Akashdeep (1965)

Mujhe dard-e-dil ka pata na tha…..this song led me to this movie. Had heard it on radio first, then watched the video on youtube.  I just couldnt take my eyes off Dharmendra. And when I checked the other songs in the movie, I liked them as well.  So I ended up buying the DVD.

Though it’s more of Ashok Kumar movie (the fact that I wasnt aware of till I sat down to watch the movie), I wasnt disappointed. Dharamji makes his entry almost after half way through.

It begins with young Shankar staring at the chimney of a mill. He’s a troubled and disturbed guy. He leaves his brother Madhu at home to study only to find Madhu ordering people at their father’s Tea-stall.

Bipin, their father has taken to drinking. When Mamaji comes home and sees Bipin leaving:

Mamaji : Kahan jaa rahe ho, Bipin?
Wife : Naali mein girne
Bipin : Nahin, sab kuch bhoolne
Mamaji : kya bhoolna chahate ho, Bipin?
Bipin : Woh din jo beet gaye, woh din jo beet rahe hai, woh din jo kabhi nahin aayenge
Mamaji : Bhool sakte ho kya?
Bipin : Nahin, yehi toh musibat hai
Mamaji : Zindagi se bhagna aasan nahin hai
Bipin : Haan, yeh bhi thik hai. par zindagi hai toh maut bhi toh aayegi ek din, phir….phir kya karegi zindagi

Kya shey banayi hai aadmi ne peene ko
dekhne mein pani
paani ke andar aag, aag ke baad chingari, phir raag,
phir ban jaati hai samadhi, jispe koi phool nahin chadhata, koi phool nahin chadhayega

Accha toh main chala shankar ke mamu, abhi kuch paise baanki hai , kahin yeh (pointing towards his wife) phool na khareed laaye mere samadhi pe chadhane

Mamaji, seeing Shankar brooding, tells him that Bipin always wanted to become a poet, but then he had to do something to earn a livlihood and look after the family. That’s when he opened the tea-shop. But he was never happy about it.  He couldnt live his dream and to forget the pain, he drowned himself in liquor every evening.  The title track is played in the background

Bipin, before dying tells Shankar that he had a dream but could never make it come true. After father’s death, Shankar takes up the family responsibility. He works and works very hard. He does all kind of jobs.

One day, Mr. Sinha spots him and asks him what he does.

Shankar : I work
Mr. Sinha : Will you work in my Mill?
Shankar : No
Mr. Sinha : Why? Is the place where you work better than my Mill?
Shankar : No, but I can atleast think of buying the shop where I work, but your Mill….the chimneys are too high

And Shankar actually buys that shop, names it “Shankar Bhandar” and this is followed by a chain of his stores and business : Shankar Hardware House, Shankar and Co. Building Contractors, Shankar Timber Mart, Shankar Trading Corporation and so on. He grows up to be a very rich and successful businessman.

 Mamaji has a very important role, the only person whom Shankar turns to everytime he needs an advice, suggestions. Mamaji is a voice of conscince throughout, tries his best to keep Shankar grounded to his roots.

While Shankar has progressed so much, lives in a grand house, Madhu (Mehmood) still works in the same tea-shop, with Ramu (Kesto Mukherjee) as his helper. Wonder why the name of the  tea-shop is Cha Cha Cha 😛

 Shankar hates poverty and tries to make Madhu the General Manager of one of his firms but Madhu rejects his offer. When Shanker complains to Mamaji about it, Mamaji says may be Madhu is happy owning the tea-shop, and living in their old house.  And happy he is though he lives a very plain and simple life! He’s married to Sheila (Shubha Khote) and has a little daughter too. They keep fighting most of the times but in a very sweet way and must say that they both make a wonderful couple.  And this is not over-the-board comedy with Mehmood, he doesnt look forced into the script. He does it just right. And I love Mehmood in such roles.

