MAUSAM appears here in the Retro Gems section due to the sheer sensitivity and the on-screen treatment of a mature subject and also due to the stellar performances by the lead actors Sanjeev Kumar and especially Sharmila Tagore who went on to win the Silver Lotus award at the National Awards that year for her role in the movie.
It is Gulzar’s ode of love, he has been credited for writing and directing some of the most sensitive movies of Hindi cinema. Mausam is a work of art. To begin with the most striking sequence is the flashback song picturization of ‘Dil dhoondto hai’ which was novel experiment at that time, literally transporting one individual within the song as a spectator.
This movie was released on 29th December 1975 that was the year of some grand hits and revolution of sorts in the Indian cinema side by side with the goings on, on the political scape of INDIA. Mausam is adapted and ‘indigenized’ from the novel ‘The Judas tree’ by A.J. Cronin.
Dr. Amarnath Gill (Sanjeev Kumar- simply super) is a middle aged and wealthy man and is on a visit to Darjeeling, he has come back after twenty-five years. The memories of his past good times in the hill station come rushing back when he casually interacts with the locals. Decades ago, he had visited this beautiful hill station as a student, then preparing for his final medical exam and he had fallen in love with the local vaid’s (Indian medic) daughter Chanda (Sharmila Tagore-par excellent).
He retraces his steps in the hilly surroundings visiting the places he and his beloved used to romance during their youthful days. While he had to return to his home town for appearing for his medical exams, he promised Chanda he will be back to marry her, unfortunately he is not able to keep that promise. Therefore this lad turned into a middle aged tycoon now sets out to find what happened to his beloved.
From the locals he finds that the medic died soon after he had left and his Chanda was married off to an old cripple, giving birth to a daughter Kajli (Sharmila in a double role), Chanda died a few months back, an insane always talking about her savior, the Doctor. The good doctor realizing his folly now sets out to find Kajli his conscience demands that he make those amends. By a stroke of luck he finds Kajli in a brothel and is well determined to take her back to give her a new life. As per the norms of the brothel, the gentleman has to buy her back from the brothel owner, and ironically in the meantime the young and bubbly Kajli falls in love with the good ol’ doctor who treats her (and knows) that she is his daughter. How does it end?
A hard hitting story, that is sensitively handled by the maestro Gulzar, aided with well written songs, excellent screen play, a mature social drama but still gripping enough to keep one glued and feel for the characters.
All in all a beautiful ode of unrequited love. The movie won the best movie and best director award for Gulzar amidst stiff competition during that year’s Filmfare awards. In the music department the songs were attributed to the Late Madan Mohan and background score to Salil Chowdhury.
Truly a masterpiece from Gulzar and one of the most memorable performances from the late Sanjeev Kumar and Sharmila Tagore.
- MAUSAM – The touching tale of season of change is revisited by PAWAN GUPTA