Baiju Bawra (1952)

At home, our tastes (when it comes to cinema) are very varied. My husband likes science fiction or fantasy, kung fu, conspiracy, superheroes, and (occasionally) comedy. And very little of it pre-90’s. I watch just about anything that’s pre-70’s. So, when we were deciding which DVDs we wanted to order next from our DVD rental service, I was taken aback when my husband said, “Baiju Bawra.”
“That’s black and white,” I said, wondering if the recent bout of long and stressful work hours had taken its toll. “Early 50’s. Hindi.”
“I know,” he said. “Good music.”

And yes, good music is the outstanding feature of this film. It had to be, since it’s about the legendary 16th century singer and musician Baijnath (‘Baiju’) Bawra.

Agra during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Akbar (Bipin Gupta, though we don’t get to see him until close to the end of the film) is a wealthy, busy city: the capital of the Mughal empire. Here, in one of the grandest havelis of the imperial city, lives Tansen (Surendra), singer par excellence and one of the nau ratan (the fabled ‘nine gems’) of Akbar’s court. Tansen, it seems, is well aware of his consequence: nobody is allowed to even try to sing in the vicinity of his haveli, since that will disturb the maestro while he’s practising. If you want to sing, you’d better sing better than Tansen. If not, you’ll be executed.

Not everybody knows this, of course. One day, a group of minstrels passes through town, singing hymns, totally oblivious of this rule. Tansen’s band of hangers-on immediately attacks the minstrels. In the ensuing violence, there’s an accident and one of the men is fatally injured. As he’s dying, he tells his young son Baijnath ‘Baiju’ (Ratan Kumar) to avenge his death.

His father dead, a weeping and somewhat befuddled Baiju sets off to take revenge on Tansen. Not that Tansen is directly responsible, but still. Baiju isn’t even very sure how he’s going to avenge his father’s death—but passing a camp one day, he steals a sword and tries to run off with it, in the hope that he can someday use that sword to kill Tansen. The soldiers from the camp chase Baiju and catch up with him soon enough. They’re on the verge of meting out punishment when an unexpected saviour turns up: a passing pandit (Manmohan Krishna), who intercedes on Baiju’s behalf and finally takes the boy under his wing.

Panditji takes Baiju along with him to his riverside village. This is where Baiju meets the pretty little Gauri (Baby Tabassum), the boatman’s daughter who ferries Baiju and Panditji across. Along the way, she strikes up a friendship with Baiju…

…a friendship that endures and blossoms into love. A few years later, Baiju (now Bharat Bhushan, with a shock of hair that’d give Dev Anand a run for his money) and Gauri (now Meena Kumari) are deeply in love. They spend most of their time together. After sundown, Gauri even goes to meet Baiju when he sits beside the river and practises his singing. She is his muse, says Baiju, but many of the villagers think this is all very scandalous.

Baiju and Gauri’s love is even more of a scandal because Gauri’s father Mohan (B M Vyas) has already arranged her marriage with a villager called Narpat (Mishra). Narpat is very full of himself, a wealthy man by village standards and pompous to boot. When he discovers that his betrothed is completely—and openly—in love with another man, Narpat is (with reason, I think) far from pleased. He takes Mohan to task about his daughter’s wayward ways, but when her father ticks her off, Gauri cowers only briefly. She isn’t giving up Baiju, no matter what Narpat or the other villagers may say.

It gradually dawns on Narpat that the one attraction Baiju holds for Gauri is his beautiful voice. The way to win Gauri, therefore, is to sing as wonderfully as Baiju does. Narpat has a brainwave; he sends his right hand man off to Agra, to fetch a master singer who will hone Narpat’s talents, such as they are.

The man Narpat’s friend brings is Ghasit Khan (Radhakrishna), a not very good singer who is nevertheless able to recognise good singing when he hears it. Ghasit Khan arrives in the village on a night that’s going to be a turning point in the lives of all the main characters in this story.

