Meera Kumari the Poet: A Life Beyond Cinema

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The Friday Times

Meena Kumari was not only an iconic star of Hindi cinema, but she was also a poet of great flair and delicacy. This book contains a compelling selection of her poems in the original Urdu and in brilliant English translations by Noorul Hasan. Haunting, crystalline and precisely observed, Kumari’s poetry reveals a side of her personality that was rarely on display in her films. It proves beyond any doubt that she was a far more sensitive and self-aware woman than her fans tend to realize. With a selection of critical and biographical material on the actress, including a concise introductory essay in which Daisy Hasan and Philip Bounds argue that much of Kumari’s poetry can be read as a barbed critique of Indian popular culture, this book is essential reading for her many admirers.

From the book: “When I took her leave, she came to the door to see me off. Stopping at the door she said, ‘When you write down this interview, add an aside of your own.’

‘What’s that?’ I asked.

She thought for a moment and said, ‘Meena Kumari’s life was other people’s destination. For her own self, it was a road leading nowhere’.”

Transl. Noorul Hasan
Roli Books [paperback], 2014
PRs 695

The Friday Times, ” The long and short of…,” in The Friday Times, May 1, 2015. Accessed on May 1, 2015, at:

The item above written by The Friday Times and published in The Friday Times on May 1, 2015, is catalogued here in full by Faiz-e-Zabaan for non-profit educational purpose only. Faiz-e-Zabaan neither claims the ownership nor the authorship of this item. The link to the original source accessed on May 1, 2015, is available here. Faiz-e-Zabaan is not responsible for the content of the external websites.

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