Portrait of Sahibjaan

  Gouache on Canvas

Indian film history would be incomplete if we do not mention ‘The Tragedy Queen’ Meena Kumari. Born as Mahjabeen Bano, she came to be known as Meena Kumari 1946 movie Bachchon Ka Khel at the age of fourteen and earned the title ‘The Tragedy Queen of Indian Cinema’ because of the strength and conviction of characters she portrayed in various movies. She was not only a fine actor but also a singer and a poet. The works in this exhibition are a tribute to her and the artist has selected the second last movie of the actress, the magnum opus Pakeezah- the pure one. This movie is an inseparable part of Meena Kumari’s identity and has always moved the audience of every generation emotionally. The portrait of Sahibjaan Sahibjaan, the character of Courtesan played by Meena Kumari in the movie Pakeezah, is a passionate lover and the epitome of beauty and grace. Being a nautch-girl, she was supposed to entertain men and not fall in love with one. Yet, she was in love and was desperate as well as determined to find her love by fleeing her court. For society it was forbidden love, but it was her desire to be accepted for who she really was, and this concept of acceptance stands every test even today. The portrait (done with the help of available reference images) does not face the audience or viewers and neither in her mood to entertain people. Instead, she is lost in her thoughts, probably enjoying some time talking to herself. She is bold and strong. All she wanted was ‘to love and to be loved’

  • Artist:Debosimta Samanta
  • Size: 42” x 36”
  • Quantity:1
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