwa Roop K. Shorey Karan Dewan, Begum Para, Majnu, Hari Shivdasani Vinod Shorey Films
1955 Shri Naqad Narayan (Money) K. D. Mehra, I. S. Johar Motilal, Majnu, Om Prakash, Badri Prasad Vinod Kanav Brothers Productions
1956 Shrimati 420 G. P. Sippy Johnny Walker, Om Prakash N. Dutta Sippy Films
1958 Chandu (1958) Majnu Om Prakash, Shashikala, Mehmood and Pran Bipin Babul N. R. Productions

In Pakistan[edit]


Year Film Director Co-stars Composer Studio/Producer
1956 Sarfarosh (side role)[6] Anwar Kamal Pasha Sabiha Khanum, Santosh, Allauddin, Asif Jah Rasheed Attre Anwar Kamal Pasha
1956 Miss 56 (lead actress) Roop K. Shorey Santosh, Aslam Pervaiz, Shamim Ara, Noor Mohammed Charlie Ghulam Ahmed Chishti J.C. Anand
1957 Bara Aadmi (lead actress) Humayun Mirza Ejaz Durrani, Allauddin, M. Ismail Ghulam Nabi, Abdul Latif Husain D. Silva
1958 Sitaron ki Duniya (lead actress) M. H. Mohib Sheda Imam, Rukhsana, Noor Mohammed Charlie Zafar Khursheed Sheda Imam
1958 Aakhri Nishan (lead actress) Ashfaq Malik Sudhir, Neelo, Nazar, Talish, Allauddin Rehman Verma Vaswani Art Productions
1958 Jagga (lead actress, Punjabi) Saqlain Rizvi Ilyas Kashmiri, Salim Raza, Zeenat Begum Ghulam Ahmed Chishti, Rasheed Attre Faqir Shah
1959 Bacha Jamoora Aslam Irani Akmal Khan, Nayyar Sultana, Ilyas Kashmiri, Ajmal Rafiq Ali Akbar Irani
1959 Gulshan Jaffer Malik Sudhir, Aslam Pervaiz, Allauddin Rasheed Attre M. Ghulam Nabi
1960 Behrupia Aslam Irani Akmal Khan, Nayyar Sultana, Zarif, Ajmal Tufail Farooqi M. Ashiq, M. Taj
1961 Gulfarosh Zahur Raja Nayyar Sultana, Zahur Raja, Naeem Hashmi, Kamal Tassaduq Hussain Anwar Kamal Pasha
1962 Mauseeqar Qadir Ghori Sabiha Khanum, Santosh Kumar, Abbas Nosha, Nusrat Kardar Rasheed Attre Rasheed Attre
1962 Jamalo [6] M. J. Rana Asad Bukhari, Naghma, A. Shah, Ajmal, Zarif Ghulam Ahmed Chishti Wazir Ali
1963 Maa Beti Choudhary Latif Yasmin, Yousuf Khan, Akmal Khan, Rukhsana Safdar Hussain Choudhary Latif
1963 Teen Aur Teen (3 Aur 3) Sheikh Iqbal Habib, Lehri, Jafri, Sheikh Iqbal Rehman Verma, G. A. Chisti Rekha Iqbal
1963 Yahudi Ki Ladki Chawla Nayyar Sultana, Darpan, Talish Muslehudin Saghar Jaffery
1964 Phool Aur Kante Sheikh Iqbal Habib, Tarana, Saba, Saqi M. A. Munoo M. Ashraf
1964 Khamosh Raho[6] Jameel Akhtar Deeba, Yousuf Khan, Mohammad Ali Khalil Ahmad T. H. Rizvi
1964 Azad Dilshad Malik Santosh, Bahar, Yousuf Khan, Asad Bukhari, M. Ismael, Allauddin Rasheed Attre Fayyaz Malik
1964 Andhi Mohabbat Amin Malik Laila, Akmal Khan, Nusrat Kardar, Talish Manzoor Ashraf M. Nasim
1968 Adalat Hassan Tariq Zeba, Haidar, Rani, Rukhsana, Aslam Pervaiz, Talish Tasadduq Hussain G. S. & Co.
1969 Najo Qadeer Ghori Firdous, Ejaz Durrani, Aliya, Zeenat Begum, Asad Bukhari Manzoor Ashraf S. Sheikh, Qadeer Ghori
1976 Waada Aslam Dar Asiya, Waheed Murad, Deeba, Saiqa, Lehri Kemal Ahmad Asghar Joora

