Bara-Dari (1955)

Tasveer banata hoon marks my introduction to  Talat Mehmood and post dustedoff’s Talat Mehmood special, I made up my mind to review this film. All these years I had heard the song only on radio and had fallen in love with it. When I watched it on youtube how I wished that it was picturized on someone else.

On the whole it was a pretty entertaining film, nothing like what I had imagined. Though I end up watching most of the movies because of the songs, of late I have learnt not to set too high an expectation. And maybe it’s because of that that I actually enjoyed this one, inspite of it being pretty vague at times. Once the movie started, I also realized that this was my first Geeta Bali movie *so ashamed of myself*.

Ranvir Singh (Ramayan Tiwari), Thakur of Ajaygarh, is arrested for fighting against the land-tax (lagaan) being imposed everywhere.

He rebels against the rules laid by the King, Maharaja Rana (Murad).

His wife, Shakti Devi (Amir Banu), scared of losing her husband, pleads with him to reconcile with Maharaja.

But the typical Thakur ego (sar kata sakte hai lekin jhuka nahin sakte) and the fact that he’s representing a common man’s plight doesn’t let him do so and is stabbed in the King’s court by fellow Thakurs right infront of Maharaja. Maharaja is not totally against Ranvir because he believes that he’s a very brave man (there’s a little reference to their friendship as well, so guess, at some point of time, they were friends) but gets carried away a little by what the other Thakur’s say. And before he can think of punishing Ranvir, he is killed.

Soon afterward, the queen delivers a baby boy and when the entire kingdom is rejoicing, the royal astrologer predicts that some bad omen would befall. The only way to prevent it is to ensure that the prince is not fed his mother’s milk and is kept out of Maharaja’s sight till he’s 8 years old (strange way of preventing bad omen, but let the superstitions be….we wouldn’t have had this movie without it).
After lots of discussion, Maharaja and his Mahamantri (Minister) reach a conclusion that they should give the prince to Shakti Devi,who has also delivered a son (reason being – Kunwar kisi sherni ka doodh peeke bada hoga).

Initially she refuses to feed and look after the prince, as she thinks the King is responsible for Ranvir’s death. But when she hears the little boy crying of hunger, the mother in her wins over her hatred for the King and she takes the prince into her arms and feeds him.
She raises both the boys as her own children. Mahamantri comes and takes the Prince, Vijay back to the palace after 8 years (and no, she doesn’t even cheat, she returns the original prince).

In return, Maharaja sends her the papers relieving Ajaygarh of the land-tax (the very thing that Ranbir Singh had given his life for), duly signed. But she tears them into pieces infront of Mahamantri and lectures him on mother’s love – in a truly filmy ishtyle that she had looked after Vijay as her own son, and her love for him was not something she would sell in favour of those papers (meri mamta bikau nahin hai).

Ajit, Shakti Devi’s own son, is sad that Vijay is gone. And Gauri, his neighbour, tries to cheer him up.

They grow up to into dashing Ajit and bubbly Geeta Bali  singing  Bhoola nahin dena. Latu Singh (Gope) hides and listens to their song,and when caught admits that he himself is in love with Taani but doesn’t know how to express his feelings. So, he follows Ajit and Gauri and learns his part of the conversation from what he overhears of Ajit and Gauri’s conversation or songs.


When Ajit learns that sarkari khazana (government wealth) is being taken via Ajaygarh to Karan Singh (Pran), he attacks them and robs the entire thing. I didn’t understand who Karana Singh actually is and why he was supposed to get the sarkari khazana (he’s some Thakur himself, lives near Ajaygarh and I think he was smugling the wealth).

Karan Singh is in a mehfil listening to Jin ko ho jaan pyaari when he’s informed of the loot.

There’s some old enemity between Thakur Sangram, Latu Singh’s  father and Taani’s father who is ill. The former comes to visit the latter everyday to ensure that he’s alive – he even promises to sell his haveli for his treatment, so that he can kill him once he gets well (wierd logic, he wants to save a dying man to kill him – Thakur theory?).

As Gauri sings Chhayi re badariya, Karan Singh happens to pass by and at the end of the song when she throws a stone, it hits him. He chases her and she bumps into Ajit, who saves her from Karan Singh by defeating him in a sword-fight.