One of the first people Ghasit Khan encounters in the village is Narpat Singh, who instantly antagonises Ghasit Khan by showing off his awful voice. Narpat has been spending the evening bawling his lungs out to a reluctant Gauri, and doesn’t realise that Ghasit Khan is the guru his friend has fetched.
Ghasit Khan has just begun to berate Narpat for his abysmal singing when the village is attacked by a band of dacoits, led by the fearsome Roopmati (Kuldeep Kaur).

Roopmati’s busy instructing her bandits to loot and plunder, when Baiju breaks into song, dissuading the bandits and urging them towards humanity and mercy and general goodwill towards all. I can’t see why a lot as hardened as this would be affected by Baiju’s song, but they are. Roopmati agrees to return to the villagers all that the bandits have snatched from them—on one condition. Baiju will have to come with the bandits, back to their hideout.

Baiju doesn’t have much choice. Even though a clingy Gauri tries to stop him, he reminds her that unless he goes with Roopmati & Co., the village won’t be safe.
So Baiju ends up in Roopmati’s hideout, where she reveals the reason behind abducting him: love at first sight. Baiju is sceptical, and in any case, he’s too devoted to Gauri to even look at another woman.

In her conversation with Baiju, Roopmati tells him a little bit of her past. It emerges that she is the daughter of a wealthy princeling who was murdered and his lands confiscated. Roopmati is out to retrieve what is rightfully hers, and to seek vengeance for her father’s death.
For Baiju, this is like a bolt out of the blue: a moment of epiphany. Engrossed in his music and his Gauri, he’d forgotten all about his long-ago pledge to avenge his father’s death. He has a mission to accomplish.

With a few words to a surprisingly accommodating Roopmati, Baiju goes off to Agra, and to Tansen’s haveli. He’s managed to acquire a sword along the way, and it’s now time for an accounting.
But Tansen, no matter that he may have been responsible for the death of Baiju’s father, is after all, Tansen: the sangeet samrat, the ‘king of music’. Baiju, lurking behind Tansen as he sings, finds himself mesmerised and is unable to lift his sword until it’s too late.

When Tansen ends his song and the spell is broken, Baiju is assaulted by Tansen’s guards and servants—but Tansen himself is gracious and forgiving. Baiju is released, and allowed to go his own way: the only way, he realises, that will be a fitting revenge. To merely kill Tansen would be an insufficient revenge; Tansen must be shamed—his music must be shown as being less than that of Baiju. So Baiju goes to Vrindavan, to become a disciple of Swami Haridas (Rai Mohan), Tansen’s guru. The man who taught Tansen can teach Baiju. Only an accomplished, highly trained Baiju can defeat Tansen, inflicting on him a fate worse than death.

And thus the story plays out. Swami Haridas tries to teach Baiju to renounce violence and the need for revenge, while Baiju keeps his fury against Tansen alive. He wanders near and far, trying to reach for his own zenith in music—and far away, in that village by the river, a lonely Gauri, now being pressurised to marry Narpat, yearns for the lover who appears to have forgotten her.

What I liked about this film:

The music. Naushad is at his classical best here, with gems like the superb Man tadpat hari darshan ko aaj, Mohe bhool gaye saanwariya and Tu Ganga ki mauj main Jamuna ka dhara. The last-named is also a delightful bit of picturisation: a distressed and shy Gauri, caught midstream, with the entire village looking on as Baiju serenades her. Sweet!

Kuldeep Kaur. Gauri is a sweet but rather weepy village girl in Baiju Bawra; Roopmati, on the other hand, is a brave, feisty woman who doesn’t shy away from fighting—yet is mature and sensitive enough to be an object of sympathy. I liked her a lot; much more than Meena Kumari’s Gauri, though Gauri is admittedly very pretty.

What I didn’t like:

Rai Mohan as Swami Haridas. There was something just so creepy about him. True, he was supposed to be the long-suffering, always-smiling and patient and saintly swami, but the general impression I got was of someone definitely a little macabre. Maybe the smile had something to do with it.