Awards and recognition[edit]

Year Award Category Result Title Ref.
1982 Nigar Award For 30 Years of Excellence Won Herself [21]


  1. ^ a b Dancing Women: Choreographing Corporeal Histories of Hindi Cinema. New York, NY : Oxford University Press. p. 234.
  2. ^ a b c "In memory of the 'Lara Lappa Girl'". The News International. 28 April 2022.
  3. ^ a b c Sanjit Narwekar (12 December 2012). "13-The Image Manipulators". Eena Meena Deeka: The Story of Hindi Film Comedy. Rupa Publications. pp. 182–. ISBN 978-81-291-2625-2. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  4. ^ a b Sanjit Narwekar (12 December 2012). "14-The Female Of The Species". Eena Meena Deeka: The Story of Hindi Film Comedy. Rupa Publications. pp. 182–. ISBN 978-81-291-2625-2. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  5. ^ Maneesha Tikekar (2004). "Pakistani Silver Screen-Lollywood". Across the Wagah: An Indian's Sojourn in Pakistan. Bibliophile South Asia. pp. 326–. ISBN 978-81-85002-34-7. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Bali, Karan. "Profile: Meena Shorey". Upperstall. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  7. ^ Patel, Sushila Rani (1952). Stars Of The Indian Screen. Bombay, India: Parker & Sons Ltd. p. 33.
  8. ^ K. Moti Gokulsing; Wimal Dissanayake (17 April 2013). Routledge Handbook of Indian Cinemas. Routledge. pp. 166–. ISBN 978-1-136-77284-9. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  9. ^ J.K. Bajaj (26 March 2014). "95. Pushpa Hans". On & Behind the Indian Cinema. Diamond Pocket Books Pvt Ltd. pp. 2008–. ISBN 978-93-5083-621-7. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  10. ^ Richard Dyer (3 July 2013). "Introduction-All musicals: Hindi cinema". In The Space Of A Song: The Uses of Song in Film. Routledge. pp. 44–. ISBN 978-1-136-64193-0. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  11. ^ Tilak Rishi (5 June 2012). "22. Ek Thi Ladki (Roop K. Shorey)". Bless You Bollywood!: A tribute to Hindi Cinema on completing 100 years. Trafford Publishing. pp. 195–. ISBN 978-1-4669-3962-2. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  12. ^ Sangeet Natak. 99-102. Sangeet Natak Akademi. 1991. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  13. ^ Mushtāq Gazdar (1997). Pakistan Cinema, 1947-1997. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-577817-5. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  14. ^ Pakistan Quarterly. Vol. 12–13. Pakistan Publications. 1964. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  15. ^ a b Qureshi, Mohammed Ayub. "Meena Shori actress". website. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  16. ^ Illustrated Weekly of Pakistan. 51-52. Vol. 21. Pakistan Herald Publications. 1969. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  17. ^ Patel, Baburao (April 1942). "Zahur Raja –A Rough-Neck Guy!". Filmindia. 8 (4): 49. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  18. ^ Patel, Baburao (August 1946). "At Home And Abroad". Filmindia. 12 (8): 58. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  19. ^ From circa late-1970s till 1987, late Pakistani film director/producer Anwar Kamal Pasha was a loyal friend and often helped her out financially as much as he could, but after his death she was left utterly destitute.
  20. ^ "Khawaja Najmul Hassan's Memories of Malika Pukhraj: Part V". Youlin Magazine. 28 March 2022.
  21. ^ Swami Ji. "Pakistan's "Oscars"; The Nigar Awards (1957 - 2002)". The Hot Spot Film Reviews website. Archived from the original on 24 November 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2022.

External links[edit]