Google on August 1 paid tribute to Meena Kumari with a doodle on her 85th birth anniversary, forty years after her death.

Though a fantastic actor and an exceptional poet, Kumari, unfortunately, is best remembered for her melancholic life that she had led until her untimely demise at the age of 38.

Her life probably can be best described by her poignant epitaph which reads: "She ended life with a broken fiddle, with a broken song, with a broken heart, but not a single regret."

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Kumari was born in a family of poor theatre artistes, who wanted a son. She was soon forced into acting by her parents and at a tender age of four. She eventually became the bread earner of the family.

An 18-year-old Kumari married Kamal Amrohi, who was 16 years older to her, in 1952 thinking she had found the love of her life.
However, soon differences started cropping up. In fit of anger, Amrohi pronounced the triple talaq, which separated her from her husband. This broke her down and she found solace in alcoholism.

The couple later remarried but Kumari had to go through the nikah halala – a practice where a female divorcee had to marry someone else, consummate the marriage and then divorce him in order to get married with her first husband again.

It is said that Kumari tried to find love and peace in many men. If reports are to be believed, Dharmendra and Kumari fell in love. However, the love didn’t last long as rising popularity of Dharmendra created rift between them.

Ultimately, Kumari started pouring out her heart in her poetries, which she used to write under the pseudonym "Naaz". It was said that she would offer anything to anyone who would listen to her poetry. She was extremely close to Gulzar and they would sit together for hours reciting poetry and gazals.

After her death, Gulzar published her diary of poems, which she had bequeathed to him, under the name Meena Kumari Ki Shayri. However, it is argued that it was not the only diary Kumari had left in the custody of Gulzar.

Kumari died just few weeks after her last film Pakeezah was released from cirrhosis of the liver due to excessive drinking.