A piece of paper, i.e., a legal document can very well create a relationship. In civil marriage, the marriage certificate creates the relationship of husband and wife. However once a relationship comes into existence, it cannot be ended abruptly just by another piece of paper. A divorce decree may end the legal bond but can it end the emotional bond shared by the twosome for a certain period of time ? Can it erase the memories (sweet or bitter) of that association from their hearts ? That’s why so many case of remarriage of divorced couples are seen in today’s time.
Similarly, an adoption document creates a relationship between the adopted child and his / her fostering parents as well as their natural children, if any. The adopted child automatically becomes the brother / sister of the naturally born children of the adopting parents. This relationship is created by a piece of paper which is the adoption document. However can another piece of paper end such a relationship ? This is the question raised and aptly answered in a Hindi movie which is Rishta Kagaz Ka (1983).Rishta Kaagaz Ka (relation of paper) is the story of a girl – Suman (Nutan) who is adopted by Professor Sharma (Gajaanan Jaagirdaar) when her natural parents are no more. Mr. Sharma is already having two sons in his family but he is very happy to have a daughter also now in the form of Suman. Suman falls in love with Dr. Ravi Kaul (Suresh Oberai) and they decide to get married. However destiny has other plans. One of Suman’s brothers – Bunty dies in an accident on her wedding day itself. Considering the fact that after the demise of her adopting parents, she only has to take care of their other son (Master Raju), Suman decides not to marry and foster her younger brother in a motherly way performing the responsibilities which were to be performed by the parents had they been alive.
Her younger brother grows up in the form of Arun (Raj Babbar) and falls in love with Aarti (Rati Agnihotri). Suman happily arranges the marriage of her younger brother with the love of his life who happens to be the daughter of a rich family. She does not find it get going comfortably with her elder sister-in-law after marriage and feeling restless under the so-called ‘rule’ of Suman in the house, ensures that Arun and herself live separately from Suman. Besides, since Suman is still in touch with Dr. Ravi Kaul (after all, he is her beau and he has also opted for bachelorhood for the sake of her love), Arun happens to doubt the ‘character’ of his elder sister and a kind of hatred emerges in his heart for her. However after certain twists in the tale, he realizes his mistake and returns to his sister only when it’s too late.The title of this movie is apt because in her ending moments, Suman underscores this fact before Arun that though their relationship was created through a piece of paper (that is, her adoption document) but once developed, the relationship cannot remain limited to that paper (or any other paper) and therefore, it cannot be ignored or abolished as such. The movie ends in a touching manner with these words of Suman leaving a long lasting mark on the hearts of the viewers.
The story of this movie may remind of Rajshri’s classic movie Tapasya (1976). However after watching it, you may find that it’s different in treatment. Unlike Tapasya, it ends on a tragic note and appeals more. Some time back, I had reviewed an old black and white movie – Phool Bane Angaare (1963) whose story also follows a similar path. In that movie, it’s the brother who dies in the end whereas in Rishta Kaagaz Ka, it’s the sister who dies in the end. However, the most significant thing is that even after the death of the individual, the relationship that had come into existence in his (or her) life, continues. Even death cannot end such affection-filled sincere relationships. which continue to live in the memories of the survivors.
Despite being a sentiments-soaked movie, Rishta Kaagaz Ka is not devoid of entertainment. It has romance and songs plus a good dose of comedy also. Seasoned comedian Johnny Walker proves in this movie that despite his old age, he was unsurpassed in the field of comedy. He provides ample number of relief moments in this serious drama.
Technically, this movie of middle class characters is up to the mark. In addition to the script-writer and the director, the editor has also done his part well, cutting and joining certain shots very proficiently to create an extra-ordinary impact. Cinematographer and art-director have also done their respective jobs well.
Rajesh Roshan has composed good music with the lyrics of Majrooh Sultanpuri. Allah Teri Shaan, Sajna Sunn Sunn Meri Chaabi Ki Chhun, Chhota Sa Bhaiya Hamaara, Kya Ho Gaya Mujhe etc. may not be chartbusters of their time but they all are quite good to listen and also to watch.
Raj Babbar and Rati Agnihotri have done well as the young romantic pair. However their performances do not come anywhere near to that of the senior actors – Nutan and Suresh Oberai who have delivered very impressive performances. All others are well in place.
Rishta Kaagaz Ka is an underrated movie which did not do well on the box office and now it can be considered a movie which is long forgotten despite its good quality. Just watch it and then you will also vouch for its quality like me. I wholeheartedly recommend it to all those who like relationships-based sentimental dramas.
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