indian cinema heritage foundation

Char Dil Char Rahen (1959)

  • Release Date1959
  • GenreRomance
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguageHindi
  • Run Time160 min
  • Length4867.35 meters
  • Number of Reels18
  • Gauge35 mm
  • Censor RatingU
  • Censor Certificate Number28170

This is the story of a cross-road and of the four people whose destinies met there and took a common new turn towards the horizons of a happy future.

GOBINDA was the son of an Aheer who was sent away from the village to study in a city school because of his friendship with an untouchable Chamar girl CHAVLI.  After several years when he returned a grown-up young man, the childhood friendship grew into a love of ardent youthful hearts. The conservatives of the village were shocked and scandalized, Chavli's hut was burnt down and Gobinda had to leave the village. At the cross-roads he found something which showed that Chavli was still alive and had passed through here. But which of the four roads did she take?

A swanky limousine with a state flag stopped at the cross-roads. Gobinda asked DILAWAR KHAN, the driver of the Nawab of Sultanabad, if he had seen such a girl on the road but the Pathan said he had seen many girls but not the one Gobinda was seeking. The car drove away, carrying the Nawab worried about his future because he was returning from Delhi where the merger of his little state had been decided upon. His private secretary offered to console the Nawab by suggesting the name of a beautiful young singing girl- PYARI.

Dilawar was sent to fetch Pyari to the palace. The idea of escorting such 'old-diggers' was distasteful to the honest Pathan, but in course of time he realized that Pyari was no ordinary singing girl. She was an innocent soul yearning to break away from her golden shackles. When the time came for a decision, she preferred the poor driver to the rich (though now dethroned) Nawab. She eloped with Dilawar but when they came to the cross-roads she left him, too for a reason that was dearer to her than love itself. "But I will wait for you here", she said, "till one day you will come and take me with you along with my mother."

And so Pyari the glamorous court singer of Sultanabad became a paanwali a t the cross-roads, watching every truck that passed that way. "Is that your Dilawar?", her mother asked one day finding Pyari looking absent-mindedly at an approaching vehicle. "No, mother '', she replied, '' It is that same S.T. bus that stops here daily at this time."

But on that day this bus had brought a passenger without ticket ­ JOHNNY.    An Anglo-Indian  youth,   unemployed,   penniless,  living on his  wits, Johnny's life took a turn at the cross-roads when he saw STELLA, the ayah, and followed her to Hotel  Parbat - the fashionable   rendezvous of   the  elite. "You can get everything in Hotel Parbat" was the slogan of its proprietor, Mr. FERREIRA. Getting a job as a waiter, Johnny found Stella's love in that hotel, but fate and Mr. Ferreira conspired to send him to prison for boot-legging. When he returned   to the hotel after three months, he found living as Mrs. Ferreira. She had sold herself   to get money to send her father to a T.B. Sanatorium. Disgusted with life and love - Johnny returned to the cross-roads and opened a repair garage as a 'front' for his boot-legging business.

One of his customers was SAMPURAN SINGH, a contractor, who boasted that he minted 'gold out of stones'. Hundreds of workers, including women, were employed in his stone-quarry and one of them was CHAVLI, for whom Gobinda was still waiting at the cross-roads. Drunk with the liquor that Johnny had supplied him, Sampuram tried to molest Chavli who 'killed' him to save her honour or so she thought till NIRMAL KUMAR, a trade union leader, brought her back to the Contractor's bungalow. Sampuran Singh was not dead, only wounded, but this set into motion a series of events that led to the untouchable Chavli acquiring the new status of 'Chavli Devi' as a worker in a Community Project, Johnny reuniting with Stella, and Dilawar with Pyari, and all of them, including Gobinda, joining Nirmal Kumar in building a road that was to be the road of their future.

[from the official press booklet]