Director: Kidar Sharma; Writer: Kidar Sharma, Bhagwati Charan Verma’s novel; Cinematographer: G K Mehta; Editor: S N Pai; Cast: Mehtab, Nandrekar, Gyani, Rajender, Monica Desai, Ram Dulari, Leela Misra, Ganpat Rai Premi, Amarnath Passan, Kalavati, Nand Kishore, Himat Roy, Kapur, Ibrahim, M N Malhotra, B N Dhar, Bharat Bhusan, Tandon
Sharma’s first major musical hit contains what is probably the first erotic bathing sequence in Indian cinema after Brahmachari (1938)
. Chitralekha (Mehtab), a dancer at the court of Chandragupta (founder of the 3rd-C. BC Mauryan dynasty, cf. Ashok Kumar, 1941
), seduces Bijagupta (Nandrekar), a libertarian known as the ‘ultimate sinner’. Mrityunjay (Premi), a nobleman who wants his daughter Yashodhara (Desai) to marry Bijagupta, gets his guru, the mystic Kumaragiri (Gyani) to undo Chitralekha’s seductive charms but she triumphs over him, causing the guru to commit suicide. Chitralekha then leaves the palace and the lonely Bijagupta goes to the holy city of Gaya to purify himself. However, there he meets and falls in love with Yashodhara. When he loses her as well, he concludes that all women are an illusion (Maya) and becomes a saint. The reformed Chitralekha becomes his disciple. Most of the famous songs are by actress/singer Ram Dulari. Sharma remade it in garish colour with Meena Kumari (1964).