It’s Vijay’s (Chandra Shekhar) birthday and the King decides to give over the responsibility of ruling the kingdom to him.

Karan Singh, who’s also present there (he sounded like one of the royal advisors),  says it maynot be safe to handover such a risky responsibility to Vijay knowing that there are so many enemies around.  It’s pretty clear that he wants to create misunderstandings between Ajit and the royal family. When Karan Singh complains of  Ajit and his friends robbing his wealth in Ajaygarh to justify his point, Vijay doesn’t believe him. He decides to go there himself to find out what’s happening and who’s responsible for it.


Gauri’s mother (Mumtaz Begum) and Shakti Devi decide to get Gauri and Ajit married. Just then, someone comes and informs Ajit that the royal army has camped just outside Ajaygarh. As this he sets out to find the purpose behind their visit, Shakti Devi, after having lost her husband, is scared of losing her son too and wants to keep him away from getting into unnecessary mess. So she emotionally blackmails him and convinces him into going out of Ajaygarh for a few days. Gauri sees them leaving and when she asks him, he promises to come and meet her at Baradari every night.

Vijay, along with Hira Singh (appears to be a Senapati, though he doesn’t look like one) comes to Shakti Devi’s house, only to see the door locked. On asking a neighbour he finds out that they have gone out and nonone knows when they’ll be back.

On his way back, he sees Gauri and her friends filling water by the well, singing and swinging to Piya ho piya ho. The cd got stuck here and I was so worried thinking that I might miss the main reason for which I was watching the movie.

But luckily I didn’t. I guess, the rest of cd-1 had some Latu Sing-Taani scenes. Taani’s father tells Ajit (in the second cd, of course) that Thakur Sangram has asked for Rs. 10,000 from him as a price of getting his son married to his enemy’s daughter.

Ajit promises to get the amount and the wedding is in progress.

Girls (Cuckoo and Minoo Mumtaz) sing and dance to  Chhodo chhodi baiyyan mori . But before the ceremony gets over, Gauri is kidnapped by Karan Singh’s men. Ajit leaves immediately to rescue her, Thakur Sangram and Latu Singh also join him in the mission. After passing through some secret tunnels and rotating doors (courtesy – Thakur Sangram Singh who claims to be fully aware of the area), they directly land inside  Karan Singh’s haveli and rescue Gauri.

Karan Singh manages to convince Maharaja that Ajit is conspiring against them because he wants to take revenge for his father’s death and that’s the reason why he fled when Vijay went to see him (fleeing part sounded illogical to me but Maharaja sees some light in it) and sensing danger for Vijay, he summons him back to the palace. Vijay is smitten by Gauri – at first sight.

He’s gets into a total depression at being called back to the palace. He doesn’t talk to anybody, neither eats nor sleeps – just attempts making a portrait of Gauri and unable to do so he sings Tasveer banata hoon. The Queen is worried for him and begs Maharaja that she doesn’t want anything other than her son’s happiness – she wants her son to be wed to the girl who he has fallen for. Maharaja argues to it saying he can’t give in until he finds out who the girl is and what kind of a family she belongs to.

So he sends for Hira Singh and asks him about the girl. Now, Hira doesn’t know the name of the girl but says Ajit might be able to help as she’s also from Ajaygarh. So, Maharaja sends Hira Singh to Ajit with a message that Vijay is ill and wants to meet his brother.

Back in Ajaygarh, both Ajit and Gauri are putting mehendi on their hands and getting ready for their marriage which is to take place shortly but when Ajit hears of Vijay’s condition he immediately leaves for the palace.

After hearing Vijay’s story, Ajit promises him to get him married to the girl he likes.

So he takes Vijay and Hira along and goes back to Ajaygarh – three of them set out looking for the girl who has taken Vijay’s heart away. Ajit’s heart-broken when Vijay points out to Gauri but he still gives him a word that Gauri will be his.

He sends Vijay back to the palace to get the wedding preparations rolling and convinces Gauri to go and get married to Vijay (it’s actually more of blackmailing than convincing). She sings Kho diya maine paakar kisiko in anguish.

As Ajit hands Gauri over to Hira Singh  to be taken to the palace to get married to Vijay, Chali naseeb ki aandhiya plays in the background. When Maharaja learns that Gauri is also from a Thakur family, his happiness knows no boundaries. Maharaja, Maharani and Vijay all are delighted by Gauri’s arrival.

