Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai (1960)

This post is dedicated to dearest Edwina, whose husband of 52 years passed away this morning. She and Keith were married the year this film was released, and she has a small speaking part in addition to her song appearances. It is also the newest in the Edu Productions catalog, named in her honor. I have the Sky dvd, and this has about 15 minutes more footage than that, much better subtitles, and video that doesn’t jump around in such a manner as to make me nauseous. Details for watching it online or downloading it are on the Edu Productions page.

I adore this full-on 1940s Hollywood-style soap opera romance, with it’s thwarted love, stylish villainess, crashing ocean waves mirroring internal turmoil, and bonus bakwas filmi medicine. Even though Meena Kumari spends the whole movie dressed like the Flying Nun, you can practically taste the chemistry between her and Raaj Kumar (still blessed with his own hair and very handsome indeed), and Nadira makes a perfect Joan Crawford in a sari. Plus the songs are pure gems, including the one that would be my ring-tone if I had a cell phone (“Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh”). From an era when plots like this often devolved into ridiculous melodrama and pointless self-sacrifice this one stays relatively on point and the people in it remain relatively sane. Also woven into the main story is a simply delightful sub-plot about three patients, led by Om Prakash.

Karuna (Meena Kumari) is a newly graduated nurse who, lacking any family, finds a job at the Malhotra Hospital far from where she grew up. Her calm demeanor and practical efficiency quickly endear her to the other nurses (Edwina and fellow dancers) and the stern matron (Ruby Mayer/Sulochana).

Matron puts her on the general ward, where Girdhari (Om Prakash), who has stomach cancer, is scheduled for the first of what will be many, many, many operations. This poor guy is used as pretty much the only device for throwing our hero and heroine together over the course of the film, and is cut open and stitched back together again about a hundred times. Ouch! In any case, Girdhari is a cheerful (and ticklish) man glad to see a pretty new face, as are most of the other patients; the sole exception is Nathu, who refuses to take his medicine and abuses the nurses.

Performing the surgery with great skill is Dr. Sushil Verma (Raaj Kumar). The dramatic music and stern concentration of the operating staff emphasize that hospitals are serious business. I love the old-fashioned Harlequin Romance atmosphere of it all. And oh! the titillating mystery of masks and gowns: when Sushil and Karuna are relieved of theirs, the attraction between them is instant.

On a day off, the nurses head for the beach and a lovely song picturized on a light-hearted and wind-tossed Meena laughing with her colleague Sheela (Shammi) and the others. Edwina told me that it was the first and only time she agreed to wear a swimsuit for a job, and she was so self-conscious that she was miserable and kept herself away from the cameras (and you can hardly pick her out in the song, although she’s there along with Bela Bose and all the other usual suspects).

On her way home, Karuna passes through a children’s playground and comes across an adolescent girl who has hurt her knee. I miss that fun but dangerous playground equipment like merry-go-rounds; really kids today (at least in America) don’t know what they are missing. Karuna helps her get home and discovers that she is Munni (Kumari Naaz), Sushil’s younger sister, and a drama queen of the first order.

Sushil and Munni’s mother (Protima Devi) takes an instant liking to Karuna too. She is getting older and tired of doing all the household chores, and wants Sushil to hurry up and get married. She has picked out a bride for him: the daughter of an old friend of her husband’s who took them in when Mr. Verma died and paid for Sushil’s education. Sushil is not in any hurry, being dedicated to his job and unwilling to inflict the toll that it takes on a wife.

This makes me laugh, because when I was a teenager I decided that if I had to get married I would marry a doctor since he would never be home to bother me. You just have to choose wisely, Dr. Verma! For her part, Ma is horrified in that way that Indians are when she finds out that Karuna is all alone in the world. She tells Karuna to come and visit her at home whenever she can, and Karuna begins to help her out with things. Ma and Munni become fond of her, as does Sushil watching her at work going about her tasks. She settles into her job, and the denizens of the general ward—besides Girdhari and Nathu, there is Rahim Baksh, who checks himself into the hospital periodically to escape his wife Haseena (Tun Tun)—begin to see the determination beneath the gentle exterior.

