indian cinema heritage foundation

Bari Didi (1939)

  • Release Date1939
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguageBengali
  • Run Time128 mins

Soren was a brilliant scholar of the University. His success in Mathematics in the find examination brought him fresh laurels and a boast of admirers. They all advised him to go to England for higher studies, but his parents could not think of it.  His step-mother was definitely
against it. Shehad her own ideas about Suren. To her, Suren was no better than a child, was sadly lacking in the initiative of the adult and was too weak to adapt himself to the normal routine of life. His stepmother's will prevailed. Disappointed at this decision and encouraged by his friends to seek for himself his own fortune, he left home.

He really ran away from his home at Patna and came to Calcutta. In the city be found himself absolutely stranded. Fate however helped him to get in touch with an affluent land holder- a widower with two daughters. The elder daughter Madhvi was young widow and the younger Primla was only a child. Suren got job as tutor to the little girl. His helplessness, so well-known to his step-mother, was soon noticed by the mistress of the household Madhvi.

To Madhvi, who after the death of her husband, was living with her parents, Suren became imperceptibly an object of sympathy. Madhvi, young, affectionate and intelligent as she was, could at once understand Soren. She started bestowing on him some amount of tender care. As time passed, Madhvi   unknown   to herself, found in her heart a soft corner for Suren. The domestics are usually so cute-they noticed it and started gossiping. Madhvi had also written to her friend Manorama, unwittingly, a lot about Suren. From these letters Manorama sensed clearly the weakness    Madhvi had for   Suren. She wrote back to Madhvi, warning her very plainly. This indeed was a revelation to her. She went to Benares to forget Suren. Suren missed Madhvi. He got Primla to write Madhvi asking her to come back.  Madhvi came back.

The inner apartments of the household were as a rule inaccessible to Suren, but he broke the barriers of convention, in his enthusiasm to approach Madhvi and tell her how much he had suffered in her absence. Madhvi did not like to face facts this way. It was repulsive to her. She ordered him out of her apartments. Madhvi then tried to ascertain what progress her sister had made in her studies. What she found was entirely disappointing. Suren had neglected his duties as a tutor. Suren in fact had been absorbed in his own studies. Madhvi told Suren that he was no longer wanted. So Suren had to leave the house.

Soon after Suren left, he met with a street accident and was removed to a hospital. Both Suren's father and Madhvi's were informed. They met at the hospital. Madhvi came to know of it too and she knew more-Suren's antecedents. Suren after recovery went back to his people and out of Madhvi's life.

Five years rolled by.......

In a distant Bengal village, Suren, a big Zamindar, was living happily with his beautiful and devoted wife Santi, but his thoughts were still with his Bari-didi.  Santi knew it and at times felt jealous. Madhvi in the meanwhile, after the death of her father and marriage of her elder brother, had to come away and live in her deceased husband's place, which by a strange coincidence, was situated in a village within the Zamindary of  Suren.

There was mismanagement and oppression by the officers of Suren's estate.   The tales of woe of the tenants reached Suren. He tried to help them to the best of his abilities.  In course of Investigation he came across particulars of oppression on a certain Madhvi Devi-then discovered that this Madhvi was no other than his Bari-didi. Immediately, he set out on horseback for Madhvi's village home, but on reaching found that Madhvi had already left, rendered homeless by his own men.   He continued on foot.

The shock and strain told heavily on Suren. He had not really recovered from the effects of the internal injury; he had suffered from the street accident, years ago.

Running along the bank of river, he overtook Madbvi's boat. It was a painful meeting.
Suren collapsed, with his head on Madhvi's lap.