indian cinema heritage foundation

Mem Sahib (1956)

  • LanguageHindi

The parents of Meena and Sunder had completely different ideas about the way their children should be educated and brought up. Still they wanted to bring them together in marriage. Meena's father felt convinced that the world of today needed 'MEM SAHIBS', the ancient system of education and discipline had no place in it; while Sunder's father stuck to the belief that the world of today needed the ancient education and culture as much as the world of yesterday; the modern education was a sham and a show.

The result was that while Meena, under the impact of modern ways of life and learning, became a 'pucca Mem Sahib'. Sunder became a veritable Sadhu in his Guru's Ashram.

While she was celebrating the birthday of her pet dog's pups with great eclat, he was doing severe penance lying on iron nails with perfect composure and iron determination. She was incapable of appreciating spiritual values of life, he was absolutely ignorant of life itself as lived in the city with its temptations and pitfalls. His education and training was as incomplete and one-sided, as was hers.

Therefore when, after completing his education in the forest retreat, Sundar came to the city and met Meena the inevitable clash between life as taught out of the sacred books and life as practically lived in an ultra-modern environment, started, she deriding all things ancient, he determined to wage war upon the world and turn it into a habitat of long and lush-haired sadhus and dervishes. How could the two poles meet? And if they did not meet, how was the essential condition of their father's will to be fulfilled?

The answer to these queries will be found in the brilliant satire and rollicking comedy that "MEM SAHIB" is.

(From the official press booklet)