KALA BAZAR is the story of evolution of the character of an ordinary man, Raghuvir by name, who shows how by his indominable spirit, a ma, if he so wills it, can fight poverty, illiteracy, ignorance, selfishness, love of money and power, and rise above his own petty self, to become a self-sacrificing force that would generate goodness and nothing but goodness.
Fate strikes a heavy handed blow and Raghuvir finds himself out of job. To his eyes the world presents itself in its cruel mercenary aspect, with ‘Kalabazar’ affording bright prospects. The piety of his mother and sister does make him wacer but only for a moment. He has gauged the possibilities of blackmarket in Cinema tickets, and as the expectation of million looms large before his imagination he takes the first step.
Mr. Desai, a lawyer, is the victim of Raghuvir’s rapacity and the five thousand which Raghuvir steals from Desai gives him a flying start. Raghuvir sets about collecting a gang and finds the disreputable characters only too ready to join hands in this lucrative business. Ganesh, a rival in the field of blackmarket, also succumbs to the superior intellect and force of Raghuvir.
Alka and Nand are infatuated with each other; but when Nand buys cinema tickets from the blackmarketeers, Alka bursts into a righteous rage and tears those tickets. Raghuvir, a witness to this scene , is terribly impressed. Gradually he becomes obsessed with Alka and follows her here and there and everywhere. He realized that Alka is infatuated with Nand because eof his superior intellect. With Nand as his ideal, Raghuvir makes desperate attempts to improve his mind through reading.
Nand goes to England for further studies, Alka’s father and mother take her to Ooty and Raghuvir, of course, is right at their heals. Alka’s family on coming to know Raghuvir, take a liking for him. Alka and Raghuvir also become friendly.
In Ooty Raghuvir realizes that his love for Alka is futile. He returns to Bombay but he is the same Raghuvir only as regards the externals. His inner being has suffered a change and he struggles to undo the evil he has done. The first step which he takes towards this transformation is the returning of the five thousand which he had stolen from Desai. He then tries to make the members of his gang take up respectable jobs. Ganesh opposes this ascent to responsibility only to be defeated again. The members of the gang have now a ‘White Market’. Raghuvir is happy but for…..
On a rainy day Alka and Raghuvir meet by chance and both are very happy. They come closer to each other. The shadow of Nand is not an impregnable barrier anymore, for Alka has good reason to believe that Nand has forgotten her. Their love goes ahead by leaps and bounds and finally they decided to marry. It is mutually decided that Raghuvir should ask Alka’s father for her hand. The much awaited day comes and Raghuvir rings the door-bell of Alka’s house; only to be told by a weeping Alka that Nand has returned to claim her. But Nand has come back to tell Alka that she is free. Raghuvir now takes Alka to his mother; but on reaching his house Raghuvir finds a Police Inspector who has come to arrest him on the charge of blackmarketing. Alka leaves him with his crushed hopes. The ailing mother dies of shock the sister clings to her brother, but to no purpose.
Raghuvir refuses bail; he refuses to see anybody- even Alka who, on being apprised of the real facts, comes to meet him.
Raghuvir’s sister, his younger brother, Alka and Raghuvir’s reformed gang are plunged into grief. Even the silver lining is missing.
Silence reigns supreme as the Judge starts reading out the judgment. The sentence has hardly been spoken when there is na interruption- Desai has got up and requested the Court for a postponement.
Desai pleads the case of Raghuvir with ferocious sincerity. Against the legal callousness of the Public Prosecutor, he pitches his moral earnestness and the higher claims of humanity.
(From the official press booklet)