In any case, the story and the acting are not the main thing about Baiju Bawra. The acting is so-so (in some cases, even downright theatrical), and the story, while not boring, tends to wander off on tangents. The melodrama goes over the top every now and then, the wood-and-cardboard sets are unconvincing, and there are anachronisms (the bandits brandish rifles that fire successive rounds). But, Meena Kumari is pretty, Kuldeep Kaur is spirited, and the music is magnificent. If there’s one Hindi film I’d recommend for a good dose of classical Hindustani music, this would be it.

53 thoughts on “Baiju Bawra (1952)

  1. I never thought I’d say this, but from your screen caps, Meena Kumari looks merely pretty while Kuldeep Kaur looks downright beautiful!

    I LOVE the entire soundtrack of the film but I’ve never been even remotely tempted to look out for the film itself. Some songs are best left unexplored and un-followed…

    As a kid, Baiju’s dard bhare naale puzzled me quite a bit. After much thinking, I concluded that the songwriter had duly applied for and received his poetic license, and was therefore entitled to fill his sewage pipes with as much pain as he wished!


  2. PS: “Swami Haridas” does look very creepy. Its probably the contrast between the “old” face and the clearly young-man chest of hair. Its too bad the fashion for shaving chest hair didnt arrive in time for him to do something about that!


  3. “some songs are best left unexplored and un-followed…”

    I’m wishing I’d done that for films like Saaranga and Bhabhi! Baiju Bawra is not completely unbearable, but the music is by far the best thing about this film. (And by the way, the dard bhare mere naale business was something I’d never understood as a kid either – I finally decided it was some sort of dialectic mispronunciation of naare!)

    I think it’s not just all that hair on his chest that makes Swami Haridas creepy – it’s his teeth too. He’s got the hugest gaps between all his teeth, and since he’s almost constantly grinning, it’s really very scary.


  4. I watched this movie recently, maybe a month ago.
    And I was surprised how unboring it was.
    I was preparing myself for the songs and thinking on the lines, how boring the dialogues would be and how melodramatic and so on and so forth.
    And I watched it at one go. Quite unusual for me.
    I loved and enjoyed it fully.
    What made it watchable for me: no csp, gutsy female leads, good editing, great music, no overwhelming splendours of mughal court and the liebestod!


  5. I remember listening to a russian man singing ‘Tu ganga ki mauj’ on radio. Heard the original much later. And his pronunciation was fun. “Dubo denge naiya, tumhein ‘duhuduhu’ (dhoondh) lenge…..”
    Those were the days of Indo-Russia friendship.


  6. harvey: Yes, the lack of a CSP is a definite plus point, though I think I’d have liked even those few scenes of Narpat and his friend to have been removed – that was a bit forced. I can understand the reason to have the Narpat character, since he is pretty crucial to the Baiju-Gauri love story, but that he should be a buffoon and spend time clowning around (unintentionally) wasn’t needed.
    Okay, you liked the liebestod? I have to admit I’ve never been a fan of that, but yes, here I didn’t cry buckets because of it.

    Hero Heeralal: Hahaha!!! Thank you – that was good. Especially the Ho rahega malan yeh hamaara. The Russians used to be very keen on Hindi cinema way back then…


  7. Hit pe hit DO
    the tracks
    as a yungster never felt about this movie, songs oh yeah, superb!

    but as we grew up (did we?), tastes changed for the better, like yr hubby who opted for this movie .),

    in anycase I always liked the dreamy eyed Bharat Bhushan, his movies had good songs, who can forget Barsaat Ki Raat,Mirza Ghalib, Sangeet Samrat Tansen, Basant Bahar, Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh,Jahan Ara…..

    One on the wish list is Gyarah Hazaar Ladkiyan (1962) …….

    Ah the tragedy queen Meena Kumari, she made all roles look so easy, chip of da ol block.

