Madhubala and Kishore Kumar married in 1960.
Madhubala and Kishore Kumar married in 1960.

When Madhubala married Kishore Kumar out of stubbornness, anger against Dilip Kumar

  • On Madhubala's birth anniversary, here's a close look at her marriage to Kishore Kumar. They were married for nine years but it was an unhappy one from day one.
PUBLISHED ON FEB 14, 2021 07:26 AM IST

For an entire generation of movie goers, Madhubala was nothing short of a screen goddess. There have been many stars who have won the hearts but none has captivated us like Madhubala. What makes her appeal even more enduring was the fact that she died young, aged only 36. The only impression of her in public memory is one of a vivacious young woman. In a way, Madhubala remains India's sweet seduction.

And yet Madhubala's screen persona and her private life couldn't have been more apart. On screen, she stole millions of hearts with her coquettish smile, impish charm and mischief. She was a breath of fresh air in the weary lives of many. Yet all her life she yearned for love - romantic love. While she had been linked to actor Prem Nath, directors Kidar Sharma and Kamaal Amrohi, her one true love was veteran actor Dilip Kumar, whom she could not marry. However, there is yet another relationship she was in, which doesn't get as much attention as it ought to and that is her nine-year-long marriage to legendary singer Kishore Kumar. Sadly, that too was an unhappy one.

Madhubala and Kishore Kumar worked in films like Jhumroo and Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi.
Madhubala and Kishore Kumar worked in films like Jhumroo and Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi.


Much has been written about how Dilip and Madhubala could not marry. Many have claimed that her father Ataullah Khan was the villain in the piece; her own sister Zahida aka Madhur Bhushan claimed it was the court case during the making of Naya Daur and their respective egos which were the deal breakers while Dilip himself said in his autobiography that Ataullah's desire to make a business venture of the marriage irked him and he turned her down. Whatever the reason, Madhubala went on to marry Kishore, her co-star in many films.

Reportedly, Kishore proposed to Madhubala in 1960 when she was to leave for London for treatment of her illness; they got married and left for London. She had been diagnosed with a hole in the heart (Ventricular Septal Defect in medical parlance) in 1957. Simply put, her body would produce excess blood, which would then come out of her nose and mouth. Doctors abroad made it clear that she was critically ill and gave her two years to survive.

Madhubala and Kishore Kumar were married till her death in 1969.
Madhubala and Kishore Kumar were married till her death in 1969.


On their return from the UK, Kishore and Madhubala started to live separately. The reality of her illness, his family's reported refusal to accept an inter faith match and her increasingly angry bouts owing to ill health meant that they drifted apart. While they remained married till her death nine years later, their relationship was all but over.

Madhubala's sister Madhur, in an interview to Rediff.com, reflected on it. Madhubala, she said, was madly in love with Dilip even after they went their own ways. In fact, when Kishore proposed, she married him out of anger against Dilip. She was quoted as saying: "Madhubala married Kishore Kumar out of stubbornness, and anger towards Dilip saab. They got married in 1960. She was 27 years old."

Also read: Priyanka Chopra first revealed ‘panties should be seen’ incident in 2018, said film was with a ‘ginormous Indian actor’

Speaking about Kishore, she was quoted as saying: "Once the doctor gave his verdict -- that she would not live for long -- Kishore bhai brought her a house in Mumbai's Carter Road and dumped her there alone, with a nurse and a driver. He would come once in about four months to see her. He did not take her phone calls. Kishore bhai was madly in love with Madhubala but once she returned from London, he dumped her. He was not a good husband."

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