She even gets recalcitrant Nathu to take his medication on his own finally, after months of him making the matron force it down his throat. Karuna is falling in love with Sushil, as he is with her, but she is diffident and he is not the type to push her. The pace of their unfolding romance is a little slow, but it’s also very sweet and obvious that this is a relationship that will matter if it’s allowed to develop naturally.

BUT MA HAS OTHER PLANS.

She tricks Sushil into going to Kashmir with her and Munni to visit her husband’s old friend wealthy Lalaji and his daughter Kusum (Nadira). Once there, he is bullied and guilted into marrying Kusum, although he does try to talk sense into his mother. She is having none of it, however, and eventually he gives in.

When they return home with Kusum in tow, Karuna is devastated. She gathers herself together and maintains her dignity, keeping the newly wed Sushil at a respectably professional distance. Her resolve is tested on occasion, most notably when the hospital staff have a boating party to celebrate their Dr. Verma’s marriage.

It’s also pretty obvious from the outset that Kusum and Sushil are mismatched. She is spoiled and self-absorbed and (not unnaturally) wants her new husband to spend time with her (he should have married MEEEEE!). But he is devoted to his job and to giving Girdhari all those stomach surgeries, and she is soon jealous of Karuna. Discord plants itself firmly in the house and flourishes. Kusum is not very likable, although I do have some sympathy for her. It would drive me nuts to have whispery Karuni calling my husband every night to ask him to go to work. But she makes no effort to see things from Sushil’s point of view, although he tries to be reasonable, and he finally loses patience.

Of course it all ends badly, with Kusum refusing to call him to the phone one night. They go out and watch Helen perform the Banana Boat Song (a pretty direct lift) as Girdhari waits in vain for his surgeon, and dies. It is pretty heart-wrenching for those of us who have become fond of him.

Sushil returns home and confronts Kusum. She is unrepentant, and leaves the house to return to her father in Kashmir.

But of course she is still married to Sushil, and divorce I assume is unthinkable. Karuna and Sushil do their best to remain professional, but we are now treated to at least five times the surging waves as before, and tangled fishing nets into the symbolic bargain. I should say here (in case you don’t already know this) that I am not terribly patient with painstaking emotional choreography, but here the pacing works very nicely for me. Enhanced by their genuine chemistry, Karuna and Sushil’s dance around each other builds in momentum to an end that I find both satisfying and believable.

What will happen to them? Will they give in to temptation? Will Kusum return after she has some time to think, and will Sushil take her back? Will Maa figure out that bullying one’s son into marriage is perhaps a mistake?

If you have any sentimental bones in your body see this (if you don’t, you might not appreciate it as I do though). The writing, acting and direction (Kishore Sahu) is stellar and honestly I find very little in here not to like. Karuna could have been too weepy for my liking but Meena plays her beautifully, giving her a steel core that allows her to be sad without wallowing in irritating self-pity. Karuna is a character I both like and respect.

Here are some other things I love and wanted to make note of:

More bakwas filmi medicine: Sushil falls ill after a night spent passed out on a bench in the rain. As far as I can tell he is not mauled by wild animals or anything, but here’s the diagnosis and recommended treatment. You have to love a hospital that will repeat the same surgery on the same patient day after day and put a bandage on a collapsed lung!

And it really is all so very early Hollywood and Nadira is gorgeous throughout, even if she is a brat. Raaj Kumar is not bad on the eyes either, and looks very natty in his suits and ties. (Right: Joan Crawford and Craig Stevens in Humoresque, 1946).

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107 Comments to “Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai (1960)”

  1. Sad news for Edwina. May his soul RIP.

  2. Oh, so sorry to hear about Edwina’s loss.:-( My heart goes out to her and her family.

    I’m thrilled about this latest miracle restoration by Edu Productions. While I enjoy “Dil Apna Aur Preet Paraya” for probably all the wrong reasons ;-), my Mom adores this film and will be delighted to see her favorite Meena Kumari weep in crystal clarity. :-)

  3. For some reason this is a movie I have long avoided watching…I guess that I should not have…it will be no the docket for next weekend! Thanks Greta for alerting me to this one!

