indian cinema heritage foundation

Chaman (1948)

  • Release Date06/08/1948
  • GenreSocial
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguagePunjabi
  • Run Time177 min
  • Length4846.32 meters
  • Number of Reels17 reels
  • Gauge35 mm
  • Censor RatingU
  • Censor Certificate NumberB 39267- Mumbai
  • Certificate Date03/08/1948

Dr. Chaman (Karan Dewan) is popular and loved by all except Bhaiyaji (Om Prakash). Both are contesting the municipal elections. The youngsters are supporting the young and promising Dr. Chaman while the aged are in favour of Bhaiya Bhagwandas. Bhaiyaji is confident of his victory as his son Bhola (Majnu) assures him that they can buy their way to success. He hoodwinks his father on different pretexts. Bhola enjoys the company of miscreants and squanders his father’s hard-earned money on merry making. However, Bhaiyaji’s daughter Shanti (Meena Shorey) tries to chastise her brother Bhola but their mother keeps spoiling him.

As expected Bhaiyaji’s maneuvering tactics fail and Dr. Chaman wins the election. Heart-broken Bhaiyaji returns home and unleashes his fury, borne out of disappointment, on his wife (Gulab). He attempts suicide, but Shanti snatches the knife from his hand. Still seething with anger Bhaiyaji instigates his daughter to murder his enemy with the same weapon if she loved her father so much. Encouraged by her father Shanti sets out to murder Dr. Chaman. In the dead of night, she enters Chaman’s bedroom with a knife in her hand to murder him, but fate had other plans. Shanti stumbles against the table and Dr. Chaman wakes up from the commotion.  Shanti stands like a criminal before Dr. Chaman and he challenges her to kill him if he has wronged her father. His politeness changes her mind and she realizes that he isn’t evil. As she leaves his place, he offers her his coat to save her from the cold winds. Next day, she returns the coat through her younger brother and soon love blossoms between them.

Meanwhile Bhola continues to rob his father and keeps buying expensive gifts for an escort named Paro (Kuldip Kaur). He asks her hand in marriage but Paro refuses to marry Bhola and she approaches Dr. Chaman to emancipate her from this hell.  Chaman visits her in the brothel and promises to help her out but Bhola misinterprets this meeting and Shanti has to come to his rescue. Meanwhile, Dr. Chaman decides to take Paro home. Paro is happy for she now thinks Chaman will marry her, until Bhola informs her that Chaman loves his sister Shanti. Paro is heart-broken and she returns to her old home. Bhola discloses Shanti’s affair with Dr. Chaman to his family and his father decides to marry her off to Seth Dhani Ram. On the wedding night, Paro asks Beli Ram (Shivraj) to get Shanti to her place on the pretext of Dr. Chaman’s falling seriously ill. Shanti visits Paro while Dhani Ram and his baraat impatiently wait for the bride. Paro advises Shanti to marry her true love Chaman and consumes poison to end her ill-fated life. In the meantime, Dhani Ram comes to know that the bride to be has eloped so he leaves the marriage venue. Bhaiyaji and his family get the worst shock of their life. Bhola having lost his love Paro, is now a changed person, he pleads his parents to let Shanti marry Dr. Chaman. The film ends with two processions, one palanquin carrying the newly-wed Shanti and another the mortal remains of the unfortunate Paro.


Chaman was the first Punjabi film in independent India and it released on 6, August 1948 at Ratan Cinema, Lahore.

Music Director Vinod also recorded three popular songs ‘Galiyan Wich Phirde…’, ‘Raahe-Raahe Jaandeya…’ and ‘Asaan Bekadran Naal…’ in the voice of Lata Mangeshkar.



Films by the same director