One doesn’t know how far the system of patriarchy runs in the entertainment industry. But it sure runs deep. How else do we explain what happened in 1957 when the mighty Thespian of Indian cinema Dilip Kumar broke up with the Venus of Indian cinema Madhubala.
Their love affair blossomed during the making of the monumental Mughal-e-Azam and peaked by the time the film was about 70 percent quality,
But then things fell part for this golden couple. This romance which everyone expected to end at the altar, altered its course. No one knows why Madhubala couldn’t marry Dilip Kumar. They were made for each other in every way, except for her weak heart which doctors said could explode any time.
If it was her heart condition that caused the heartbreaking separation between Madhubala and Dilip Kumar , what happened thereafter was purely ugly and smacked of vendetta. The hit jodi of Mughal-e-Azam had been signed by B R Chopra to star in the social drama Naya Daur. Suddenly, Madhubala found herself out of the project and replaced overnight by Vyjanthimalawho quickly became Dilip Saab’s favourite heroine.
How much this betrayal must have hurt the already ill and dying Madhubala! It wouldn’t be wrong to say she died of heartbreak even before her heart gave way.
The official reason given for Madhubala’s ouster from Naya Daur was her inability to plunge into a muddy trough because of her heart condition. No trough could be muddier than the rules of patriarchy that guided Madhubala’s expulsion from Dilip Kumar’s durbar.