indian cinema heritage foundation

Chhoti Bhabhi (1950)

  • LanguageHindi
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Chhoti Bhabbi”  is a colourful picture of joint family life having for its focus an unruly house where understanding, sympathy and love are unknown.

We have in this house a variety of characters; an aged father (Gyani), uneducated and old-fashioned, living uncared for and unlooked after. His wife (Gulab) is an equal match of the old man in ignorance. The sharpness of her tongue has grown keener with age and she represents the typical picture of a mother-in-law who is narrow-minded, ill-tempered and lazy.

They have an elder son Madan (Shyam) who is the principal earning member of the family but he is constantly harassed by his quarrelsome and illiterate wife Shanti (Kuldip Kaur) whose crudeness and sharp temper are boldly reflected in her three young daughters.

The general chaos and confusion of the house help an imposter, Cooper(Yakub), to lay his designs on Madan’s  young school-going sister Durgi (Shyama), a misguided soul, whom education merely means fashion and fast living.

It is in such a house that Asha (Nargis, the Chhoti Bhabbi of the picture) enters as the bride of Prakash (younger brother of Shyam, played by Karan Dewan). Asha is the picture of a modern, educated and ideal indian wife. She steps into this house as an educating and reforming force.

How she faces the complex problems created by an obstinate father-in-law, a stupid mother-in-law, the broken-hearted Madan, the tart-tempered Shanti, the misguided Durgi the indisciplined children and the vagabond Cooper, with her wisdom and tact; and how she sacrifices her own love and happiness for common good of the family may be seen on the screen!

(From the official press booklet)