indian cinema heritage foundation

Anuraag (1972)

  • Release Date05/12/1972
  • GenreDrama
  • FormatColour
  • LanguageHindi
  • Run Time137 min
  • Length3751.17 meters
  • Number of Reels14
  • Gauge35mm
  • Censor RatingU
  • Censor Certificate Number71213
  • Certificate Date22/11/1972
  • Shooting LocationNatraj Studios
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Shivshankar is one of those rare human beings who can overcome his personal tragedies whilst bringing happiness to others. Comfortably rich, he is the focal point of a seaside residential colony. He proudly counts amongst his friends people from different walks of life. Gamgaram, a florist, Haribhai, a sculptor, D’Souza the large hearted local drunk. Shivshankar’s family consists of Anupama, his daughter-in-law and a daring grandson, Chandan.

 

Every morning, Shivshankar takes Chandan for a stroll along the beach, and it is here that they first meet Shivani. She is an inmate of a nearby blind school. Chandan asks his grandfather to take her home. As ever, Shivshankar agrees to the boy’s request, and Shivani becomes a member of the household where she is soon Anupama’s daughter, Chandan’s sister and Shivshankar’s devoted grandchild.

 

Despite her being tragically blind, Shivani’s talents are truly astonishing. She is an accomplished singer and has a hand for moulding that any sculptor would be proud of. Shivshankar takes her to Haribhai, where she meets Rajesh, son of a neighbor Amichand, a confirmed miser, who has never relished Shivshankar’s popularity in the colony.

 

Shivani and Rajesh are soon meeting frequently and whilst both Anuapama and Shivshanker view their growing intimacy with great favour, Shivshanker has serious doubts of Amichand agreeing to Rajesh marrying Shivani, and decides to resort to a little duplicity. He gets Amichand invited to preside over the blind school’s annual day celebrations. Believing that he has stolen a march over Shivshankar, Amichand declares a donation of Rs 10,000 to the institution. Guided by a speech ghost-written by Ramesh, Amichand exhorts the country’s youth to marry unfortunate girls afflicted with blindness, and offer them happy homes. “He does not rely upon mere words’, says Haribhai. “His son Rajesh is to marry a girl from this very school”. And as the gathering cheers, Amichand is forced to smile and nod as if in confirmation.

 

As soon as he gets home, Amichand flies at Rajesh for placing him in an untenable position. A blind girl? Never! Word of Amichand’s attitude reaches Shivshankar. He adopts Shivani officially to ensure her financial status, but even this does not satisfy the greedy Amichand. Shivshankar takes Shivani to an eminent surgeon, who believes a cornea operation could restore her sight. Shivshankar offers to spend any amount on such an operation. The surgeon regrets that they shall have to await a donor; someone whose family would agree to a transplant immediately after death.

 

It is Chandan’s birthday and his personal happiness is somewhat dampened by the thought of Shivani’s blindness. At the height of the festivities, Chandan is struck down by a terrible pain. What is thought to be a minor ailment takes a serious turn, Shivshankar learns that his only grandson is suffering from incurable leukemia.

 

From his sick bed, Chandan enquires of Shivshankar as to when Diwali will come round? The day is far away, and Shivshankar fears Chandan may not survive long enough to enjoy the fireworks. All the residents of the colony conspire to put up a replica of Diwali, complete with sweets and fireworks; all struggle to check their tears to bring some happiness to the dying boy. Then, a small child unwittingly tells Chandan that this is almost as enjoyable as the real Diwali. Now Chandan knows! And as the truth dawns upon him, he remembers the surgeon who was waiting for a dono for Shivani’s eyes. Instinctively, he realizes his end is near, and he forces his grandfather to promise that after his death, his eyes will be donated to Shivani.

 

Chandan peacefully breathes his last and Shivshankar makes arrangements for the cornea to be removed. He consoles Anupama with the thought that their Chandan will live on in the shape of Shivani’s eyes.

 

The operation is a success. The first person Shivani looks for is Chandan. When her eyes-Chandan’s eyes-fall upon his garlanded picture, she knows that he is no more.

 

Shivshankar still takes his morning stroll along the sea beach. He may look to be alone, for only he knows that Chandan is ever by his side. The waves roll in bearing Chandan’s voice telling his grandfather- “I am here-I am here”. And whenever Shivshankar looks at Shivani, he knows Chandan is really with them……

 

(From the official press booklet)

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