indian cinema heritage foundation

Milan (1946)

  • Release Date1946
  • GenreRomance, Drama
  • FormatB-w
  • LanguageHindi
  • Run Time120 min
  • Length3947.46 meters
  • Number of Reels14
  • Gauge35 mm
  • Censor RatingU
  • Censor Certificate NumberB-34846
  • Certificate Date29/11/1946

This adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore’s Naukadubi marks Nitin Bose’s Bombay Talkies debut. Ramesh is a zamindar’s son living in Kolkata. He is friends with an aspiring lawyer Jogen who is also his neighbour. He often visits Jogen’s family. Jogen lives with his father Annada Babu and his sister Hemnalini (Hem). Hem and Ramesh are fond of each other which sparks the jealousy of another friend Akshay. Akshay informs Ramesh’s father of his closeness with Hem who is from a tradesman caste. Ramesh’s orthodox father immediately demands that Ramesh marry a woman of his choosing called Sushila instead of Hem. Ramesh is unable to refute his father’s demand and the marriage is swiftly completed. But disaster strikes on the boat ride back from the wedding. The boat capsizes in a storm leaving Ramesh and another woman the lone survivor. Since Ramesh had never seen his bride before, he takes this woman to be her. But to his shock he realises that her name is Kamala and not Sushila. She too is a newlywed bride who had never seen her husband before. Kamala believes that Ramesh is her husband which causes great consternation to Ramesh. He sends Kamala away to boarding school to get an education. He does not divulge anything about what had happened to Annada Babu and Hem. Soon his marriage with Hem is also fixed.

Before long, Ramesh’s secrecy starts catching up to him. Akshay’s sister studies in the same school as Kamala and he makes pointed remarks about this to Ramesh. When questioned about this Ramesh refuses to provide any answer. When he is asked to take Kamala home for the holidays, Ramesh postpones his marriage to Hem and hides Kamala in his home. Jogen and Akshay arrive at his house and find Kamala there.

Extremely distressed and caught in a moral quandary, Ramesh takes Kamala away to Kashi for a few days. On the way there they befriend a kindly gentleman called Triloke Chacha. Hem comes to know of this and she is distraught, worrying her father. She is also taken to Kashi to help her recover. There they encounter a young doctor named Nalin whose words move Hem. Annada Babu and Nalin’s mother wish to arrange their marriage but Nalin refuses. Nalin had been married before but his wife is believed to have perished in a boat accident. Nalin still believes she is alive somewhere.

Ramesh figures out from a correspondent from Kamala’s village that she was married to a certain Dr. Nalin. He immediately starts looking for Nalin. Kamala, still in Ramesh’s house, reads a letter Ramesh leaves behind and contemplates ending her life when she is burdened with this knowledge. She ultimately refrains from this and instead seeks shelter from Triloke Chacha. Triloke Chacha undersands what has happened and gets her a job as a maid in Nalin’s household. Nalin’s mother, who is not aware of her true identity, is very impressed with her diligence. Everything comes to a head when Annada Babu and Hem come to talk to Nalin’s mother. Triloke Chacha reveals the whole story and Nalin welcomes Kamala with open arms. Hem is also pleased with this outcome as this absolves Ramesh and their marriage can finally be happily completed.