    Oh not to forget Gateway of India (1957) with Pradeepda, another guy who had one g8 track after the other, never miss his movies either. .)

    Cheers .)


  8. madhulika! thanks for the review..
    But i came here to say, at the end of a 10 day vacation in Goa, thank you for Gulnar. From your TEC :)

    Btw I have decided I need to meet Shammi Kapoor and am making a trip to Bombay as soon as i can..wanna co-ord?:)


  9. I liked the character of Gauri, though she had the usual dose of rona-dhona. I like the way she quips “ise tairna nahi sirf dubna aata hai”. And she stands up to her decision to marry Baiju only relenting when she gets the news that Baiju is dead. I like the contrast between her and Baiju. She is all love and he is all revenge, till her love succeeds in converting his desire for revenge to love.
    Although I liked the Liebestod, I found it totally unnecessary here.
    And what I still can’t believe, I was moved to tears by “Tu Ganga ki mauj” *sigh*


  10. I saw this film for the songs alone and ended up liking it very much.
    That was because of the very low expectations. I thought it would be boring, but it wasn’t.

    Loved the bandit queen too, but Meena Kumari comes first with me – no matter what!!! :-)

    In addition to the songs which one knew of, the time when Baiju Bawra comes from behind to slay Tansen while he’s singing is great, and not forgetting the marathon competition between the two.
    These moments can be seen only in the film, so I’m very satisfied that I saw it.


  11. ash: We’re going to have to agree to disagree here! I’m not a Bharat Bhushan fan at all (I don’t actively dislike him, but I wouldn’t see a film if the only ‘attraction’ was Bharat Bhushan). Thankfully, though, as you say – he starred in some films with mind-blowing music. Mirza Ghalib and Barsaat ki Raat are two of my favourites: just thinking about their music gives me gooseflesh. And this one, of course.

    zap: You liked Gulnar? Thank you!
    BTW, I’m not the one who met Shammi Kapoor in Bombay – Greta, over at memsaabstory, did. Ask her if she can help; and if you do succeed, my saadar pranaam and most ardent love to him. ;-)

    harvey: You know what, somehow except for that one quip (and the fact that she holds out against Narpat/Mohan/the villagers) I found Gauri rather tepid. That constant rona-dhona got on my nerves, and I thought she was a little insipid. Now, maybe a feisty Meena Kumari (a la Kohinoor) who followed Baiju to Agra and tried to show him what a nut he was for trying to kill Tansen – and maybe then accompanied him to Haridas so they could defeat Tansen with a dhaansoo duet?!
    Okay, maybe I’m letting my imagination run away with me. :-(

    pacifist: I rewatched Baiju Bawra after years: I’d forgotten most of the story, except the crux – that marathon competition. So, watching it again was more or less like seeing it for the first time, and I actually thought it was much better than I’d remembered it. That competition is really quite superb!


  12. I’ve seen this, i watched it in my early Meena Kumari fandom days, its where i first saw Bharat Bhushan and I thought he was soooo Cute, i would have liked it even more if not for the over the top melodrama especially at the end, was it necessary? Anyway the songs as you’ve said are fab


  13. As with everyone else, the music was what pulled me in to “Baiju Bawara”, but I really liked the movie as well – it’s surprisingly entertaining. I guess I’m bit of a sucker for movies revolving around music or musicians. I have equal love for “Sangreet Samrat Tansen” and “Kavi Kalidas”, which coincidentally also star Bharat Bhushan.


  14. Music is definitely wow!!! And the competition was amazing but I had almost forgotten the rest of the story. I had watched it long long ago and I don’t even think I had understood it fully then. It wasn’t boring but my mind did wander off in between. Not a Bharat Bhushan fan myself but I wouldn’t mind rewatching this one just for the songs and Kuldip Kaur!