    As well, I am thrilled to see that Edwina has a speaking role. I have added her to the credits on IMDB. And of course much sadness on the loss of her husband. Thinking you you and your family, Edwina. Take care!

    • That’s great that you’ve added due credit :) Thanks Mike. And I think you’ll like this, it’s completely sentimental and egregiously romantic.

      PS Edwina’s character’s name is Rosy, and her friend Pamela Alphonso’s character’s name is Nora, in case that helps any :)

  4. Very very sad about Keith, may God give strength to Edwina and her children to cope with this tragedy.

    This movie is amazing. I have seen it just once, but the hot glances that Meena and Raj share .. Phew!

    • Oh, glad to know that I’m not the only one who thinks they are a scorching pair :D Yay!

      And thanks all, keep Edu and her family in your thoughts. She’ll need them and appreciate them.

  5. Condolences to Edwina and her family and friends at this sad time.

    I’m very interested in watching this, I haven’t seen anything in which Raaj Kumar looks so good. Well done to all of you in the Edu Productions team for your labours of love. PS Love the bit about the collapsed lung and the bandage, gotta love filmi medicine.

    • Even with his later awful wigs and “raaj kumar colourful blouses” (still loving that one from Kiran) I find him very compelling, but here he is just really…well, I can understand why Karuna falls for him! That gravelly voice too, yum. Plenty of good fun to notice interspersed with the drama, and not-annoying somewhat comic side plot.

  6. Our sympathies are with Edwina and her family during this difficult time.
    I’d seen and enjoyed Dil Apna aur Preet Parai long ago. I have no doubt the viewing experience will be enhanced when I see the Edu Productions version ..

    • I should say that the source video, even though it’s from a recording from a BBC telecast, is not the best, but Tom has done what he could with it and it’s good enough for me anyway! :)

  7. My thoughts are with Edwina and her family, at this sad time.

    I don’t have time to read the full review yet, but from the pictures it looks great. I love Joan Crawford-type dramas. “Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh” sounds so familiar. I’m not sure if I have heard it on a Bollywood compilation or is there an English song that sounds similar?

    • It’s one of the most popular film songs of all time, so you’ve probably heard it somewhere. If there is another song similar I don’t know what it is but you never know!

  8. RIP Keith and wish Edwina lots of strength in this hour of loss.

    Wonderful review once again!
    and it does make me want to watch it again.
    The new print will surely show what Meena is wearing, when she is rescued.

  9. “Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh” is one of the mystery songs (for me) from the peerless Mujhse Dosti Karoge medley (Hrithik, Rani & Kareena). Thanks for solving another puzzle! Deepest sympathy to Edwina and her family.

  10. I’ve just finished seeing this (the Edu Productions version). Thanks so much, Tom.

    Absolutely LOVED it! I’ve seen it before but it was a long time ago and all I remembered was that Meena loved Raj Kumar and he comes home, married to Nadira.

    There are lots of things to like in this movie. The story is kept tight, there are no unnecessary digressions or CSPs to distract from the main flow. Even that song towards the end (with Rajkishore, I think), though not necessary, helps to project Raj Kumar’s miserable condition.

    Then, the chemistry between Meena and Raj Kumar. Just superb. I found both of them just outstanding in this film. Meena is hardly weepy – I think anybody in her position would probably behave in just that manner.

    I liked the hospital scenes also very much. Very humane. Om Prakash also was very good. In fact every body was just very good and very believable in this movie. I didn’t find anything OTT – and that, in a Hindi movie, is quite something!

    I found the subtitles outstanding too. I don’t need them (and I know that credit isn’t to the film production team as such) but in a movie like this, with so much emotion floating around (most of it pent-up), good subs must be SO good at conveying feelings of the characters! Even the songs are very well-subbed. (Sorry, I can’t help noticing subs – having done some myself, I tend not just to notice them but see how much more I can improve in my own subbing. This was SO much better than what I normally come up with).

    Yes, there is a definite 1940s-Hollywood feel about the movie. Maybe it is Raj Kumar’s suits, that car sequence towards the end, Nadira’s stylishness, and in general, the tight direction, that helps give this impression.

    Now, about the review.

