Wealthy and vain Raj Kumar (Ishwarlal) is expecting his first child with his wife Kamla (Achala Sachdev)
the arrogant and vain Raj kumar
When the child is born, it turns out to be of a dark complexion, Raj rejects the child as he considers dark complexion ugly, he then lies to his wife that she gave birth to a still born child
chi chi look at the look on his face
he tells Dr Mathur (Tarun Bose) his friend to keep the incident a secret, Mathur is disgusted by his friends actions but agrees none the less, Dr mathur is left with the baby, he gives the baby to Rahmat Mijan (Ishwarlal) and his wife who are a childless muslim couple
Years go by and Raj and Kamla have another child, this time the baby turns out to be very fair and is considered the epitome of beauty by Raj Kumar. The fair child named Sudhir (Pradeep Kumar) grows up to be a womaniser and a hotel manager
On the other hand Pyare (Ashok Kumar) his long lost dark skinned brother grows up to be a singer under training from Rahmat his adoptive father, he also suffers severe shyness due to people's reactions to his dark skin which is considered ugly
Following Rahmat's death Pyare goes to Mumbai to meet Dr Mathur, he's tormented by his ugliness and Dr Mathur decides its time to right some wrongs and then promises to introduce him to his real family
The taunts Pyare has been subjected to over the years leads him to favour living in darkness, when Dr Mathur's daughter kavita (Asha Parekh) takes a liking to his voice and approves of his beauty, Pyare starts feeling good about himself and its not long before he starts falling for her
Trouble though is the fact that kavita is the love interest of his unknown younger brother Sudhir, Kavita is fond of him too, and they hope to get married. When kavita notices his affection towards her she makes it known to Sudhir which breaks Pyare's heart
Following a performance at Sudhir's birthday party, Raj Kumar is taken aback by Pyare's talent , Dr Mathur lets him know that Pyare is none other than the son he had rejected years ago
Raj Kumar meets Pyare and decides to offer him money to stay out of his life. which Pyare rejects, when Pyare confronts him over his act he eventually approves of him as his son but reveals the shame he feels towards his ugliness, and the taint he might bring on his honour. He begs Pyare not to tell his mother the truth which Pyare agrees to for some weird melodramatic reason
Meanwhile Sudhir becomes the subject of blackmail by his friend Prakash (Iftekhar) when he's accused of violating Bela's (Indira) honour, he must pay to avoid his family's honour being tainted plus there's the danger of his marriage to Kavita being called off
Will Sudhir give in? Will Pyare see sense and reveal the truth about himself to his mother? What will be her reaction when she realises her husband lied to her about the still born child?
Despite descending into a chaotic melodrama of sorts and dragging on towards the end a fair bit, the message of the movie was clearly that of true beauty being inner beauty, the film also raises the issue of honour and looks especially that of dark skin and how it's considered ugly and a taint on one's honour.
The performances are ok all around but I felt Ashok Kumar hammy in parts and a bit too old for the part of Pyare, plus the fact that Achala Sachdev played his mother seemed very out of place, something just didn't feel right with that combination.
Of course its interesting to draw parallels with the whole beauty is skin deep that the film advocates and the prevalent issue of skin bleaching which so many bollywood stars are pedalling these days
I've long wanted to weigh in on this matter on here but always somehow felt it was a question of choice, I myself have long known about the prevalence of such creams during my formative years in Africa, however back then people who openly admitted bleaching often got dirty looks, bleaching creams were in no way advertised on a massive scale, there was an element of shame to them, in fact there was a popular quote drummed into us at Primary School, about people not proud of their colour being shamed or something along those lines, i really don't remember clearly. Still though I always felt it was a question of choice until I saw the documentary below (please take time out to watch the mini documentary below)
I really do hope bollywood stars stop promoting the use of fairness creams, as can be seen from the documentary above, these creams can have a long lasting psychological effect, and are so not needed, given all the current stress and pressures of modern society, an individuals skin tone or complexion need not be an extra burden to carry.
And indeed if there's a gripe i have about bollywood, its the whole fairness equals beauty mantra, one only has to look at the prevalent use of white dancers in bollywood numbers plus numerous song down the years that praise fair skinned beauty. Indian Supermodel Lakshi menon has called the whole bleaching cream thing schizophrenia on a very large scale, i've embedded the interview below
Anyway enough of my ranting i'll end with this quote from Known Turf about the power of celebrity
"Perhaps, the trouble with too many artists is that they forget their own power. The power of media. Films and books are as much a tool for challenging social ideas as they are tools for emotional discovery or just plain storytelling. You can break stereotypes. You can stretch limited imaginations. You can help others become less judgmental human beings. You can save children. But you have to want to"
Lovely soundtrack from S.D. Burman, a lovely Mukesh & Suman Kalyanpur duet 'yeh kissne geet cheda' the beautiful 'teri khalayon mein' & 'tere bin sune' and the wonderful Rafi number (be sure to check out Asha's lovely dance moves in this) 'nache man mora magan' & a smooth Manna Dey number 'Poocho na kaise' my favourite of the bunch is the jazzy 'Tujse Nazar' with Indira as the Vamp
Paisa Vasool rating: 5.5/10