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saaransh movie, saaransh - rkg journal of management
Saaransh English: The Gist is a 1984 Indian Hindi drama film directed by Mahesh Bhatt and starring Anupam Kher, Rohini Hattangadi, Madan Jain, Nilu Phule, Suhas Bhalekar and Soni Razdan It is about an elderly Maharashtrian couple living in Mumbai who come to terms with the loss of their only son This was the screen debut of Anupam Kher The film had music by Ajit Verman and lyrics by Vasant Dev It was distributed by Rajshri Productions

It was chosen as India's official entry for the 1985 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, where it wasn't nominated


  • 1 Plot
  • 2 Cast
  • 3 Awards
  • 4 Production
  • 5 Themes
  • 6 Music
  • 7 Reception
  • 8 References
  • 9 Bibliography
  • 10 External links


The movie begins with BV Pradhan Anupam Kher waking up early in the morning to write a letter to his son, Ajay, who lives in New York Midway through the letter, Pradhan remembers the tragic reality: Pradhan received a call from a friend of his son, Ajay, that Ajay has been killed in a mugging in New York Pradhan's best friend, Vishwanath, and Pradhan's wife, Parvati Rohini Hattangadi are both worried that even though it's been 3 months, Pradhan has yet to fully come to terms with the loss of his only son Pradhan confesses to Vishwanath that after the loss of his son, he no longer has any will left to live He tries to commit suicide by diving under a speeding car, albeit unsuccessfully

Due to the death of their son, Pradhan has no source of income, so they rent out a room of their Shivaji Park Mumbai apartment to a budding Bollywood actress, Sujata Suman Soni Razdan Sujata is romantically involved with Vilas Madan Jain, the only son of an influential politician Gajanan Chitre Nilu Phule Vilas wishes to marry Sujata, but he does not tell his father about Sujata out of cowardice and keeps on postponing their marriage plans

Meanwhile, Pradhan receives a registered letter that his son's ashes and a few other belongings a TV, VCR, a refrigerator etc have arrived from USA to India When Pradhan goes to the customs office to collect them, he is disrespected and gets no help from the Public Relations Officer An emotionally disturbed and enraged Pradhan forcibly enters the office of the main head of the customs department and explains that he has come only to pick up his son's ashes and not any other material possessions Pradhan demands that his son's ashes be handed to him immediately and breaks down to tears, upon which the officer consoles Pradhan and relents to his request The officer apologises for the inconvenience and assures Pradhan that the remaining items will be transferred to Pradhan as soon as possible

Pradhan, an atheist, gives his son's ashes to Parvati, who takes his ashes to a Pandit Alok Nath The Pandit tells Pradhan and Parvati that Ajay will soon be reincarnated, in the form of a baby, near them Disillusioned, Pradhan takes some of Ajay's ashes and spreads them near a park bench in the nearby kids park Realising the futility of his painful life, Pradhan tries to commit suicide by ingesting liquid poison Parvati implores him to change his mind, but Pradhan does not relent Finally, they both decide to end their lives by consuming poison together

Just as Pradhan and Parvati are about to commit suicide, Sujata informs Vilas that she's pregnant When Vilas still shows indecisiveness in marrying Sujata, she calls him a coward and throws him out When Pradhan finds out, he offers to take Sujata to meet Gajanan with the hope that he will permit Sujata and Vilas to get married When Vilas refuses to accept that Sujata is carrying his baby, Gajanan, despite knowing that Vilas is lying, refuses their proposal and threatens Pradhan and Sujata of dire consequences if Sujata does not abort the child and moves away to another town However, Pradhan, out of principle, refuses to let a helpless Sujata leave and provides her a safe haven in his house Parvati, upon hearing that Sujata is with a baby, starts believing that the baby in Sujata's womb is, in fact, going to be the reincarnation of Ajay She starts caring for Sujata and her beliefs about Ajay being reincarnated get even more firmly entrenched in her mind