    Wonderful, just wonderful! As usual, it makes me smile – especially when you say that when you were a teenager, you wanted to marry a doctor so that he wouldn’t bother you. That was SO funny! And then, on the same subject, when Nadira is upset with Raj Kumar that he isn’t spending time with her, you say “he should have married MEEEEE!”. That was again SO funny!

    Just loved the review, memsaab. Thanks so much for it.

    I’ve been feeling quite sad all evening, ever since I heard the news about Keith. I’ve been thinking about Edwina and her family. This must be a very difficult time for all of them – may they have strength to cope with it. Rest in peace, Keith.

    • Meena is pretty dignified throughout, I really love her character. Raaj Kumar cries more than she does, I think! The subtitles are wonderful, the BBC is very good at that :) (but I would quarrel about them being better than yours).

  11. I want to thank each & every one who has offered their Condolences to Me & My Family here Since I am also in India & not in the UK I have forwarded this fantastic peice of work especially done with Love by Our Gorgeous Greta who does not just have Beauty & Talent but a Great Sense of Humour to Spice Things Up as well!!! She knows that I Adore Her & have come to Know & to Love Almost All of You Dear Ones Sincerely! Thank You Darlings with all My Heart for Caring! God Bless You All Dears! Thank You on behalf of My Children – Nigel – Edward – Michelle – & last but not least – Andre ‘The Brain Box of the Violette Family’ I also want to say ‘Thank You’ to the Man behind the Scenes & the ‘Edu Production Team’ May it all be a Great Success!
    Edwina XXXXXXXX

  12. which was the last film in which raaj kumar had his own hair. in fact even daapp looks like a wig to me?

    • No, it’s definitely not a wig, you can see that he’s balding at the back in some scenes. I have no idea what his last “own hair” movie is, do let me know if you figure it out!

  13. Greta, I was just thinking about Edwina when I came here to read the review and saw this news. It’s sad news, and my heart goes out to her and her family. My sincere condolences.

    • It’s very sad news. I really hoped to meet Keith one day, he was a very funny and charming man on the phone! He was very ill though, so at least he’s at rest now.

  14. Dear Memsaab, please send my heartfelt condolences to Edwina. They look great in the snapshot. Is that how a Christian bride looks on her wedding day(haven’t attended one)-so delightfully happy? God will unite them again in another life.
    Coming back to this film, The only thing I liked was the song in the boating party-it has become a “Haunting Melody” sung by Lata, my favorite, and it has been used over the years in Hindi soaps and serials. But not being a fan of either RK or MK, I will watch the film only for Nadira and Helen.
    The storyline uncannily resembles “HARIYALI AUR RAASTA”, a Manoj Kumar film. Will you review it Memsaab? Like to hear your opinion about the comparison.

  15. What a wonderful review! I never saw the film and now I know why! lol. I have seen the songs though and I have to say that A Edu and mum look as gorgeous as the lovely Meena Kumari…may her soul rest in peace! U. Keith would find the review exceedingly humourous – he possessed a wonderful sense of humour!! RIP Uncle.. you will be greatly missed!! My heart goes out to your bride of 52 years – and to the rest of your family!! Loveyou A Edu xoxox Mallu

    • Your mother is all over this, and she is HILARIOUS in the opening scene where she’s munching on a peppermint and the Matron scolds her :) They are as gorgeous as anybody else in the film line. Keith always made me laugh when I talked to him, and I loved listening to Edu laugh as she talked to him too…he will be missed. Hugs to your mum and to you :)

  16. My condolences to Edwina and her family. Thank you, Memsaab, for conveying our thoughts to her.

    Of course, ‘Ajeeb Dastaan ..’ is one of my all-time favourite songs. When I had delusions I could sing, this was one of my favourite numbers. :) It’s also picturized so beautifully, and such a different setting, a moonlight picnic on a boat.

    But seriously, you would want to marry Raj Kumar? I know he is a doctor, but even then?

    This film really works well.

    • Well, I don’t really want to marry anybody now that Shammi is gone.

      Yes, this is a really well made film, everything works together perfectly. I love it.