But Gauri herself is not happy and she sings Dard bhara dil. She even tries to kill herself.

What happens to Gauri? Will the royal family ever come to know the real story or will Ajit also meet the same fate as his father? What is Karan Singh actually upto and will he succeed in his plan?

There’s one more song – Kahaan hai chaand mera.

This film had all the components – action (quite a lot of it), comedy, conspiracy, emotion, family drama, murder, politics, romance, sacrifice,  sword-fights and tragedy. Not to forget the lovely soundtracks, chirpy Geeta Bali, handsome Ajit and the bad boy Pran! I really liked Murad’s performance. I didn’t find Chandrashekher all that impressive….his face was blank – expressionless most of the time. And I really felt it was unfair to cast him such a lovely song :-(. But that’s my personal opinion. I can see in imdb that he’s worked in more thant 140 movies, so I don’t think I should be judging his acting abilities. The only other movie of his as a main lead that I’ve seen and remember is Cha Cha Cha but I had seen it too long ago to remember his performance in it.

A typical masala film – It was a fun watch on the whole. Had it been made in the 70’s I’m sure Shakti Devi would have kept the real prince and given her son back to the king ;-).

Just that some characters were not introduced properly and some plots left incomplete – like there’s no mention of who Hira Singh actually is, same is the case with Karan Singh. The underlying enemity between Latu’s and Taani’s fathers and also Latu-Taani’s incomplete wedding – there’s no mention of it again after Latu leaves the wedding in between to join Ajit in rescuing Gauri. Also few things were more strange than usual (needed suspension of everything), esp – Gauri’s mother giving her a dagger to kill herself,  rather than getting married to someone else. Pran’s favourite dialogues in the movie are: “Auraton aur talwar Thakuron ki ardhangani hoti hai”; “Jawani mein sochna gunah hai” (this one was rather funny, wonder what would happen if everbody would second his thought).

Trivia : imdb lists that Bara-Dari’s Original Music is by Naushad as Nashad. But Naushad and Nashad are two different people (though most of us tend to think it’s a typo).

Nashad was born in India who later on migrated to Pakistan. He was a famous Music Composer out there. He’s composed music for few Hindi films as well (out of which Bara-Dari is one) sometimes as Nashad,  sometimes as Shaukat Ali and sometimes as Shaukat Dehelvi. Where as Naushad is the MD of Mughal-E-Azam, Mother India, Amar etc.

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16 Responses to “Bara-Dari (1955)”

  1. Nasir Says:

    I had seen this movie for the first and last time in Bombay (Mumbai) at the main cinema-hall, Super Cinema as a child in 1955. I don’t remember anything at all but a few snatches of the scenes such as Chandrashekhar singing TASVEER BANAATAA HOON which was a very popular song of the time. And BHULA NAHEEN DENAA again a popular duet.
    Yes, Nashad and Naushad are different and you have rightly said that people tend to think that the difference in the name is a typo. Nashad migrated to Pakistan late.
    “Baradari” I think means landscape gardens that were especially designed for the Rajas, and is a common name in the Punjab.
    Chandrashekhar has always remained a non-starter but was lucky to have acted in so many films some of which have remained etched in public memory – such as Kali Topi Lal Rumal (LAGEE CHHOOTE NAA).
    His shining hour, in my opinion was in CHA CHA CHA (1964) where he was actor, producer, director, writer and what not. I also liked is Street Singer.
    Bara Dara ran for a few weeks at Super.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      He was almost everything in Cha Cha Cha (I realized that just yesterday. Had watched the movie on DD International in 1998, and I had missed the beginning, so never knew he was the Producer, Director and Writer).
      Baradari has nothing much to be fond of except for the 2 songs you mentioned above. Story-wise it’s totally filmy – fun and silly.
      They do mention about meeting at Baradari, but never actually show the place as Baradari. Since they usually meet in a pavilion with arches on all sides (like the one dustedoff has given below), surrounded with creepers and flowers and overlooking a fort – I think that’s what they were referring to :

  2. bollyviewer Says:

    I remember watching this in the DD days when they’d briefly begun to telecast old B/W films on Tuesday (or maybe Thursday) evenings. My only good memory of this film is Tasveer banata hoon and Ajit. Not a film I would want to try again! Do Ajit and Geeta Bali get together at the end?

