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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: पाकीज़ा; Pākīzā, 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 (Veena)- a brothel madam - brings her up as her own. Unable to break away from the vicious circle, Sahibjaan grows up to be a beautiful and popular dancer/singer. Forest ranger Salim Ahmed Khan (Raaj Kumar), enthralled by her beauty and innocence, 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 cleric 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; she agrees. During this event, Nawabjaan recognises Shahabuddin and calls him to witness the irony of the situation: It is his own daughter dancing and entertaining his family. The elder of the family(Ashok Kumars brother), tries to shoot Nawabjaan to silence her which leads to a very surprise ending.



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 this 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 in the early '60s with the ones shot during her illness. All the kathak dance sequences were performed by Meena Kumari herself except for the last dance sequencee 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 after Meena Kumari's death.[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. There were total 18 songs recorded, however only 9 of them were used.

Track # Song Singer(s) Lyrics Composer
1 INHI LOGON NE Lata Mangeshkar Majrooh Sultanpuri Ghulam Muhammad
2 CHALTE CHALTE Lata Mangeshkar Kaifi Azmi Ghulam Muhammad
3 NAZARIYA KI MARI Rajkumari Traditional Naushad Ali
4 CHALO DILDAR CHALO Mohammad Rafi & Lata Mangeshkar Kaif Bhopali Ghulam Muhammad
5 PEEKE CHALE[note 1] Lata Mangeshkar Majrooh Sultanpuri Ghulam Muhammad
6 YEH KIS KI AANKHON KA[note 1] Mohammad Rafi Majrooh Sultanpuri Ghulam Muhammad
7 MAUSAM HAI ASHIQANA Lata Mangeshkar Kamal Amrohi Ghulam Muhammad
8 THARE RAHIYO Lata Mangeshkar Majrooh Sultanpuri Ghulam Muhammad
9 MORA SAJAN Vani Jairam Traditional Naushad Ali
10 BANDHAN BANDHO[note 1] Shobha Gurtu Traditional Ghulam Muhammad
11 HAT KAR TERE QADMON SE[note 1] Mohammad Rafi, Shamshad Begum & Chorus Kaif Bhopali Ghulam Muhammad
12 KAUN GALI Parveen Sultana Traditional Naushad Ali
13 CHALO DILDAR CHALO[note 1] Lata Mangeshkar Kaif Bhopali Ghulam Muhammad
14 TANHAI SUNAYA KARTI HAI[note 1] Lata Mangeshkar Kamal Amrohi Ghulam Muhammad
15 PYARE BABUL[note 1] Lata Mangeshkar & Chorus Kaif Bhopali Ghulam Muhammad
16 LEKE ANGRAI[note 1] Suman Kalyanpur Kaif Bhopali Ghulam Muhammad
17 AJ HUM APNI DUAAON KA ASAR Lata Mangeshkar Kaif Bhopali Ghulam Muhammad
18 KOTHE SE BADA[note 1] Shamshad Begum Kaif Bhopali Ghulam Muhammad
19 TITLE MUSIC-ALAP Lata Mangeshkar Naushad Ali
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Song not used in movie

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 (9 March 2012). "Pakeezah one of a kind". Indian Express. Retrieved 7 May 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]