Gajanan tries all the tricks of the trade to dissuade Sujata from having the baby: his goons to try to bribe Pradhan, they harass Pradhan by cutting off the electricity of his house and beat up Vishwanath thereby preventing him from supplying milk to Pradhan's house and his goons even throw ignited crackers into Pradhan's house Gajanan himself persuades a local doctor to illegally carry out the abortion of Sujata's baby in his clinic where Sujata is scheduled for a checkup When all else fails, Gajanan, through Vilas who is unaware of his father's intentions traps Pradhan in a fake scam of aiding and abetting a prostitution ring involving illegal marked bills Pradhan tries to call the Commissioner of Police for help, but is prevented due to red-tapism Exasperated, Pradhan storms into the Mantralaya, the office of the Chief Minister of Maharashtra The CM turns out to be one of Pradhan's former students, Shashikant The CM immediately calls up the Commissioner of Police, the Remand Home where Sujata is being held in custody and demands Gajanan Chitre be produced to ensure that justice is rightfully served

Pradhan realises that Parvati's adamant belief that Ajay will be reincarnated as Sujata's baby will cause problems to them and Sujata and Vilas, so he asks them both to leave the city in the wee hours of the night and go live their lives happily elsewhere He gifts them Ajay's belongings that have finally been handed over to Pradhan by the customs office Sujata, however, requests to see Parvati one last time When Parvati refuses to let Vilas and Sujata leave, Pradhan controls her and makes them leave Parvati is shocked and heartbroken, but Pradhan helps her realise that Ajay has died and will never come back When Parvati says that they should both consume poison together, Pradhan refuses, saying that he has realised that the Saaransh of his life is in her beautiful wrinkles, and they have both done a good deed in helping Sujata's baby survive despite the problems she faced

The movie ends with Pradhan taking Parvati for an early morning walk to the nearby kids park There, they see that beautiful flowers have sprouted where Pradhan once scattered some of Ajay's ashes Pradhan then tells Parvati that the real beauty of life is that we all are mortal, but life goes on


  • Anupam Kher as BV Pradhan
  • Rohini Hattangadi as Parvati Pradhan
  • Soni Razdan as Sujata Suman
  • Madan Jain as Vilas Chitre
  • Suhas Bhalekar as Vishwanath
  • Alok Nath as Pandit / Astrologer
  • Akash Khurana as Chief Minister Shashikant as Aakash Khurana
  • Vijay Kashyap as Dr Bhatt
  • Kishore Jariwala
  • Suresh Chatwal as Police Inspector
  • Salim Ghouse as Gajanan Chitre's Goon with acid
  • Arun Bakshi as Gajanan Chitre's Goon
  • Haidar Ali
  • Nilu Phule as Gajanan Chitre


  • Anupam Kher – Filmfare Award for Best Actor
  • Mahesh Bhatt – Filmfare Award for Best Story
  • Madhukar Shinde – Filmfare Award for Best Art Direction
  • Vasant Dev - National Film Award for best Lyrics


Made after his critically acclaimed Arth 1982, this film carried forward his venturing into the genre of confessional cinema It was inspired by the death of a young son of Mahesh Bhatt's spiritual guru, U G Krishnamurti of cancer, and later by a Maharashtrian couple whose only son was murdered in New York

Initially Anupam Kher, originally from Shimla and a National School of Drama alumnus, was chosen to play the lead role Later producers Rajshri Productions insisted in taking an established actor, Sanjeev Kumar for the role Thus fortnight before the principal photography was to commence, Kher who had been preparing for almost sixth months for his debut, got the news When Bhatt confirmed the change, he packed his bags and left town However, before leaving, he met Bhatt and expressed his frustration Subsequently, Bhatt kept him as the lead, and the producers agreed

