Yash Chopra’s debut was an epic melodrama about illegitimacy. University colleagues Mahesh Kapoor (R. Kumar) and Meena (Sinha) have an affair which leaves her pregnant. Mahesh Bhatt (1993) described the love- making scene as typical of the representation of sex in Indian cinema of the period: ‘The real thing is made possible by a studio downpour and the library shots of lightning and thunder.’ Under pressure from his autocratic father, Mahesh agrees to marry a rich heiress (Nanda). Meena, helped by her former maid (Chitnis), gives birth to a son and, fearing the stigma of being a single mother, abandons the baby in a forest. The child is found and raised by an old Muslim, Abdul Rasheed (M. Krishna). The grown-up boy (S. Kumar) is ostracised because of his illegitimate birth and falls in with bad company. At the end of the film, the boy’s tangled history is revealed when, accused of theft, he has to appear in a court presided over by his father while the defending lawyer (A. Kumar) is his mother’s husband. Meena herself acts as a witness. There is a plea for communal harmony when the old Muslim tells the boy not to adhere to any particular religion (Tu Hindu banega na musalman banega, sung by Mohammed Rafi, i.e. ‘You will not grow up to be/a Muslim or a Hindu/You are the son of a man/and a human being you shall be.’) The elaborate crane movements (esp. in the scene of Mahesh’s wedding procession) and the combination of high-angle ‘nature’ shots with tightly edited scenes were characteristic of 50s B.R. Films (cf. Kanoon, 1960). Well-known songs, including the duet Tere pyar ka aasra chahata hoon (by Mahendra Kapoor and Lata Mangeshkar) and Jhukti ghata gaati hawa (sung by Asha Bhosle).
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Raaj Kumar was initially signed to play the defence lawyer, but dropped out after an argument. Shammi Kapoor was approached next but he was not available. Ashok Kumar was signed after Shammi turned down the role. Read More