  15. memsaab: Kuldip Kaur’s a gem – and I like that she plays a feisty woman in this, in a good way; she’s not a nasty vamp as she was in some other films.

    bollywoodeewana: Yes, this is one of the few films in which I find even Bharat Bhushan bearable (I’m not a fan of his), though as you say, the melodrama at the end is too over the top. Actually, not just at the end, but also in between, to some extent – there are scenes involving a snake hanging artistically from a cave roof… no, I prefer to forget that; it was just too painful for words.

    Shalini: I’ve not seen either Sangeet Samrat Tansen or Kavi Kalidas – must, must amend ASAP! The ‘original’ Tansen – starring K L Saigal – is on my DVD rental wishlist, so will probably see it sometime in the near future.

    sunheriyaadein: I can understand when you say “It wasn’t boring but my mind did wander off in between.” I saw it only about a week ago, but I can’t really recall what happened, except in the more vivid scenes – the competition or the end, for example. Still, the music and Kuldip Kaur are enough reason to watch this!


  16. I would say, it is fairly a lucky person, who comes to blogs as these. Rather interesting account of the movie and painstaking effort to keep the movie of yesteryear alive. Thank you, Mam


  17. Hello!
    Am in depths of internetless land over Easter and have wangled a few minutes to keep up with the world…
    love the music of the film, and meena kumari looks beautiful indeed. BB I could have done without altho´it does suit him to be weeping and moaning and singing about.
    naale= wouldn’t that come as a poetic liscence from nare?
    Russians keen on indian films in that time? or were they only ones available?
    rather like the cartoons we saw= only eastern european were available on DD. And Russian book fairs in our school meant I had a good dose of Russian folktales and other Russian stuff.
    Although I still liked Enid Blyton the best :)


  18. You think naale was an instance of poetic licence from naare too? Good, so I’m not the only one!

    I remember hearing that the Russians were mad about a lot of RK’s films – especially Awara. And then, of course, there was that Indo-Russian joint venture called Pardesi which starred Padmini, Balraj Sahni, Nargis and some Russian actors. And I remember those Russian cartoons on TV – and the Ukrainian folk tales (my husband’s favourite character seems to be someone called Baba Yaga). Come to think of it, until glasnost and perestroika happened, the USSR was pretty good friends with India. We used to even read Sputnik and create thermocol models of the Kremlin in school (horrible project – hated it!)


  19. I vaguely recollect the word ‘naale’ having another meaning in addition to the commonly known one.

    This other naale means ‘to plead’ /’beg’


  20. Dustedoff, this time around I agree with you on just about every point – which means, I guess, I agree with everyone else too.

    I’ve returned to the DVD frequently, for the songs (but don’t think I could watch this all the way through again).

    Wow, what a soundtrack!

    Re. Indian films in Russia – yes, I understand they were very popular there. They did adore Raj Kapoor, and they named a street after Padmini.


  21. pacifist: I guessed as much – somehow naare has a very political or at least activist bent to the word, and couldn’t be (even with some poetic licence) used to depict the sorrow of two parted lovers…

    Richard: Ah, this must be a first for us!! :-)
    The soundtrack is stupendous indeed – Naushad was at his best here. I am. for instance, not a bhajan fan, but Man tadpat hari darshan ko is enough to give me gooseflesh.

    The Russians named a street after Padmini? Wow. Which city, would you know? I hope they aren’t like some Indian departments that change street names at the drop of a hat – today Curzon Road, tomorrow Kasturba Gandhi Marg; today, Connaught Place, tomorrow Rajiv Chowk… Would be nice if there’s still a Padminiprospekt or whatever out there.


  22. Top class music–perhaps I’ve overlistened to over the years. Also recommend Basant Bahar. Bharat Bhushan was sort of my idea of an ideal Indian romatic–and then youtube came along and people said he couldn’t act. Anyway he got stuck with playing the thwarted musician.

    And while we are on the topic of road name changes and Naushad, I heard that Carter Road where he lived has been renamed for him. (Rajesh Khanna and others also live there so perhaps we can expect more road name changes.)


  23. I remember another meaning of ‘naale’ which might fit here better. This was my brother’s explanantion when I wondered what it meant. He said it meant ‘wailing’.