 Roma (Nanda), their sister is studying in Shimla. After completing her studies she comes back home. Madhu goes to receive her at the airport. But she disguises herself as a pathan and Madhu doesnt recognize her. He comes back to Shankar’s house to tell him that he could find Roma at the airport when he sees the same pathan again. Pathan tries to bully Madhu and they have a small fight where Madhu tries to defend himself. In this process pathan’s turban falls and Madhu finally recognizes Roma.

Shankar buys the shares of Mr. Sinha’s mill. When he goes to meet Mr. Sinha to his house, he sees Vani (Nimmi) outside and asks if Mr. Sinha is home but Vani doesnt answer him. He asks her a couple of times but she doesnt respond to any of his questions. Furious, he asks if she’s dumb. He finally walks away and is driving out, when Vani comes running, stops him and hands him a note. After reading it he realizes that she’s actually dumb and cant speak (She wanst born dumb, she could speak when she was small, but loses her voice due to some reason. She can however hear everything. She can read and write as well).

He feels really sorry for her. When he meets Mr. Sinha he asks him if he can marry his daughter.  Shankar says that he knows Vani cant speak but he still wants to marry her, Mr. Sinha has no objection. On hearing this conversation Vani is so happy, that she goes to her room and starts singing. I want to point out that unlike other movies, she doesnt actually sing the song. She plays the record on a gramophone and just does lip-synch, smart girl! Dil ka diya jalake gaya

In a very quiet ceremony Shankar and Vani get married. Shankar takes over Mr. Sinha’s mill after his death. But the employees, union, board of directors dont accept him as their owner. As predicted, Tarun (Dharmendra) is the union leader.  Roma, dressed up as a pathan again, meets Tarun on her way to Madhu’s house. Her scooter breaks down and Tarun helps her fix it.

Tarun comes to Shankar’s house to meet him. Roma, when she goes to open the door and finds Tarun standing there, she’s surprised. He finds Roma familiar too but cant figure out where he’s seen her before. But the next time he sees her dressed as a pathan, he points out that he knows a girl who looks like him. Roma falls in love with Tarun and we are treated to another wonderful song here Mile to phir jhuke nahin.

There are lots of problems going on in the mill. The union decides to go on a strike and they need fund. All this discussion goes on in Madhu’s tea-shop and Shankar overhears the conversation.  They do a show (after lot of drama) to raise fund where Mehmood performs and this song is hilarious – Jaa raha hoon main zindagi se.

Back at the mill and board of directors meeting, Mr. Desai, also a board member,  opposes to everything that Shankar says or proposes.  There are lots of clashes.

In the meantime, Roma and Tarun are busy romancing. Finally my initial reason behind watching this movie comes…yes, the song: Mujhe dard-e-dil ka pata na tha.

Shankar initially has no problem with Tarun, inspite of him being the union leader.  When he comes to know that Roma is in love with him, he proposes a promotion to Tarun but being the typical egoistic hero, he refuses.  Lots of misunderstandings crop in and Shankar turns totally against Tarun. Roma leaves the house and goes to live with Madhu and Sheila. Vani, who’s expecting, falls down and has a miscarriage. Doctor says that she can never have a child again. Seeing Vani totally depressed, Madhu convinces Sheila to give their daughter to Vani. But Shankar doesnt like it.

The union is almost at war with Shankar. Vani desparately tries to convince Shankar to cool down, shows him the pictures where her father was distributing sweets to the employees in the mill. But Shankar is disappointed that even Vani thinks he’s wrong. She finally leaves the house and goes.

Filomina (Achala Sachdev), who had come to the house with Vani after her marriage decides to leave the house as well

Shankar is all alone.

When Mr. Tiwari (Ramayan Tiwari), Tarun’s father, who’s mentally ill, finds out about Tarun and Roma, he goes to Shankar to talk about their marriage. Shankar is too disturbed with the happenings at the mill to think about it. Tarun bunks work and goes to meet Roma one afternoon and there’s another lovely track – Suniye kya pyaar mein sharmana. During Tarun’s absence, an accident occurs in the mill. In another accident, Shankar gets hurt badly. Nothing seems to be going right.

