indian cinema heritage foundation

Holi (1940)

  • Release Date1940
  • GenreSocial
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguageHindi

Who is the wealthiest man in this world of wonders?
Most certainly a poor man!
Because he possess in abundance that cruel and creeping wealth of feelings which the rich lacks tears, sighs, miseries, hardships, privations and hunger combined with all the afflicted and tormenting sentiments hounded by his own dreams of happiness which never come true. Indeed this is the real wealth. The wealth that shakes down his body but elevates his soul. 
Sunder was such a person. He was young, had an old mother and a grown up sister, Kokila. All the three, a bunch of withered flowers! It was the day of HOLI, a coulourful day for anyone who could afford to buy colours and happiness. Almost everyone felt gay. Old Seth Babu Lal was playing Holi with Champa – his modernized daughter. Rai Bahadur Mangal Das, an orthodox of the first grade could not resist the temptation of enjoying the day. He played with his son – Chand Sarup – a corrupted person of disreputable character. 
But even on this day, Sunder was looking for work and food. He had been looking in the happy faces for any signs of mercy and humanity. He had been walking through the streets of the great city for several days without success. He went to the house of Seth Babu Lal, pleaded for a job, got a slap on his face and was thrown out of the house. Champa, Babu Lal’s daughter passed that way, lifted him up, sympathized with him, told him to stay where he was and rushed inside the house. She implored her father to do something for the poor man. Babulal followed her most reluctantly but Sunder was gone. 
Sunder’s mother fell seriously ill. There was no one to help them. In the absence of Sunder, Kokila resolved to sell her tiny silver ring to get some medicine for the old woman. She went out but never came back. 
As luck would have it, the same day Sunder got a job. He returned home on the wings of hilarity, happy at last! But there, still another affliction awaited him, more serious than hunger – the honour of his sister was in peril! He went all over the town in search of her; he asked every passer-by if he had seen Kokila. Someone told him that there had been a car accident in which a young girl of Kokila’s description was involved and that the girl was taken away to some hospital by the car owner – Chand Sarup, son of Rai Bahadur Mangal Das. But Kokila was not in any hospital. Sunder rushed to the house of Chand Sarup – a private den. There he was confronted with Chand’s friends, a group of indecent young men who knew nothing about honour. When Sunder asked about Kokila they laughed in his face. Chand jeered at him. Sunder seized him by the throat. A fight ensued. Sunder was overpowered and was knocked out. To hide his own double crime, Chand framed a fake case of theft against Sunder. Money bought the necessary witnesses. Sunder was sent to jail for six months. Nobidy heeded him. No one cared to hear what he said, cried out and shouted. He had to go to jail because he  was poor. He swore vengeance on Chand. 
During these six months, a strange thing happened. Chand was reformed. Now he never gambled, never drank and never spoke a bad word. Who did this miracle? Kokila, the poor simple hearted girl. Divine Love!
When his father Rai Bahadur Mangal Das learnt about this affair, he became furious. He could bear to see his only son rambling in the streets after cheap amusements, he could see him rot in the dirtiest gambling den, but he could not bear to see his son falling in love with a poor girl. He rebuked him for his ‘degenerating’ act and demanded that the girl and her mother must be turned out of the house. Chand refused. He was ready to face his father’s displeasure for the sake of the girl he loved! The father was wrathful. He turned them all out of the house. He disinherited Chand and left him penniless. Chand was amused. He did not recoil from the inevitable dangers of poverty. He worked like a common coolie and felt happy. 
Sunder was still in jail. He knew nothing of what had taken place in his absence. He knew and remembered only one thing – his vengeance!
Chand’s father was repenting. He did not expect Chand to be so sincere in his love for a beggar-girl. He had planned to break him down but felt broke himself. He wished that his son would come back to him with bent head but he did not. Now the old man found that his wealth, worldly honour and his high position were nothing – he was a father with a father’s soft heart. He went to Chand’s poor lodging place, gave him his permission to marry the girl he loved and begged him to come back. 
Few days later there was a great gathering in the house of Rai Bahadur Mangal Das. Chand and Kokila were getting married. Happiness prevailed everywhere. 
On this very day, Sunder was released from jail – 15 days earlier on account of good conduct. He was released not relieved! He was strangely calm with a terrible purpose in his mind. The day of vengeance had come!
He bought a knife. He did not utter a word. He was deadly silent. He went straight to the house of Mangal Das. Chand and Kokila were just married. All the guests were being served with sweets. The happiness of Kokila, her mother and Chand knew no bounds. 
Sunder and his knife were coming nearer and still nearer. Like an angry wolf he rushed through the crowd. He did not enquire what was going on and nobody cared to tell him. Chand saw and recognized him. He smiled happily and proceeded to greet him. Both came closer and closer. Like lightning the hidden knife of Sunder came out and the next moment it was in the chest of Chand. A great commotion took place. Cries were heard: “Murder! Murder! Murder!” Sunder was captured. He did not resist. He was smiling. He had taken his revenge. On the stairs came Kokila weeping and crying “Swami, Swami!” She fell on the body of Chand who was profusely bleeding. Then she got up, turned to the murderer, held him by his throat! Her grip relaxed. She could not believe her eyes. The murderer was her own brother. Sunder was puzzled, he could not understand, he began to laugh hysterically!
What happened next? See the most baffling conclusion on the silver screen!

[from the official press booklet]