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Since you don’t want to try it again…here you go –

      Hira Singh overhears Ajit blackmailing Gauri into getting married to Vijay. When everybody in the royal family is happy that’s Gauri has come to the palace and there’s a wedding to take palce soon, Hira doesn’t look all that happy. On being asked by Maharaja, he reveals all that he knows. By the time Vijay comes to know about it and goes to talk to Gauri, she’s at the verge of stabbing herself. He stops her just in time saying – Shaadi toh tumhari hogi, lekin mere saath nahin, Ajit ke saath. At that she drops the dagger and then he says : main tumhe apni behen ki tarah yahan se vida karunga(!!!!)
      Hira Singh is again sent to Ajaygarh to fetch Ajit and Ajit comes thinking he’s coming for Vijay’s wedding, only to realize that he is the groom himself.

      It at least has a happy ending.

  3. dustedoff Says:

    @Nasir: A baradari is, literally, a pavilion with baarah (twelve) dar (doors). Basically, a four-sided pavilion which has three arches on each side. Here’s a picture of one:

    @sunheriyaadein: Thank you for that! I’d been wanting to know the story for a while, ever since the VCD I was watching packed up after only about 15 minutes. I wish Tasveer banaata hoon had been filmed on Ajit rather than on Chandrashekhar. 😦

    • Nasir Says:

      That’s true. But there are also Baradari gardens, especially in Patiala.

      • dustedoff Says:

        The Baradari Gardens in Patiala are named after a baradari in the heart of the Baradari Palace next door. If you enter the palace, there’s an enclosed baradari right in the centre, just outside the dining room.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      @ dustedoff : Thanks for that picture, the place where Ajit and Gauri meet and sing songs does look like that.
      You are most welcome, though the movie is silly and nothing great storywise, I did enjoy watching it.
      Few scenes were cute…I liked this scene the best – Right after Bhoola nahin dena , Latu Singh is caught hiding and listening to their song. As Latu confesses his reason behind following and eavesdropping to Ajit and Gauri, Ajit is informed of the Sarkari Khazana being taken to Karan Singh, so rushes off to hijack it. After he leaves, Gauri tells Latu : Ab tum bhi jao, kal aana. Hum phir se gaana gayenge”.

      But Vijay calling Gauri his sister immediately after he comes to know about Ajit and Gauri is a little too much to take 😛
      Oh yes…I wish that Tasveer banaata hoon was filmed on Ajit, in fact even Pran would do, but not Chandrashekhar.
      I think we should do a post on such songs – songs which we feel should have been picturised on someone else.

      • dustedoff Says:

        “I think we should do a post on such songs – songs which we feel should have been picturised on someone else.”

        Yes! I think, for me at least, many of the songs picturised on Bharat Bhushan would fit – that’s one actor I don’t like, but he had some fabulous songs picturised on him.

        BTW, I loved that little scene you recounted! Sounds so cute. 🙂

      • sunheriyaadein Says:

        Same here, I don’t like Bharat Bhushan much myself. Let me think of few more such songs.

      • memsaab Says:

        Biswajeet. Had some fab songs but what a dishrag! 🙂

      • sunheriyaadein Says:

        Exactly! He features in some of my favourite Hemant Kumar and Rafi numbers.

  4. bollywood lover Says:

    A very lovely review dear. I have watched this film long ago with my grand mom and now she is no more, so i am missing her very much. Naushad was her most favorite music director. By your very lovely review i remembered some of my bholi bisri SUNHERI YAADEIN of my childhood. Thanks dear for this very lovely review.

    The girl in the song `Chodo chodo ji baiyan mori`with Cuckoo was another very famous dancer called Minoo Mumtaz. It was her debut film. She was the sister of Mehmood and was a very famous dancer in Bollywood. She was called the Mujra Queen as she performed many famous and very memorable mujra songs. She had one more song in this film `Jinko Ho Jaan Pyari`.

  5. J. G. Paul Says:

    i had watched few video songs of this movie on You tube all of which were excellent. Can anybody have an idea whether a download link for this movie is available or not. I got a torrent link, but unfortunately there are no seeds for this movie.

    Waiting for a good news from my friends.

    J.G.Paul

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