indian cinema heritage foundation

Maa (1952)

  • GenreDrama
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguageHindi
  • Gauge35 mm
  • Censor RatingU
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Mother-maa or by whatever other name may a child lisp the word which spells a fountain of love and affection to the child,-means for it all in all in its childhood, and to the adult a source of solace, is the person which is most hallowed and defied in the world. The mother, the goddess of affection and sacrifice has innumerable ennobling tales about her recounted through all ages and climes.

Rajen and Bhanu, two brothers had such a mother. Their father Chanderbabu was a retired postmaster toiling in his old age in the service of a Zamindar in his native village Chandrapor to complete the education of his sons so that the parents in the evening of their lives could live in peace and happiness.

The elder brother, Rajen, was in the final year for the pleader's examination. He was married to Padma, the daughter of a society highbrow. As such she was very arrogant, disliked Bhanua and overawed her husband.

Bhanu the younger brother, was a jovial, clever and spirited youth, always ready to help and sacrifice for the poor. In the heat of the swadeshi movement he gave up his studies, while in the last year at the college. For this rash action, Bhanu incurred great displeasure of his father. In the circumstances, Rajen became the only hope of the old father.

Bhanu had become very friendly with Meena, the daughter of the school headmaster, Ramnarayan. The later was so much impressed by Bhanu's sterling qualities, that though many highly placed expressed their desire to have Meena to marry their sons, he preferred Bhanu to all others. The glee of Meena and Bhanu knew no bounds, when they learnt of Ramnarayan's approval of their comradeship for life.

Rajen needed Rs. 300/- as fees for his final examination. Chanderbabu, whose only hope was Rajen, made frantic efforts to procure this amount of help, but could not succeed, Padma refused to help from her own personal funds. Frustrated in all attempts to secure this amount, Chanderbabu became desperate.

One night, when Bhanu was returning to his village after attending a fair at Kishengarh, he heard shouts of thief, thief and saw some running and chasing in the dark. As he ran towards it and to his surprise, in a streak of lightening, saw his father being chased, hiding behind a bush. The desperate father blurted out, "to procure the fee amount for Rajen I....". Bhanu at once realised the gravity of the situation, and at once began to run ahead of the chasing crowd. He was apprehended as the thief and awarded one year's jail. Bhanu was lowered in the eyes of Meena and her father, and his betrothal with Meena was revoked. Chanderbabu, struck with shame, collapsed and fell ill. Ultimately, Padma paid Rajen's examination fees, which had she paid at first would have changed the course of the lives of so many. Rajen passed and started practice as a lawyer. After one year, Bhanu was released from jail. Meena's betrothal ceremony was to be performed that day. Bhanu met Meena, who urged him to explain the true facts to her father, but Bhanu did not agree.

Bhanu proceeded to see his father, but on Rajen who met him on the way, informing him that their parents had vowed not to see Bhanu's face, Bhanu got so much disgusted that he turned back.

The father, who was confined to bed, however, on hearing that Bhanu was returning, was overjoyed, but when he learnt that Bhanu had gone away, he collapsed and breathed his last. The old mother became insane, and roamed the streets shouting for Bhanu in the hope that someday Bhanu would return, but alas Bhanu was reported to have shed his mortal coil.

Henpecked Rajen under the thumb of arrogant Padma absolutely neglected his mother. He did not give her any money for her maintenance.

Did anyone come to the rescue of the unfortunate mother? Did Bhanu return?

These very touching incidents be better seen on the Silver Screen.

(From the official press booklets)

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