In Calcutta, at the turn of the century, Shekhar (A. Kumar), the son of rich businessman Nabin Rai (Prasad), loves and secretly marries his poor neighbour Lalita (Kumari), the niece of Gurcharan Babu (Hussain). Despite the long friendship between the two families, things deteriorate fast when Nabin Rai insists on Gurcharan Babu repaying an old loan. Gurcharan Babu wants to raise the money by marrying off Lalita. Shekhar misunderstands Lalita’s silence as meaning she acquiesces in this scheme. However, she turns down an old benefactor of the family, Girin Babu (Baran). She admits to being already married and, even though she refuses to reveal her husband’s name, vows to remain faithful to him all her life. Shekhar recognises her sacrifice just in time to cancel a wedding he had arranged out of resentment and he publicly acknowledges his relationship with Lalita. The film rehearses some of the period effects through costume, architecture and lighting of turn-of-the-century Calcutta, later associated with Ray’s Charulata (1964).
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Meena Kumari's interpretation of the role of Lalita led many to consider this version of the film to be the most faithful adaptation of the novella. Read More