Zeenat Aman Speaks Of Her Muslim Father, Hindu Mother
MUMBAI, (IANS) – Zeenat Aman while remembering her late father, Amanullah Khan, and mother, Vardhini Scindia, shared the story behind her last name. her father.
She posted a picture and reflected on her parents’ marriage and subsequent separation. She shared, “This precious image was taken at a photo studio when I was a child. My father is sitting behind me, and another relative is in front. My father, Amanullah Khan, belonged to a royal lineage. His mother, Akhtar Jahan Begum, was the first cousin of the last ruler of the state of Bhopal, His Highness Nawab Hamidullah Khan.”
She continued, “Aman Sahab, as he was known, was one of eight siblings, and they lived a leisurely life in Bhopal. As he grew up, he was considered extremely handsome. So, he and his cousin Al Nasir came to Mumbai to explore the possibilities of finding fame and fortune in Hindi cinema. It was at a party in the city where he socially met my mother, Vardhini Scindia.”
“They had a whirlwind courtship and got married soon after. Predictably, neither family approved of their union. My mother was a practicing Hindu, while my father came from a strong Muslim background. After a brief stint in acting, Aman Sahab pursued a career as a writer. One of his notable works was contributing to the screenplay and dialogues of ‘Mughal-E-Azam’ and ‘Pakeezah.’ Despite being immensely talented and respected as a writer, he never received the recognition he deserved, which is often the case for writers.”
Zeenat further shared, “On the home front, my parents decided to separate a few years after I was born. I stayed with my mother, and my father moved into a sprawling bungalow on Mount Mary Hill in Bandra.” She reminisced about their walks together, where he would treat her to ice cream, tell stories, and recite Urdu poems, some of which he composed exclusively for her. He would also write beautiful letters in English to her and her mother.
“These are a few cherished memories I have of my father. He passed away at the early age of 41 when I was still in school. I wish I had more time to spend with him, to know him not only as a child but also as a teenager and adult. Among the few belongings I hold dear to my heart is a volume of Urdu poetry that he wrote.”
She expressed her hope of someday translating and publishing the poetry. Zeenat concluded, “One never grows too old to miss their parents.”