indian cinema heritage foundation

Halla Gulla (1954)

  • Release Date1954
  • GenreDrama
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguageHindi
  • Length4015.74 meters
  • Gauge35 mm
  • Censor RatingU
  • Censor Certificate NumberU-11893-MUM
  • Certificate Date07/12/1954

What is there to ask about his/her desires? Theirs whose boat drowns just near the shore.

A ship set out on a long journey from Bandargah, India. During its journey, it had to face a ravenous storm, and eventually, the ship was engulfed by the mighty waves of the ocean. Of the passengers who survived were Bhagwan and Sajjan. Floating in the ocean, they were washed up on the shore of a small village. This colony was new to them. At the time, miles away from their country, they were stuck in a wild settlement native to Singapore, awaiting their deaths. The residents of the settlement welcomed the guests with affection but the two strangers were still pensive about their every move. Their lives were surrounded by hopelessness.

However, they finally found hope. Asha was the daughter of an Indian merchant who was the biggest supplier of pearls in the colony and whose life was always in danger. In an instance, Bhagwan and Sajjan saved the merchant’s life and the merchant owed them a favor. But this favor was not such that he would lend Asha’s hand in marriage to Sajjan. In fact, when he learned that Sajjan and Asha were getting close, he instantly arranged her marriage to Kumbar, who was Babusha’s, special man. On one hand, Babusha and Kumbar claimed that they could give their life for the merchant whilst behind his back, they were plotting to cut off his roots. On the day of the wedding, the bride and groom arrived to take the blessings of the merchant but his anger knew no bounds because the man dressed as the groom was not Kumbar. Instead, it was Sajjan who was standing there holding his Asha in his arms. Moreover, Bhagwan’s eyes were sparkling with happiness and a touch of mischief because uniting the two lovers was his doing. The merchant cursed the couple with bad luck and unhappiness for the years to come. Time played its games and the curses manifested into the lives of the couple.

Asha, who used to live in a palace, was now giving birth to her child in a small hut. While everyone is rejoicing the birth of Asha’s child, Bhagwan and Sajjan start searching for work as they will need the means to survive. The duo starts the dangerous work of extracting pearls from the ocean. One day, Bhagwan dives very deep into the ocean and acquires a very big pearl. Bhagwan is ready to sacrifice many such pearls to his friend and coincidentally, the value of the pearl is so high that no merchant in the locality can tell its exact worth. They say, its human nature to lose control over the mind when one acquires wealth.

Sajjan too became prey to this pride. He forgot his dearest friend, his loyal wife, his innocent children, and his aged mother after acquiring the pricey pearl. The only agenda on his mind was that he becomes rich as soon as possible. However, being wealthy comes with its own set of drawbacks. Sajjan spent day and night guarding the pearl and would not sleep at all. Asha, worried about her beloved husband, requested Bhagwan to throw away the pearl as soon as possible. Bhagwan agrees to do so and goes to discard the pearl but Sajjan catches him at the last minute. Sajjan, in his anger, abuses and goes to the extent of hitting Bhagwan thinking that he stole the pearl and Bhagwan is so sullen that he does not have words to defend himself. Sajjan removes Bhagwan from his house and in the lonely hours of midnight, Bhagwan finds himself strolling on the streets pondering whether there is such a thing as honesty, friendship, compassion, and love, or are these merely fantasies that are far from reality. Bhagwan breaks down into tears thinking that despite him being there for his friend through thick and thin, it was his destiny to be wronged by the same friend. Bhagwan is heartbroken and tired of the greedy world, but that does not stop Babusha. Babusha sets out from his home to acquire the pearl by killing Sajjan but Sajjan and his kids are missing from their home. A desperate Asha is calling out for her family but to no avail. 

Was Sajjan killed? Did Asha find her husband and children? Was Bhagwan able to get back his dear friendship with Sajjan? These answers are what make the story interesting so why not watch “Halla Gulla” to get them? 

[translated from the official press booklet]



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