Whereas most Western melodramas would represent good and evil as conflicting forces within one character, this movie distributes the moral conflict across two half-brothers, Ratan (Pran) and Amar (Anand). The film then goes on to multiply this splitting device to the point of vertigo, making it a text eminently suitable for psychoanalytic interpretation. The process starts with Ram fathering a second son with his second wife. He then repudiates his first wife Malati (N. Roy), but she switches the two infants so that her son Ratan grows up as the heir while Malati and the second son, Amar, become servants in Ram’s household. When the two boys grow up, each begins to lead a double life: Amar is a clerk who wears a disguise to hide his good looks, revealing them only when courting the haughty Roopa (Jaywant); Ratan, who is betrothed to Roopa, is also the notorious bandit and blackmailer Kala Ghoda whose schemes are often foiled by Amar. In the end, when Ratan tries to blackmail his own family, Malati denounces him as her real son. The film included the hit Jeevan ke safar mein rahi sung by Kishore Kumar.