Director: Mehboob; Writer: Babubhai A. Mehta, Zia Sarhadi; Cinematographer: Keki N. Mistry; Cast: Surendra, Motilal, Yakub, Zia Sarhadi, Pesi Patel, Bhudo Advani, Bibbo, Maya, Pande
The follow-up to Manmohan (1936)
again starred Surendra and Bibbo. She is Neela, he plays Jagirdar Surendra. They secretly marry and have a child. When Jagirdar is presumed dead in a shipwreck, the child is considered illegitimate. The poor peasant Shripat (Pande) helps Neela by marrying her and raising her son Ramesh (Motilal). The husband eventually returns and violently quarrels with Shripat about who ‘owns’ Neela. When the villain Banwarilal kills Shripat, the husband is framed for the killing. The real problem, however, is the son’s rejection of his father, solved when together they face the gangsters in Narayanlal’s (Yakub) den. The orphan motif, repeated from Manmohan, contrasts with the woman’s apparent state of ‘illegitimacy’ and both are used to elaborate a narrative able to question feudal patriarchy (cf. also Hum Tum Aur Woh
, 1938) in contrast with e.g. Shantaram’s Kunku (1937)
, Manoos (1939)
or the later Dahej (1950)
, all of which strongly affirm feudal patriarchy.