  17. My condolences to Edwina and her family as well…

    Regarding the review, it is very very well done and apt. I remember watching this film many years ago on Doordarshan on a Sunday evening. I don’t know of others but I love Raj Kumar ;) I think he has a charm and looks a thorough gentleman. My dad had seen him in person when he was in his prime and my dad says he was extremely handsome and also very fair (although he does not seem like in the movies).

    The movie is fantastic with good story. It must have been quite bold for that time, esp the end. The chemistry between Raj Kumar and Meena Kumari is crackling.. mostly because it was believed that they actually had fallen in love!!! I loved the subtle romance which grows slowly between them.

    Great going, Greta!!!!!

    • Raaj Kumar was very attractive, in an unconventional sense. Was he believed to have been in love with Meena Kumari? Or the two to have fallen in love with each other? Lol, just very interested in all things related to Raaj Kumar these days.

    • I never heard that about the two of them. But they are very intense together. There is something about Raaj Kumar that sets him apart onscreen anyway. Would have been fun to meet him. I need to scan my Stardust interview with him and put it up here!

  18. My sincere condolences to Edwina and her family at this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with them.

    I can’t wait to see this. I’ve always enjoyed Raaj Kumar – there’s just something about him that makes him watchable. ;)

  19. As someone has said, “Dil apna aur preet paraya” is pretty tightly constructed for a Hindi movie and well written. I know that Kamal Amrohi was the producer of the film, and may have taken a sort of supervisory role with reference to the writing or screenplay. He was an extremely talented man, and that might have something to do with there not being much which is superfluous, unnecessary or OTT in this movie. It is sort of a sentimental story, but the writing ensures that it eludes characterisation as cheesy mush. The characters of Meena Kumari and Raaj Kumar were also very likeable.

    However, for a movie than began so promisingly, I was a bit disappointed that it just devolved into your regular love triangle story (the obnoxious and overbearing wife proving to be the obstacle that has to be effectively dispatched off in the end). I would have found it extremely interesting to see what would have happened if Karuna and Dr. Sushil’ s love would have been allowed to deepen and flourish, with their narrative forming part of a bigger social narrative….A real sort doctor movie, with the endeavours of this dedicated doctor and nurse, set in the context of post-independence India, plagued by great need and terrible poverty…such a film needn’t have been depressing at all, but could have conveyed an original, powerful and inspiring story. Just my thoughts…..Even so, it was a nice movie, and much better than the other medical sort of drama which followed it- ‘Dil ek Mandir’ 1963. ‘Dil ek Mandir’ or ‘The heart is a temple’ had a similar cast (Meena Kumari, Raaj Kumar and Rajendra Kumar) and also featured a love triangle, but wasn’t as good as it’s predecessor.

  20. Greta, sorry to hear this sad news. 52 yrs is a long partnership indeed! Pls convey my heart felt condolences to Edwina. Hope she finds the strength to bear this loss

    • She will, she is a very strong woman with wonderful and beautiful children who love her. Thanks :)

      • Knowing my allergy to Meena Kumari and B&W films, i was initially reluctant to see thsi film. However after reading your review, I am thinking of giving it a go. Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh is one of my fav old songs – have seen the song on a songs DVD before. Apparently RaJ Kumar & Meena Kumari jodi was a popular one those days. I am sure Edwina would have lots of stories to share with u about the lead actors in this film.

  21. Somehow I remember this movie due to Raaj Kumar’s expressions (or the lack of it). If he’s speaking to his lady love, Meena Kumari, he is straight faced. If he’s asked a sarcastic question by Nadira who plays his wife, he is straight faced. When he’s lifting Meena Kumari in his arms (you know when), he’s again straight faced…….

    Can’t remember even one scene where he doesn’t have that dead pan expression. Maybe just before the famous song “Ajeeb Dastan Hai yeh” starts, I get to see his broad smile.

  22. RIP Keith

  23. My Deepest Condolences to Edwina.

    Thank you Memsaab for this interesting post on an equally interesting film.

  24. Sorry to hear this news, Greta. Please pass on my heartfelt condolences to Edwina and her family.

    I am sure Keith had a full life and enjoyed it the best he could.

    If our admiration and respect for Edwina’s charismatic face and divine smile is anything to go by, then Keith has been one very lucky man to have (among other things) shared many happy moments of his life with that wonderful lady.

