indian cinema heritage foundation

Ah-E-Mazluman (1935)

  • Release Date1935
  • GenreDrama
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguageHindi

Mr Kamar, a counsel of eminence, a gentleman of Ideal standard, a loving father, a doting husband and a kind master, was scrupulously honest and a great hater of moral torpitude, he would like always to walk with his head erect. The Government appreciated the fine qualities of his head and heart and his legal acumen and appointed him as the Prosecution Counsel. His wife Ezra was a kind hearted affectionate lady who valued her husband above everything terrestrial and never traversed the path of the world that is strewn with thorns and beset with pit-falls.

One Abid Hossain committed a murder and was prosecuted. His unfortunate wife approached Ezra to save her husband from the gallows. The compassionate nature of Ezra goaded her on to the request her dear husband to make an attempt to save the life of the wretched fellow. Kamar, a man of strict principle could not like the idea and said "Justice will have its own course". Kamar convinced the Judge and the Jury that diabolical nature of the crime perpetrated by Abid Hossain. In his argument he said that the man who could forsake his wife and children and indulge in an unpardonable vice of dalliance with the vamp hardly deserves any consideration or clemency but the strictest award of the law should be inflicted on him. Kamar carried the day, the Judge in unison with the jury passed the death sentence upon the poor helpless creature.

While Kamar feeling complacent for having succeeded in punishing a coward whose dastardly conduct made his wife and children lead a life of absolute destitution, wily Fate smiled and frowned thinking of man's ignorance of his own fortune.

That very evening Kamar after day's toil went to a cafe with his friend Mr. Faizi, a police officer of repute. There he came by the well-known film actress Roshanara whose sweet face, beguiling looks and agile movements, in the ruddy lustre of the Cafe captured the securest citadel of his heart. The astute Lawyer, the doting husband, the loving father, forgot all about himself and was carried into the Dreamland where he found none else but himself a worshipper before the altar of Love, a Goddess resplendent with divine charms all aglow with the radiant lustre of buoyant youth. He realised it was none other than that bewitching actress before him. Life seemed miserable without Roshanara. A craving, maddening craving, to win her was all that he could think of. That New Year eve was undoubtedly the harbinger of new life to Kamar. It looked bright and rosy, it welcomed him thrice to step in. There was an inner trepidation but nothing could stand before the invincible arrows of Cupid. Blind he is, blind are his votaries. Kamar became a worshipper of that bewitching girl, neglected his works, his family, his devoted wife, his children once dearer than his life and left them to the custody of Him who is the custodian of those who had none to look after them.

Thus the man who once was so adverse to depraved humanity himself became a worshipper of Bacchus. Now that vamp Roshanara, whose fancy it was always to see people run after her, made Kamar a slave nay, a blind devotee, and like a vampire sucked every drop of his blood and when found him a penniless beggar turned him out with spurn and ignominy.

When Kamar left his family almost in a helpless condition their miseries knew no bounds and the rude shock so much unnerved Ezra that she would have succumbed to it, had not the devoted attendant Rahiman stood by her with maternal affection.

The young children brought up in the lap of luxury felt the pinch of poverty too much and they gradually began to wither. Buds they were and blossoming was not in their lot, they pined and pined and pined away. Time rolled on, not caring a bit for the poor sufferers in their agonising distress. Now came in creditors ruthless and relentless by nature demanding payments of their dues all sophisticated; but poor and helpless Ezra to maintain the reputation of her revered husband allowed them to take away all she had, 'house, property and furniture'. The matter now came to the climax, the lady whose sweet face was an attraction even to Phoebus now has no roof over her head. Disconsolate, destitute and appalled though she was, she was happy that she paid the last toll to the deity of her heart to maintain his honours unsullied. Where she could go now but to her own father. It was indeed an irony of fate that the affectionate arms of her father did not come forward to embrace her, not even the affectionate palms were stretched to remove the tears from the cheeks of his poor daughter whose very heart was melting out under the heavy burden of penury that suppressed her noble rage. The old man Ebrahim was completely under the thumb of his young wife Sultana who cared nothing but her own enjoyments. Ezra found that there was no shelter for her under her paternal roof, the cold treatment that was accorded to her children corroded her maternal heart but she was helpless.

Kamar who realized at last the blunder he committed ran back to his wife and children to soothe his bleeding heart half dead reached his father-in-law's place at dead of night to find his dear wife engaged in reading the Holy Qoran and praying for him even them. It was too much to bear. The gravest injustice he had done to them now stood before him impersonated with its venomous fangs darted towards him. He trembled, he shivered, he tried to collect himself but the innerman told him that he was no longer fit to approach that pious lady any more in this life. With the crowing of the cock and the sound of Holy Azan his life was extinct and he fell dead in the threshold of his wife's chamber perhaps to enjoy eternal rest after a life full of excruciating torments and vicissitudes of fortune. Just at this juncture her father who was completely under petti-coat government forgot even his duties towards his daughter and rid himself of the fresh burden proposed to marry Ezra to an old widower with half a dozen children. It was just like the bolt from the blue to Ezra. But she had to surrender to her father's will for the safety of her poor children. She could carry her life in her palm but she could not see her children die before her very eyes for want of bare sustenance.

The result of the unhappy marriage could be easily surmised. The demonish old husband completely devoid of all softer sentiments exacted from Ezra and her children the last toll they could give. Her young daughter Rasida hardly 5 years old was on her death bed. Not a drop of medicine could be found for her, nay not a morsel of food could she get to swallow. The life's taper was dimly burning, a little blast might extinguish it at any moment. Poor Ezra was sitting by her nothing to feed her daughter with but the tears that were rolling down her cheeks in torrents.

Akbar a boy of eight finding all his efforts in vain to get succour either from his maternal grand-father or from Abdul his mother's second husband went a-begging. When he reached his mother with the doctor he found his sister had just expired. She lay cold and stiff in her mother's arm much beyond all attempts for recovery.

Akbar to get a morsel of food for his sick mother became an apprentice in a smithy. He worked day and night by the blazing furnace which dried up all the charms of his lovely figure. He looked more like a ghost of his former self than a living being in flesh and blood. But that was not all, the cup was not yet full. Akbar was mad to feed his dying mother whose heart had yawned wide and was bleeding to death just like a creeper blown asunder and thrown on the ground to be trodden upon at every step.

The smith was a cruel task-master who cared more for his work than for the payment to this employee. Importunate demand of Akbar made him wild with rage and he struck Akbar mercilessly with a blazing iron rod. Oh! the agony, oh! the suffering of the poor helpless boy, it beggars description. Akbar drank the fullest cup of human sufferings and he could not swallow further. With his heart broken, brain upset, and mind completely unhinged Akbar proceeded on to his father's grave and shed over it passionate tears and bade him good bye perhaps for ever.

In the meanwhile finding her only surviving child not returning to her though it was late in the night she though, much too weak even to leave her bed rushed out in a frenzy crying for her dear son, the centre of all her maternal affection. Raving and roaming in a dark stormy night Ezra passed through streets and meadows with her hair dishevelled, arms stretched, wearing cloth tattered into pieces. Her brain was reeling she knew not what to do and where to go. She was shouting at the top of her voice Akbar! Akbar!! No response but only cruel echo responded her call. Forlorn as she was, her devoted attendant Rahiman was still anxiously running after her though she tumbled down at every step and blood was oozing out from her body. Ezra's suffering reached its climax. Nature perhaps could no longer brook it and she began to shudder. Houses and trees toppled down and the earth gaped wide below her and mother earth took her into her tender bosom to soothe the burning heartache of her dear child Ezra.

(From the official press booklet)