A mountainside Arunachal village in the early 1970s: A white screen flutters in the wind on an open field; the Films Division crew fires the magnesium rod and a beam of images rushes out of the projector. The movie is part of the government’s cultural outreach in the hinterland. It’s Half Ticket, and a while after the credits, Madhubala lights up the screen. And as folklore goes, a man watching the film—silently, without a wink—was so besotted with “The Biggest Star in the World” (American mag Theatre Arts, 1952), he sets off to find her…knowing not she was no more. He didn’t return home ever. Such was the pull of Madhubala, the nom de guerre of Mumtaz Jehan Begum Dehlavi, born on February 14. She died of a failing heart, just aged 36 in 1969. A beauty as ravishing as Marilyn Monroe, she left behind myriads of reasons for her legions of admirers to hold her close to the heart even today—and she would have been 87 this Valentine’s Day.