    RIP Keith. Please look after yourself, Edwina.

    Very sad news indeed.

    P.S:
    And yes, “Jaaani” looks very different here.
    +1 for the Hollywood juxtaposition! Nadira’s screen cap on that last image was the surprise winner here.

    • She was wonderful and looked so elegant. She did a great job of keeping Kusum from becoming a one-note villain, there was always some element of sympathy for her in me which made her human.

  25. My deepest condolences to Edwinaji and her family members. I pray the Almighty gives you and family members the strength to bear this loss. May your husband rest in peace.

    I have seen this movie in the hall and have the CD as well – as it is one of my favs. I of course saw it before I knew about Mrs. Edwina – so I have to epseically look out for her when I see the movie again. Tom’s re-touch is a mite too sharp if the caps are from his work and the face tones a bit too washed out – but I guess if he is working on a TV telecast recording this will be inevitable. But yay he has additional 15 min footage – :) (I don’t by how much but my CD version is definitely truncated)

    The first time I saw it in the hall, the camera work and lighting was one of the (many) reasons which made me fall in love with this movie. With Amrohi as the producer, the film was probably made under his eagle eye supervision. Meena Kumari always worked best in films associated with him (alas too too few). While I sensed the western touch to Nadira here (and loved it!) I didn’t see the parallel to Joan Crawford – and it is startling (the last two caps).

    • Oh—I’m so glad you brought that up! Even though Tom didn’t have much to work with here (the source was bad), and my original Sky dvd isn’t the best either, the photography is just gorgeous. Josef Wirsching (of Bombay Talkies fame) was the cinematographer, and it’s typical of his talents.

    • “Tom’s re-touch is a mite too sharp if the caps are from his work and the face tones a bit too washed out – but I guess if he is working on a TV telecast recording this will be inevitable.”

      Interesting you should mention that. Memsaab mentioned this not being from a stellar source, and one of the things very wrong with it is the terrible edge enhancement, sometimes called halos – the oversharpening done. As for the face tones, in the beach song and the screen caps (from the BBC captured version), they are a bit ‘dull’, but you have to remember that I was doing it for a television where they’ll look more ‘lively’ or ‘bright’ as compared to how they might look on a computer monitor. The two have different levels. The barge song is from the Sky DVD of the film. I worked on this thing once and wasn’t happy with the results. I put it away for awhile and then started all over and still am not satisfied, for some of the same reasons you mentioned. It’s very similar to the source used for the T-Series DVD. Actually, except for the hard-subbing the BBC did, it’s identical I think. The Sky DVD is of somewhat better quality but is missing some parts, including quite a lot of the beach song. But the BBC does outstanding subtitling, and way better than that found on the DVDs. Raja mentioned that. That’s important for the Hindi-challenged among us.

  26. And a bandage on a collapsed lung :D))). I HAVE to take a relook at that scene in Hindi!

  27. And on a more sombre note with the Angle of Death having visited a beloved one, here is a picture of Meena Kumari’s grave which I came across just today (Ah Internet/Google….)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/firozeshakir/4533974588/in/photostream/

  28. this movie i always watch for its songs, it was re made in ninetees, with anil kaoor,preeti zinta played nadira and gracy singh played meena kumari, now dont remember the name but it came and gone, could not compete with dil apna aur preet parai.

  29. I am so sorry to hear about Edwina’s loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to her at this time, and may God give her the strength to deal with this immense loss. May his soul rest in peace!

  30. Very sad to hear about Keith. My condolences to Edwina and the entire family. May his soul rest in peace.
    Love and hugs.

  31. Need I say how much I love this film? :) I’ve seen it several times and now I must have the one from Edu productions.
    What surprised me was that Meena doesn’t look awkward in the nurse’s uniform. There is that long walk away from Raj Kumar as he holds the phone with his wife on the other side. Her walk is very elegant. The camera focuses on her back, in full view which I would have thought would be risiko, but wasn’t.

    The songs are of course fabulous. The dream song had Raj Kumar doing some dance steps which had me in fits the first time. There was also that touch of humour when he starts pulling the door handle in his sleep. :-D

    Of course Meena and Raj Kumar scorched the screen. They made a great couple as also in pakeezah.

