indian cinema heritage foundation

Arogya Niketan (1969)

  • LanguageBengali

The film begins with the arrival of a young doctor Pradyut Sen at a village called Nabagram at the behest of his mother. Having a modern outlook, Pradyut prefers science over superstition. An old ayurvedic doctor Jibon Moshai practices in the same village. Jibon Moshai is highly regarded by the villagers for his ability to predict the remainder of people's lives just by taking a look at them. He sets a timespan of six months for an old man Bhuvaneshwar Babu. However, Pradyut believes proper medicine and care could help him live longer. This begins a rivalry of sorts between Jiban Moshai and Pradyut over values and beliefs. Pradyut also comes to know from his mother that Jibon Mashai is his estranged grandfather who had disowned Pradyut's father for marrying her (a Christian woman). This new information increases Pradyut's animosity towards Jibon Moshai. Meanwhile, Bhuvaneshwar Babu's recovery surprises everyone in the village. Jibon Moshai grows fond of Pradyut who does not reciprocate the feeling. One day Pradyut confronts Jibon Moshai for disowning his son without revealing his true identity. Jibon Moshai chooses not to answer Pradyut stating that it was his personal matter. Meanwhile, Bhuvaneswar Babu's granddaughter Manju falls in love with Pradyut while he is visiting her grandfather. Already impressed by Pradyut, Bhuvaneshwar Babu approves the relationship and even forwards the idea of marriage. However, Pradyut declines the offer stating difference in caste. A severely ill child is brought to Pradyut's hospital by Jibon Moshai. Pradyut tries his best to recover the boy but to no avail. The pressure of the job and recent troubles take a toll on Pradyut's health. Jibon Moshai notices the changes in Pradyut and requests him to take care of his health. At this moment, Pradyut confronts Jibon Moshai about disowning his son while revealing his identity this time. Jibon Moshai explains that he had disowned Pradyut's father not for marrying outside his religion but for not continuing their family's tradition of being a doctor. He also states that it was Pradyut's father who did not disclose the whereabouts of his wife and son. That was how Pradyut's father planned to take his revenge on Jibon Moshai. This kept Jibon Moshai from finding his daughter-in-law and Pradyut all the time. Pradyut and Jibon Moshai are united and they reach the railway station to stop Pradyut's mother from leaving for Kolkata. Pradyut gets married to Manju and they are welcomed home by Jibon Moshai and his wife. Pradyut's mother is finally accepted in the family. The film ends with a content Jibon Moshai finally accepting that his life is at an end while being surrounded by his family.

The film won the National Award for Best Feature Film in Bengali.