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This article is about the 2001 film. For the actress on which it is based, see Zubeida Begum. For the silent film actress, see Zubeida.

Zubeidaa ( , ) is a 2001 Indian film directed by Shyam Benegal and written by Khalid Mohammed. It stars Karisma Kapoor, Rekha, Manoj Bajpai, Surekha Sikri, Rajit Kapoor, Lillete Dubey, Amrish Puri, Farida Jalal, and Shakti Kapoor.

Zubeidaa is the concluding chapter in a trilogy that began with Mammo (1994) and continued with Sardari Begum (1996). The film is based on the life of the ill-fated actress Zubeida Begum.

The film garnered the citation, National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi and won Karishma Kapoor a Filmfare Award for Best Actress (Critics').


Zubeidaa is the story of Riyaz's (Rajit Kapoor) search to understand his mother, who is not known to him. His mother's name was Zubeidaa (Karisma Kapoor) and she was the only daughter of a filmmaker named Suleman Seth (Amrish Puri). Zubeidaa acts in films secretly, but when her father finds out he forbids her to carry on and quickly arranges her marriage to Mehboob Alam. Things look happy for her when she gives birth to Riyaz. However, a misunderstanding arises between Suleman Seth and Mehboob's parents, and Mehboob divorces Zubeidaa on the same day she gives birth.

Zubeidaa then meets Maharaja Vijayendra Singh of Fatehpur (Manoj Bajpai). Vijayendra is already married to Rajmata Mandira Devi (Rekha) and is the father of two children. Nevertheless, he falls in love with Zubeidaa and they get married, but there is continuous turmoil in their relationship. Riyaz learns through Zubeidaa's journal that though she loved Vijayendra dearly, she was unable to follow the mainly Hindu customs and traditions of the palace, being a Muslim. She was also uncomfortable as her brother-in-law Uday Singh's sexual advances towards her, and his demands of her to have an extra-marital affair with him. Away from her own family, she was unable to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the palace.

Riyaz travels to Fatehpur and asks many people about his mother. However, all except Mandira, whom Zubeidaa called "Mandy Didi," deny that his mother ever existed, or say that she was a horrible woman who seduced their king and caused his death in a mysterious accident.

On reading the journal, Riyaz finds out that Vijayendra had become a politician, and was about to go to Delhimarker for an important meeting. Zubeidaa felt frustrated that whenever her husband needed help he looked to Mandira for support, and at the last minute she insisted that only she will go for the meeting. They never make it, however, as they die in a plane crash. In the end, Riyaz watches a tape of one of his mother's films with his family, having finally deciphered the mystery behind his mother's demise.



The soundtrack of Zubeidaa was released in 2000 and contained eight tracks. All of the tracks were composed by A. R. Rahman, with lyrics by Javed Akhtar.

Song Artist(s)
Dheeme Dheeme Kavita Krishnamurthy
Main Albeli Kavita Krishnamurthy, Sukhwinder Singh
Mehndi Hai Rachnewali Alka Yagnik
So Gaye Hain Lata Mangeshkar
Hai Na Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan
Pyaara Sa Gaon Lata Mangeshkar
So Gaye Hain Lata Mangeshkar, Chorus
Chhodo More Baiyyan Richa Sharma



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