indian cinema heritage foundation

Doctor Madhurika/Modern Wife (1935)

  • Release Date1935
  • GenreSocial
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguageHindi

You belong to your profession – to your friends - to people! What are you to me? As a life partner you have no affection for me, as a friend no faith and by denying motherhood you have ruined the divine pleasure of home! Tell me, what happiness you derived – what happiness I obtained? 

Dr. Madhurika’s “life-interest” was lying on the operation table. Her beautiful fingers were famous, for they hardly failed in operation-theatre, the surgical instruments, that cold steel, knew its masters in Surgeon Madhurika. After the operation she used to go to her consulting chamber like a triumphant queen and Dr. Gaurish was always there to flatter her. They were rather thick because of their common interest. Gaurish was cherishing a hope that one day he will be able to convince Madhurika to join him in life also, although he had a wife and a child – Madhurika had warm feelings for the poor and she always raised her voice against the increase of population. She believed that children should not be necessary corollary to marriage. She pointed out that the poor had no business to add to progeny if they had nothing to eat. She had a friend, a young Barrister Narendra, who went on congratulating Madhurika for her achievements. But these praises had “something” in it. Through this he got a chance to tell Madhurika that he really cared for her. He proposed to her and Madhurika showed her inclination. But she cried “halt” unless and until Narendra agrees to her terms, that he should not interfere with her friends and profession, he should not pine for children, he should not come in her way of independence, etc. Poor Narendra said “yes” to all these, and then the wedding bells rang. Narendra thought that he had secured the best of the woman. Days passed but Madhurika remained a Doctor, caring little for her hearth and home. She triumphed as a surgeon but failed miserably as a wife. She played a Doctor, talking nothing but “operation”, “idoform”, “knives”, “patients” and “bones”. She droned and droned like this and Narendra realized that he had married a woman who would never share his joys or sorrows. She entertained Gaurish every day and their world was their operation theatre. Narendra could not bear the lonely house without his wife. For days together Madhurika had not time to say sweet work to her husband. In his lonely moments he imagined a home, bubling with the innocent pranks of children. He realized painfully that it will remain always as a dream. 

Dr. Gaurish also wrecked his home. His wife and child faced starvation while he on other hand and would buy flowers and present them to Dr. Madhurika. The little boy and her mother tried their best to please Gaurish who would not stay at home. Even suicide plan did not succeed. Then Shrimati, wife of Dr. Gaurish and her baby sought Narendra’s help, who sympathized with their common lot – Narendra was almost losing hold on life but unfortunately he came across Indu and her children, the helpless “lot” at Chowpati. They were distressed and Narendra extended his hand for help and affection held them together. Narendra’s main interest in life was Indu and her children. They chased away the dark clouds of gloom hovering over his life. Now Madhurika came to know that Narendra was indifferent towards her. He had something new in his life to live for. What was it?

She actually grew jealous this time, her cold profession did not help her; she came out as a woman. Hot words passed between Madhurika and Narendra. Then Narendra decide to take Madhurika to the hanging garden where Indu and her children used to come for him. Now Madhurika is brought on the scene and she sees Indu’s innocent kids. For the first time she is stirred. Her whole being cries for children in spite of herself, in spite of her hosted the mother in her gently strokes her mood. But when she reaches home, she again attains her cold attitude. She definitely puts before Narendra that if her maintains his relations with Indu and kids, then he loses her forever, Narendra makes a great effort to declare his choice. He demands sometime over this choice and then a dream takes hold of his puzzled brain. In the dream he sees his dear children, then Madhurika’s demand to do away with them. He lets go his kids but he decides to blow off fingers of Dr. Madhurika, as a price of losing the kids. His revolver does this and he surrenders himself to the police. Then the court sits on the case. He tells the whole court that he loves Madhurika more than anything in the world; that is why he has very kindly used revolver to blow off her fingers. The court laughs and then the jury declares him guilty and he is sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment. He accepts this sentence cheerfully because after two years his Barristership will be over and Dr. Madhurika will no more be a Surgeon. They will then live as husband and wife, and this dream dies and Narendra actually goes to Dr. Madhurika with a revolver in his hands. He stages a threat. Madhurika tells him to shoot and she keeps her fingers against the revolver. Narendra is stunned. She realizes his love for her. She succumbs to his love and they decide to go away, far far away from the civilization to a lonely village to play on the music of life. They quietly leave the town. This creates a big sensation. Everybody hears the rumour that Narendra has murdered Madhurika and has taken away the dead body with him. This rumour proves too much for Gaurish. He comes out in search for truth. While passing a motor car, he sees Narendra cutting firewood and he tries to arrest him in the name of the law. Narendra assures him that he has preserved the mummy of Madhurika, Dr. Gaurish demands it and when they get into the cottage, a robust, red-cheeked woman appears with a dazzling smile on her face. She is Dr. Madhurika – now changed into a woman she is not found with her surgical instruments but with her daily home duties and then the town celebrates their return. In the end Gaurish comes to know the private life of a lady surgeon, known as Dr. Madhurika it is that she is going to be the mother of a child – once the famous doctor of the town. 

Narendra! No more I am doctor Madhurika – I am your wife, your life partner!

[from the official press booklet]