indian cinema heritage foundation

Arsi (1947)

  • Release Date1947
  • GenreRomance, Drama
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguageHindi
  • Run Time122 min

Ramesh, the only son of the village Sahukar Dharamdas and Arsi, the charming daughter of a poor old peasant Bansi, loved each other. Ramesh came from town, where he studied in a college, to attend his birthday celebrations and met Arsi when he gave her an Arsi (a golden ornament) as a token of his love.

During the celebrations Dharamdas noticed Arsi’s beauty for the first time and fell for her. When Ramesh had returned to his college, Dharamdas summoned Bansi and proposed that he would forego all the money that Bansi owed him, if Arsi were given in marriage to Dharamdas. Old Bansi, sick and poor though he was, valued his honour more than his life, and flatly refused. He was manhandled by the Sahukar’s servants and kicked out. Afterwards Dharamdas sent down his servants to take possession of all the belongings of Bansi and turn him out of the village.  Bansi, with Arsi and his four-year old son Ramu, set out from his village, but they had not gone far when Bansi fell down and succumbed to his injuries.

Next day while Ramu was crying for food, Arsi went to the village for help but all doors were closed on her. Arsi had the golden “Arsi” with her and most reluctantly she took it to the village goldsmith to dispose of it. The old goldsmith recognized it to be the same “arsi” which he had prepared years ago for the Sahukar’s wife, and taking Arsi as a thief took her to the Sahukar who was at that time indulging in drinks and having her left alone tried to molest her. Arsi caught hold of a knife and stabbed him. He fell down in a pool of blood and died.

After 14 years of imprisonment Arsi came back to Ramesh’s house in the guise of a maid servant, it being decided that her brother should not know her identity. And did the brother recognize the sister? Did Arsi’s love fructify?


(From the official press booklet)



Films by the same director