    Thanks for the review.

    • No she carried off that huge starched thing on her head very well, although I did love the scenes where her hair was left loose…she looked so gorgeous. And yes—even though she’d put some weight on here, she was very graceful. I love this film.

  32. Rest in peace, Keith.
    One of my fav. too esp since I loved Meena and Raaj together..:)
    I’m just curious about your connection with Edwina-are you two related? Pardon my ignorance…:)

  33. stumbled upon your blog…how do you know so much!!

  34. Memsaab, I would like to direct your notice to the fact that recently we are not getting intimated about any “further comments” relating to an existing post of yours. Also the option or button for the same is also absent in this page. Is this a technical glitch?

    • I’m glad you bring this up—Wordpress in its infinite wisdom (NOT) decided that the default settings for “notify me about comments on this post” would be ON, in other words, unless you UNcheck the button for notifications you will be bombarded by comments on all posts. The only way to make that not happen is to turn off the option all together. Maybe I’ll do a poll to see what everyone would prefer—it is certainly annoying, that’s for sure.

  35. Two reviews within such a small interval – my day was made, until I read the beginning of this one. Sorry to hear about Edwina’s loss.
    Liked this movie, viewed only once on Doordarshan – my mother was extra-happy that evening. Ajeeb Dastaan hai ye always reminds me of my classmate Lynette, who sang it most beautifully in class, whenever we had some free time or the teacher felt kindly towards us for a few minutes. I also remember the knowing glances cast by one of Meena Kumari’s friends on that boat. Jaane kahaan gayi is probably the only Rafi song in the movie?
    Yes, dignity is the word that comes to mind to describe Karuna’s character. Nadira always gives a good `bad’ account of herself. Even `Jaani’ was tolerable in this movie.

    • Shammi cast that knowing glance :) She was Karuna’s only real friend and confidante in the film. I love her.

      • Yes, of course it was Shammi, how dare I forget? Which reminds me of Shammi and Shammi in `Kareeb.’ I got a fleeting glimpse of them and I think they played con artists.

  36. My deepest and heartfelt condolences to dearest Edwina over her loss…a GLOWING review on a landmark film, as always…good job, Memsaab! I enjoyed reading it, especially because I have not seen the film yet…take care and God bless… =)

  37. My deepest and heartfelt condolences to dearest Edwina and family over their recent loss…this film really brought me back to the days long gone…a GLOWING review for a SCINTILLATING film, as always…SPLENDID job, Memsaab! I really enjoyed reading your review of this film as it offers me an altogether different point of view…take care and God bless…

  38. My condolences to Edwina. Mourning is never easy, God give her patience.

    As for the review, as usual I loved it. More imporantly

    “I decided that if I had to get married I would marry a doctor since he would never be home to bother me”

    This is something I thought of too -if not doctor than an ocean captain – it is very suprising to know that I’m not the only one (please note that the society I live in is only a degree better than Indian as far as the importance of marriage goes).

    • I was lucky to have a mother who, when I asked her at age 5 if I could have my own room when I got married, said: “Oh honey, I think it’s essential.” :D

  39. (RIP Keith. Edwina, I’m happy you have found Memsaab : another happy-giving soul).

    Lovely review, as you said, absolutely smouldering chemistry between the two. And despite the doomed romance, the heroine was not what we’d call TSTL (Too Stupid to Live) : ) in all those Silhouette Romances(Doctors in Love, it helpfully categorised so you could be sure you were reading of masterful doctors and spitfire nurses).Other special mentions are where she shames Nathu into having his medicine and the last scenes. Also, that Nadira isn’t just a one-dimensional “villi” : she’s shown at least initially as having a all too human need to be loved by her husband.

    My only crib with the movie has nothing to do with it actually : it is the fact that it won the Filmfare Best Music award for the year, beating out (IMHO) much, much stronger contenders like Mughal-e-Azam, Chaudhvin Ka Chaand, Kohinoor, Saaranga …. all of which are recognised as musical classics today : )

    With respect to marrying a doctor, what can I say? Go on, but remember this movie and Groucho Marx : make sure his nurses are ugly : )

  40. My heartfelt condolences to Edwina ji, whom I have discovered thanks to Greta.

    It was a fantastic review of a movie that I have not seen , though I am aware of this movie primarily because of its songs, especially the song “ajeeb daastaan “.

