indian cinema heritage foundation

Koshish (1972)

  • LanguageHindi
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This is a story set in the awesome world of silence. Not the silence that springs from the lack of speech, but the silence born of loss of speech. Of the world of Aarti, the world of Hari, the world without words.

They met one day, at a grocer's shop. Aarti, in a hurry, was trying her best to convey to the grocer her needs. A difficult task at all times, for one denied the gift of speech.

Hari, too, was in a great hurry, and almost seemed to imitate Aarti in his efforts to get the grocer understand what he wanted. Without words.

For a moment, their looks met, and they noticed each other's childlike gestures. Was it that one was imitating the other? No Aarti and Hari had one thing in common. They "spoke" the same language, the language of the deaf and the dumb.

They met again. Hari was crossing the street when he noticed Aarti being harassed by roadside romeos. Chivalrously, Hari came to her rescue and escorted her home and to safety. The seeds of a heart-marring romance had been sown.

Hari sold newspapers in the morning, pedaling his bicycle from house to house as he delivered papers and eled out a meagre living. Aarti, lived with her mother, and her brother Kanu. Kanu was an unscrupulous youngman, a thief and a black marketer in cinema tickets. he kept a mistress and in trying to provide for the woman and his own pleasures, he once attempted to rob poor Aarti, taking mean advantage of her being stone deaf.

Hari and Aarti shortly discovered that they had much more in common apart from their so-called deficiency of hearing and speaking. They were deeply in love and with the blessings of Aarti's mother, they were joined on holy wedlock.

When it is known that Aarti was in the family way, her mother feared that their child would inherit their common handicap. These fears proved to be baseless, not before they passed through many anxious moments and faced trials peculiar to those who have been deprived of the power of speech and hearing. Yet their handicap one stormy night was the direct cause of their losing their first born Kanu entered their room to steal his sister's necklace whilst Aarti and Hari were deep in slumber and paved the way for the small child to crawl to watery grave outside the house.

It is said that the ways of Providence are inscrutable. Aarti and Hari were blessed with another offspring again a perfectly moral child. This time, they had in the house an angelic soul, a blind man who took upon himself the task of acting as their tongue and their ears. He could not see, but could hear and talk. When their child woke up in the middle of the night crying the blind man would wake the sleeping parents.

Thus time went by. Hari moved from newspaper vendor to shoeshine boy till he finally reached the position of an officer in a printing press something he owed as much to his inherent honesty and capacity for hard work as he did to a sympathetic and understanding boss. The man had a definite reason for being so inclined toward his employee. He had a daughter who like Hari was totally deaf and dumb.

By this time Aarti and Hari had reached middle age and their son Amit was a smart collegian. One evening, they were all invited by the boss for a cup of tea. The purpose? A proposal of marriage between their respective children. The normal son of deficient parents and the handicapped daughter of normal parents.

To his father's utter shock, Amit refused to consider the match and accept as his bride, a beautiful young girl who spoke the same language as his own deaf and dumb parents. The shock is too much for Hari to hear. The dream world they had built with their courage and fortitude, the strength which they had found and that enabled them to slog and to suffer that they may raise their only son to be an educated man all collapsed like a house of cards in the face of Amit's educational career seemed so much a waste of time and his father threw out his books and his academic degrees. All worthless when Amit had so badly failed to pass the test of life.

Yet all is never lost, and in a final assessment, Amit realised his terrible mistake and in an effort to make amends, he agreed to marry the girl of his father's choice, the girl he had been so cruel to have once rejected. The efforts of the deaf and dumb couple to build a family and a world of their own at last had taken roots.

(From the official press booklets)