When Tarun discovers that pathan and Roma are the same person, he feels that she’s been fooling around with him just to pass on the union secrets on to her brother, Shankar.  And they part ways as well. Vani learns that Shankar’s life is in danger and comes back home to stop him from going out. But doesnt find him home. She leaves a note for him and goes to the mill.

I feel really sad for Shankar. Everybody misunderstands him. It’s not that he doesnt like poor people or is dominating. It’s the poverty that he hates.  He has progessed so much, his dream to to take his employees, his family along and move ahead in life but nobody understands him. All his ideas to do so are taken wrongly. For instance, he decides to build houses for all his employees near the mill so that they wont have to travel long, and can come to work inspite of harsh weather. But Desai opposes to this saying he’s trying to take people under his control.  He’s left all alone 😦

After a lot of drama at the climax, the lawyer announces that Shankar has turned the mill into a cooperative soceity, where each employee is an equal shareholder and says :

“Jab tak mehnat karne wala haath aur sapna dekhne wala dimag saath nahin ho jaate, hum mein se koi aaghe nahin badh sakta”

Finally everyone is convinced that Shankar has been doing things for their good all along. He lights an Akashdeep and the movie ends.  And as the saying goes – All’s well that ends well!!!

Akashdeep lights up the sky and shows the way in the dark, similarly Ashok Kumar tries to lead the entire soceity towards a better livelihood, hence the name.

There’s nothing great about the movie (except for the music, of course) it’s still a nice watch. Story sounds extremely predictable and repetitive, but this could have been one of the first movies of it’s kind.  All in all, I enjoyed watching the movie.

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5 Responses to “Akashdeep (1965)”

  1. bollyviewer Says:

    Gosh! So much trauma-drama. And poor, poor Shankar. I am so glad you decided to write this up. I’ve loved Dil ka diya jala ke gaya forever. It used to turn up on TV a lot (looong ago!) and I knew there was Dharmendra in the film – so I thought Nimmi was singing for Dharam! That would have been an interesting pair. Had no idea there was Dada Mani in it and that Mujhe dard-e-dil ka pata na tha was also from this film. This one definitely goes on my to-watch list.

    PS: And YAY!!! for more “Old is Gold”. 😀

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Yup, lots and lots of drama. And since there was no suspense and it had such a predictable end, I decided to put the entire story.
      Dil ka diya is a lovely song and so are mujhe dard-e-dil ka pata na tha and Mile toh phir jhuke nahin

      Even I had thought the same – that Nimmi was singing it for Dharam and Dharam was singing mujhe dard-e-dil ka pata na tha for Nanda, always assumed it to be a love triangle.

      Pooja Ke Phool (1964) is one movie that has Dharam-Nimmi pair but not much of a romance there either.And it’s a love-triangle but a little different from the others

  2. harvey Says:

    Don’t ask me why, but I always thought Akashdeep is a film with self-sacrificing Meena Kumari!

    Wow, this sounds to be a quite sane movie.Although it has its share of misunderstandings it seems to have been done logically.
    And it is nice to see that it is not union good, mill-owners bad movie.
    Came for the first time here. You have a good collection!

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      I have felt the same with few movies,esp Bhabhi. When I used to listen to Chhupa kar meri aankhon ko on radio, I always felt that it had Meena Kumari.

      This one’s a nice movie. Exactly!!! it’s not union good, mill-owners bad movie.
      Thanks for dropping by and for your encouraging words.

  3. dustedoff Says:

    Hmmm – your take on this is pretty different from mine, though I think we agree that Mujhe dard-e-dil ka pata na thha is probably the best thing about the film! Such a lovely song; I’d list it as one of my favourite Dharmendra songs. Very beautiful.

    By the way: Shivraj acts as Tarun’s father. Tiwari plays the part of one of the trade unionists.

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