All the music lovers who are fond of listening to old Hindi songs, must have listened to a classic romantic song sung by Lata Mangeshkar -‘Aapki Nazron Ne Samjha Pyar Ke Kaabil Mujhe, Dil Ki Ae Dhadkan Thahar Ja, Mil Gayi Manzil Mujhe’. This song is from the movie – Anpadh (1962) starring Mala Sinha, Dharmendra, Balraaj Saahni and Bindu in lead roles.
Anpadh (illiterate) is the story of Laajwanti (Mala Sinha) who is the sister of a rich landlord Chaudhary Shambhunath (Balraaj Saahni). The excess affection that she got in her parental house resulted in her remaining illiterate and lacking knowledge of household work also. She gets married to Deepak (Dharmendra) who is a very loving husband.
However her not knowing the household chores does not go well with her mother-in-law and sister-in-law. She suffers taunts in this regard but her husband’s love compensates for them.
However the sudden demise of Deepak in a mishap brings utter misfortune for Laajwanti. Her mother-in-law expels her from the house when she is pregnant. Right now her brother also cannot support her because he has been sentenced to imprisonment because of committing a murder due to a property dispute. Helpless Laajwanti finds it very difficult to survive in the cruel world especially because she is illiterate and not trained for any job to earn a living.
But as there are wicked ones in this world, kind ones too. Once Laajwanti comes across good-hearted people after going through many troubles, her life starts recovering. She gives birth to a daughter and fosters her. She herself learns how to read and write as well as the work of stitching clothes and thereby makes a living. Her daughter grows up as Kiran (Bindu).
Now comes the final twist in the tale when in order to save her daughter’s honour from a rapist, Laajwanti commits a murder and on the murder spot itself, she meets her lost elder brother Chaudhary Shambhunaath after a gap of several years. The movie ends after an interesting courtroom drama.Anpadh was made during the early sixties when female education was not stressed in the Indian society. Even the girls of wealthy and high profile families were not getting sufficient education and getting them married in respectable families upon their getting adult was only considered as fulfillment of duty towards them by their parents / guardians. And this situation continued long after that. Hence this movie is to be seen, felt and experienced in the context of the period of its making. Then only it can be enjoyed.Anpadh is a highly entertaining movie with regular twists in the narrative keeping the spectator glued to the screen. The demise of the hero before the interval point is disappointing but it was required for the script. This family and social drama is woman-centric and the heroine remains at the nucleus of the complete narrative right from the very start to the very finish.More than the romantic angle of the hero and the heroine, it’s the brother-sister angle between two lead characters which has got more footage and importance. The affectionate brother does not care for his sister’s education due to remaining under an impression that his wealth won’t allow any such situation that his sister needs to work somewhere to earn a living.
But times change. And he realizes his mistake much later when destiny has ruined everything for his delicately fostered(in the parental house) sister. The sister misses her brother very much especially in her time of crisis. This emotional angle is able to touch the hearts of all the loving brothers and sisters.The taunting mother-in-law and sister-in-law have always been a fond stuff for the Bollywood filmmakers and mostly they are over the top with the poor daughter-in-law standing like a lamb before them. However the audience of such family dramas is used to seeing such things.
This black and white movie is technically ok. Music composed by Madan Mohan is the highlight of this movie. In addition to Aapki Nazron Ne Samjha, songs like Woh Dekho Jala Ghar Kisi Ka, Hai Isi Mein Pyar Ki Aabroo, Jiya Le Gayo Ji Mora Saanwariya, Rang Birangi Raakhi Le Ke Aayi Behna etc. are also real gems from the treasure of Hindi cine music. All these songs are considered among Lata’s best renditions. Raja Mehndi Ali Khan has penned the beautiful lyrics which boast of high literary value.
It’s Mala Sinha’s movie by all means and right from a young unmarried girl to the aged mother of a grown up daughter, she has excelled in her performance. Very young Dharmendra has got a low footage role but he has done his part well. Seasoned actor Balraaj Saahni has delivered his best whereas it’s a pleasant surprise to see the renowned screen cabaret dancer of the seventies – Bindu (who is very young in this movie) to see in a decent role. The classical song – Jiya Le Gayo Ji Mora Saanwariya (based on Raag Yaman) has been filmed on her only.
The issue of women education has got more and more prominence in later decades and today everybody understands its importance whether he / she belongs to the lower strata of the society or the middle one or the upper one. This way, Anpadh was ahead of its time and delivered a very pertinent message to the old fashioned Indian society as early as in 1962. I recommend this decent entertainer with a high music appeal and a significant message to all the Hindi movie buffs.
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