Remembering the ‘Lara Lappa girl’ Meena Shorey on her 30th death anniversary today.

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Remembering the ‘Lara Lappa girl’ Meena Shorey on her 30th death anniversary today.

For today’s generation, the name Meena Shorey may mean nothing, but music lovers would definitely remember the ever-popular song “Lara Lappa Lara Lappa Laayi Rakhda” from the film Ek Thi Ladki (1949). The film, which starred Meena Shorey opposite the debonair Motilal, was a huge success.

Meena Shorey turned an overnight star and cameto be known as the Lara Lappa girl after the release of the film. (Even when she migrated to Pakistan in the 1950s, she was known there, too, as the ‘lara lappa girl’).The highlight of the film was the hit song “Lara lappa lara lappa laayi rakhda, Adi tappa adit appa laayee rakhda”. The song was penned by Aziz Kashmiri and was tuned by Vinod. The song with Punjabi overtones was the trendsetter for popular songs of later years and remains so till today. It is amazing to hear naughtiness in Lata Mangeshkar’s voice in the song that became a mandatory part of all the live concerts of the melody queen.

The final part of Meena Shorey’s life story is almost too painful to be real. She lived the last few years of her life in abject poverty in Pakistan. She had no savings and was reduced to living in a couple of rooms in Lahore’s Mohni Road. There was no one to look after her and she subsisted on a small stipend paid to her by the Pakistan Arts Council and sometimes the Rotary Club. According to one news report, she was seeing begging at a film function because she needed some money to wed her sister’s daughters.

Meena Shorey died lonely and forgotten on September 3,1989. Her burial was arranged with charity money. It is sad that the ‘Lara Lappa Girl’ who ruled both Hindi and Pakistan film industries at one time, dies such a tragic death.

Rest in Peace, Meena Shorey!

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