  24. sophy: Somehow, I”m not too disappointed to find Carter Road being renamed for Naushad! :-) But yes, as long as they aren’t naming roads after Govinda…!
    Thank you for the Basant Bahar recommendation. Will look out for it.

    pacifist: Yes, ‘wailing’ would fit perfectly. Strangely, though, this is one word I’ve never come across (at least as far as I can remember) in any other song.


  25. What I meant was did they “really” like hindi films? or were hindi films the only light entertainment available, because of the indo-russian “special friendship”? can only wonder…


  26. bawa, that reminds me of a long-ago discussion on this blog about how escapism in Hindi films can appeal to people who slog it out in real life… I remember having mentioned that during a 3-week stint in Chicago, I kept running into taxi drivers, all originally hailing from places like Somalia and Turkmenistan, who perked up as soon as they discovered I was Indian: and the connection was Bollywood. Lots of them could rattle off names of actors, actresses, films – it’s obviously a popular cinema in some parts of the (developing?) world.

    But back to the Soviet question, I’m inclined to think you may be right. Other than their own cinema (and I know next to nothing of Russian cinema), what films were Russians able to see? Chinese? North Korean? Other Communist bloc? No idea how entertaining those were… India was one of the few non-aligned countries with a definite sympathy for the USSR and a flourishing industry in escapist cinema.



  27. So right about hindi cinema being popular in many unexpected places.

    I saw those DD cartoons, but as we could receive PTV..provided the wind, weather, and what nots were right, I have to say I preferred the Disney-like stuff shown there, to say nothing of Lassie & Flipper, Bewitched and a long assorted list of British/US tv series.

    Although I love Krtek (Czech Rep) now, and Baba Yaga features prominently in a series called “Fables in Exile” by Bill Willingham that we are reading now, highly recommended if you like graphic comics/novels.


  28. I must keep an eye out for Fables in Exile – my husband’s birthday is coming up and I need to pick out a present!

    PTV had some good stuff, didn’t they? We lived in Srinagar, and even though most of the time the reception was bad (especially the visuals; sound was generally good), we loved watching programmes on it – I first saw Different Strokes and Fraggle Rock on PTV.


  29. The hours we spent adjusting the TV! The first question of the evening would be, ¿Is it clear today?
    That meant the ptv signal of course! Sometimes it changed during the course of the evening, very frustrating. Had something called a booster linked to the tv to capture the signal better, I remember.
    In fact, we came to have a TV set in the house in 1972 thru a series of family circumstances 7 years before Jalandhar DD existed. Since it was there, parents installed a 90 foot (I am not joking) tv antenna that could be seen for kms around on the roof, in order to receive PTV Lahore. This antenna was secured by cables all around the roof, making kite-flying complicated for us.

    At that time, 1972, there were also series like Sesame Street, Ed (the talking horse), The Ghost & Mrs Muir, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Survivors, The Protectors, Lost in Space, The Lucy Show, etc. etc. on PTV, to say nothing of the wonderful in-house dramas and music programmes. Even when Jalandhar DD finally came into existence -in 1979 with the broadcasting of Pakeezah- except for films and Chitrahaar (songs from films), there really was no comparison.


  30. We are all hooked on Fables right now- its not new, and its being published as a recompilation of the original numbers now, have just finished Vol 6, it goes up tp Vol 10. The main story,
    because it has spawned several spin-offs, so watch-out.

    Link to Volume 1, Fables-Legends in Exile (Vertigo)

    Alan Moore’s Future Shocks is also v good, if you have a quirky sense of humour!