    LOL at wanting to marry a doctor . Speaking from experience,It may not necessary work out as intended. :)

  41. Sad news for Edwina. May his soul RIP

  42. THIS IS REALLY PAINFUL MAY GOD GIVE PEACE TO DEPARTED SOUL

  43. Thank You All from the depth of My Heart & On behalf of My Family too God Bless Everyone here!!!

  44. Ajeeb dastan hai yeh is “inspired” from the jim reeves classic my lips are sealed (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6BCHEGmDkM) but i love the Shankar Jaikishan version too.

    • Oh snap! You and Salim both pointed me to this and I thank you both for it! I love the shot of Helen with Mr. and Mrs. Wirsching—I remember seeing her at the bar during the song in that fur coat, wondered who she was :D

  45. Hi,

    Sorry to hear about Keith, may his soul R.I.P.

    As usual your review is always worth reading, at one time Kamal Amorhi’s son was planning to convert this movie into color like Mughal Azam & Hum Dono.

    Recently, I watched on T.V. a one hour documentary, “The Golden Pen”, shot on the streets of Toronto, Lucknow and Mumbai, It retraces the footsteps of Aghajani Kashmeri (brother of Nazir Kashmiri). It is a very well, done and worth watching.

    His son Zuhair narrates the story of his father.
    You may want to read his blog and his complete documentary in dvd format will be realised soon.

    Below are some interesting quotation that are subjects of his documentary plus a link to the site.

    “………….Aghajani Kashmeri’s life unfolds through the stories told by his descendants and a historian in Lucknow. In Mumbai, the heart of Bollywood, the film picks up film footage from his films, interviews Bollywood actors such as the late Shammi Kapoor and Joy Mukherjee, and the veteran sweetheart of early Bollywood, Nimmi. Others such as Amin Sayani of the radio show that could make or break movies, Binaca Geet Mala or hit parade, reminisce about a man who entertained six generations of Indians, and was a celebrity who lost most of his wealth on the racetrack.

    Their memories are embellished with lively footage from his films. We also meet a Mumbai journalist and Bollywood historian Rafique Badhdadi, who did the last interview with Aghajani Kashmeri before he left for Canada. It was titled, “Man with the Golden Pen.” The movie ends where it began, at Aghajani’s grave, after using footage and interviews about his final years in Canada, a fish out of water, unrecognized and trapped.

    The Golden Pen combines three very Canadian themes into one story conceived and narrated by his son Zuhair: a Canadian’s search for his roots in a far off land, India; the story of a another Canadian who is famous, even revered by millions of people but who was all but anonymous on the streets where he chose to spend the final years of his life. Finally, it is the story of the times and places that shaped Bollywood – as we know it today.”

    http://www.thegoldenpen.ca

    • Great site Anvar. Thanks for the link. I enjoyed his Ghazal (which I re-played recently) – and was surprised to know from above site that many old favourites were his works. Getting back to ‘Golden pen’ now….

  46. meena kumari, nadira,naaz,shammi all are the artists and thir roles whom i have not forgotten till today since i had watched this movie in doodarshan in between 1983-1986. i also love all the songs since then. whenever i get a chance i must watch this movie again and again.

  47. Memsaab, this was one of those movies that I watched on the basis of listening to a song, which has over the years become my favourite song.

    Thanks for writing about it.

  48. Memsaab,

    My condolence to Edwina, feel very sad to hear about her loss. Their wedding photo is beautiful, and she is at her gorgeous best. Frankly, she looks far more beautiful than Meena Kumari, to me. It is too bad that Edwina, Lakshmi Chchaya and other dancers remained so obscure despite their beauty and their talent. Thanks to you, folks like myself are now their fans.
    The review is hilarious, and this is the first time I have seen Raaj Kumar with original hair!
    Also, any time I need a break from my “serious work and serious colleagues”, I open your site and read a review. Your work is saving me from endless seriousness! Thank you.

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