Book: Meena Kumari The Poet: A Life Beyond Cinema

Author: Noorul Hasan

Meena Kumari was not only an iconic star of Hindi cinema, 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, Meena 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 much more sensitive and self-aware woman than her fans tend to realize. With a selection of critical and biographical material on Meena Kumari, including a concise introductory essay in which Daisy Hasan and Philip Bounds argue that much of Meena Kumari’s poetry can be read as a barbed critique of Indian popular culture, this book is an essential reading for all her many admirers.

A Livemint review states, “Meena Kumari’s poems are not rooted in specifics, and are written in a rhetorical style that does not offer a reader much to hold on to. One is therefore obliged to juxtapose this with the context of her life for a full appreciation of the poems.”

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