  31. A 90 foot TV antenna? Now that is really enthusiastic! :-)
    But I can understand: I do think Pakistan TV was way ahead of the limited fare DD had to offer. And not just their imported programmes, but also the TV serials they made. DD too had some good serials in the old days, though personally I’d prefer a Dhoop Kinare to a Hum Log.
    Thank you for that Fables link: sounds very good! I’ll look out for it on one of the Indian bookstores, see if I can get it here…


  32. The best bit was that when they added a second storey to house my uncles, everyone forgot about the antenna and builders being builders everywhere, they just built all the rooms and stuff incorporating the cables and the pole….until one day someone realised that the pole was right in there in the hall!!! As it was against a wall, it just got painted over and the cables were cutoff at either end (they went through the ceiling), and it became the most-firmly anchored antenna in the world I reckon :)

    But you could always go upstairs and see that pole going thru….


  33. Saw this movie a few years ago. Am not exactly a Bharat Bhushan fan but the songs made me watch the movie. I surprisingly found the movie OK too. Could have been worse.

    But the songs ? Mashallah…amazing, just amazing. This is one of my fav youtube searches..I keep going to “man tadpat”, “o duniya” and “aaj gaawat man”.

    I remember reading an article when I was a boy (in the 1970s) of the biggest hits of the 1950s. There were 5 movies mentioned – this one, Mughal-e-Azam, Mother India, Madhumati and a fifth which was either Pyaasa or CID.


  34. I hadn’t been expecting much from the movie either; it was the songs that made me eventually decide to watch it. But yes, I agree with you: the movie wasn’t bad at all. It could have been far worse. The songs, on the other hand, are sublime! Especially Man tadpat hari darshan ko – I’m not a fan of bhajans, but this is one I really, really like!


  35. You know what I’m yet to watch ths film!!! But I am going to do so very soon because of two reasons!! The songs are mindblowing and secondly in the song, Tu Ganga ki Mauj, I found Bharat Bhushan looking romantic…was he really so or was it a figment of my imagination!!! And i love Meena Kumari’s puzzled face that is actually very pretty!!! Thanks for the post…


  36. I do not always care for main leads or real history for some of these oldies. Naushad made these memorable. Muslim singer, composer and lyricist made very Hindu theme a grand success. Also, I love all those oldies mostly for great melodious music.
    Mughal-e azam, Baiju Bawra, Anarkali, Jhanak Janak, Mother India Madhumati, Pyasaa, Kagaz ke phool, Mamta, Amar prem, Aah, Andaaz


  37. Amazing movie. Music alone cannot lift a movie. Baiju Bawra had superb performances by Meena Kumari and Bharat Bhushan. But watch something like Sahib Biwi aur Ghulam and you will see how Meena Jumari matured as an actress over the decade


  38. Pingback: Ghunghat Ke Pat Khol… (Raise the veil and behold…) « Harveypam's Blog

  39. I see so many people watching a 1952 classis “only” for it’s music and they end up liking the whole film. They say they thought it would be boring but they were not bored at all!

    All thanks to the man who was behind this film. I’m talking about the Producer and director of the film, Vijay Bhatt. The man who not only introduced Meena Kumari to the world but also Naushad.


    • Fascinating article! Thank you, pacifist – that made for very satisfying reading.

      It’s an uncanny coincidence, but the film I saw yesterday (I’ll be posting the review today or tomorrow) has some interesting similarities to what the writer has pointed out as similarities between Baiju Bawra and Rockstar


  40. madhu! It was 17th may 2022. I dont know why, I was reading this review of Baiju Bawra.. actually i haven’t watched the film..I have been habitiual of reading your review, the entire plot, pros and cons (actually i feel that you are always right injudging films), and then decide whether to watch or not. As it was my last AISSE exam, so was thinking of watching Baiju Bawra..and I just plainatively read the plot…the next day, on the answer script(it was actually HINDI exam), in the question of shoort story writing i wrote exactly the translated plot with a bit alterations to make it naturalistic. LOL! wish the examiner be open-minded and award marks
    ha ha!!!


    • LOL! If you didn’t actually mention the characters by name, it should be all right. :-D It’s not as if Baiju Bawra has a very offbeat plot. This sort of thing was hashed in rehashed in one film after another back then in the 50s.

      All the best!


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