10 comments on “RIP, Minoo Mumtaz – We Have Lost Another One of the Greatest (as everyone should know)

  1. I just learned that Minoo Mumtaz had died. Another one of my favourites gone.

    She was wonderful, wasn’t she? I still remember that DVD of Tom’s, and how many of my favourites it included. Besides the fact that she was an excellent dancer, I think I can understand why many would prefer her to Vyjyanthimala – there’s a certain ‘approachability’ to her, she looks like an intelligent, interesting woman, not some of paragon of perfection.

    Maybe I’d better leave my conjectures for my own post! I’m going to get started on it later today.

  2. Thank you for this beautiful tribute Richard!
    I’m also in the process of writing a tribute on my blog.
    She was absolutely wonderful dancer, and in my opinion she acted well too.
    Let’s see when I would be able to finish my post.
    I had read the post SoY earlier of course.


  3. Richard,
    Nice tribute to her. I was no aware of her recent health issues. The blogging world never thought of her as Mehmood’s sister. We liked her in her own right for her mujra dances. Meeting her and her son AJ was a revelation. Normally we hear of riches to rags story in filmdom, superstars spending their last days in penury. This branch of the family was very well-adjusted and doing well. It may not be the appropriate time, but every source mentions Mumtaz Ali’s irresponsible lifestyle led to his fall from the top to the bottom ( if I may use a bit of Urdu which conveys much better, अर्श से फ़र्श). Rising above that and doing well speaks a lot about Minoo and Mehmood. I have conveyed our deepest condolences to AJ.

  4. Sad to learn that she is gone. Personally–not being particularly knowledgeable of filmi family trees!–I had no clue until reading this that she was Mehmood’s sister. I went back just now to rewatch “Gora Rang Chunariya Kaali.” Learning that they would both have come up in the same “family school” of comedy made me appreciate both performances all the much more. Inna lillahi wa-inna ilaihi raji’un.

  5. Madhu, yes, Minoo Mumtaz certainly was wonderful. I knew that you would have to do a tribute post of your own, and I am looking forward to it. You also have made a little curious regarding the “conjectures” that you say you will include in that. :)

  6. Anup, you are very welcome, and thank you for saying such a nice thing about my tribute! I am also very much looking forward to seeing your post about the great Minoo Mumtaz.

  7. AK, I’m glad you liked this post. In this tribute, I decided not to take the time to delve into a list of video clips (as I did last year with another favorite, Kumkum), but in addition to the fact that I’m sure we will see plenty posted in other people’s tributes to follow, I knew that if readers followed my link to your post from 2013, they would find an extremely comprehensive collection of embedded videos as well as links to videos (in the comments). But, of course, the nicest part about reading your old post was being able to see those interviews.

    Regarding Mumtaz Ali’s “irresponsible lifestyle,” I don’t think it’s ever inappropriate to mention a truth that a lot of people already know… From the sources I’ve seen and heard, this truth is that he became a terrible alcoholic and this is what ruined him. (Unfortunately, he was not the first in the Hindi film industry to follow down that path and he would be very far from the last.) I also understand that he pushed these children of his who went into films to succeed early (not only in films but even in live shows too) so that they could help to support the family. That may have been tough on them (I don’t know), but they must owe at least a little something to him for the cultivation of their talents. When I said that it seemed to me that Minoo Mumtaz took most after her father, I made sure to add “at least in terms of talents” because I did not want to imply at all that she did so in other ways.

    It is nice that Minoo Mumtaz did not become poor and her branch of the family has helped her to remain in fairly good economic standing, but I wonder if she found any way to continue in her creative pursuits while in Canada. From what I can tell, I think probably not. (Although I have seen that she was in a television show in India in the 2000s? Well, that is something, at least.)

    And here I am going to change my response from what I originally wrote a few hours ago :) because I was getting into comparisons with other dancer-actresses who started dance schools in North America – specifically near me, in the New York metropolitan area – and these comparisons raise issues that would require another post or two worth of writing, and maybe I don’t want to get into all that. :) Also, I don’t want to imply that I’m making any value judgment over what anyone chose to do after a film career, or what situation that person ended up in. I don’t actually think that when most actors, dancers, etc., fall into poverty or become obscure and forgotten, it’s all that often a result of moral failings. I think that if an actor or dancer cannot adjust to the demands of changing social or economic circumstances (or changing fashions in the film world, etc.), that person should not be subjected to any kind of judgment because of it. The judgment, instead, should be made against the system and society that let certain people fall into tragic circumstances without any kind of support.

    Minoo Mumtaz avoided such fates, but some of us do feel that she is relatively forgotten, considering all that she did in the Hindi films (and how wonderfully she did it). But the good thing is that, at least within certain circles – in this case (as we’ve both pointed out) our circle of bloggers – she is always going to be considered much more than just the sister of Mehmood!

  8. Shelomit, well it is refreshing to see that you have appreciated Minoo Mumtaz without even knowing that she was Mehmood’s sister! :)

    Regarding “Gora Rang Chunariya Kaali,” I have read that the fact that they are brother and sister actually caused some controversy. Some people did not take well to the idea that a brother and sister played a romantic couple. I think that in some people’s minds, this was utterly scandalous! So, there’s another reason to appreciate it. :)

  9. I’m coming late to this post, Richard, not having had the time over the weekend – yard work takes its toll. :) I posted my tribute to her late at night, and it’s only today that I noticed on my blog roll that you had pre-empted me. It’s a lovely tribute, heartfelt and very personal. Bravo!

    AK is right – I doubt any of us in the blogging world thought of her as ‘Mehmood’s sister’. As I said in my tribute, I never took to Mehmood’s brand of comedy. Minoo, on the other hand, was all sorts of wonderful.

  10. Anu, yes, I finally got to be the first one out the door with a tribute! But first of all, I saw words about Minoo Mumtaz’s death pretty early, from a message written by someone in a group on Facebook, and then I kept an eye out to confirm with the first articles that appeared (maybe because I hoped the few words that I had seen originally would merely turn out to be one of those mistaken death rumors that circulate sometimes). Also, I wanted to finish my post earlier in the weekend because I planned to do other stuff later – not yard work (there is no reason for me to think about that in my Bronx apartment), but I had a list of things…most of which I still haven’t gotten to. :)

    I also think that you and Madhu must have both spent more time on your posts. Thank you very much for the “Bravo” for this post! But both you and Madhu took the time to select some of her best dances, link to them, screen-cap from them, and write very good things about them.

    I am going to need to return to your post again on Tuesday, and I might comment a little more over there afterwards.

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