The film began on 1 January 1984 with very first scene of Pradhan played by Kher, receiving the phone call from New York Kher was only 28 years old, when he played the role retired stubborn old man For the pivotal scene, where he had to haggle with customs officials to recover his son's ashes Kher had no reference of such a situation and tapped into all his hardships as struggling actor in Mumbai to reach the emotional point The scene was shot at an office space in Film City, Mumbai, and was completed in a single take, without rehearsals or use of glycerine He went on to win Filmfare Award for Best Actor for his performance


Saaransh explores how the couple copes with the loneliness and anxieties of old age and the utter aimlessness of life after the death of their only son, a victim of arbitrary violence While the headmaster's wife seeks refuge in religion and faith, the headmaster remains stoic and becomes obsessive about the memories of his son In his efforts to reach out to his dead son, he starts writing letters to him every day, only to tear them away It also focuses on the importance of finding new meaning and purpose in life, no matter the age

Other themes it touches on are through Pradhan's interactions with custom officials and police — corruption, politics-crime nexus and bureaucratic delay, rampant bribery and red-tapism


The music was given by Ajit Varman and lyrics by Vasant Dev

  • "Andhiyara Gehraya Suna Pan Phir Aaya" – Bhupinder Singh
  • "Har Ghadi Dhal Rahi Sham Hai Zindagi" – Amit Kumar


Encyclopædia Britannica's "Encyclopedia of Hindi Cinema" described Saaransh as Mahesh Bhatt's "finest film – moving, mellow, and mature – as the viewer feels the pain and despair of an elderly couple"

The lead pair, Anupam Kher and Rohini Hattangadi, were praised for their portrayals, described by The Tribune as "immortal performances" Coming after the success of Arth 1982, the critical acclaim of Saaransh established Bhatt as a director of repute Even today, it remains one of the few stand out in "middle-of-the-road" films of the 1980s decade Hindi cinema, which is retrospective seen as a decade decline of content in the mainstream cinema

It went on to win three Filmfare Awards: Best Actor for Anupam Kher, Best Story for Mahesh Bhatt, and Best Art Direction for Madhukar Shinde It was nominated for four other awards, including Best Movie, Best Director Bhatt, Best Actress Rohini Hattangadi and Best Supporting Actress Soni Razdan At the 32nd National Film Awards, the film also won one National Film Award for Best Lyrics for Vasant Dev

Saaransh was included in the Panorama section of the 1984 International Film Festival of India IFFI It was India's official submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, though it did not make it to the final run Among other awards, Bhatt received a special prize at the 14th Moscow International Film Festival, and was a nominee for the Golden Prize


  1. ^ DIFF 1985, p 103
  2. ^ "Interview with Mahesh Bhatt: Stories of His Life" IndiaWest 2 July 2012 Retrieved 11 May 2014 
  3. ^ Bajaj 2014, p 2036
  4. ^ a b c "Anupam Kher talks about how Mahesh Bhatt's Saaransh changed his life" The Times of India 18 February 2014 Retrieved 11 May 2014 
  5. ^ Ray & Joshi 2005, p 69
  6. ^ Garga 1996, p 265
  7. ^ Chandrasekhar & Seel 2003, p 352
  8. ^ Dasgupta 2014, p 76
  9. ^ Gulzar, Nihalani & Chatterjee 2003, p 108
  10. ^ Dhawan, ML 28 April 2002 "When content was the king" The Tribune Retrieved 24 February 2011 
  11. ^ Gulzar, Nihalani & Chatterjee 2003, p 531
  12. ^ Sommaya, Kothari & Madangarli 2013, p 1986
  13. ^ Spinelli 2002, p 80
  14. ^ "32nd National Film Awards" International Film Festival of India Retrieved 12 May 2014 
  15. ^ DIFF 1985, p 3
  16. ^ "14th Moscow International Film Festival 1985" MIFF Retrieved 10 February 2013 


  • DIFF 1985 Indian Cinema Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting 
  • Garga, Bhagwan Das 1996 So many cinemas: the motion picture in India Eminence Designs ISBN 978-81-900602-1-9 
  • Spinelli, Italo 2002 Indian Summer: Films, Filmmakers and Stars Between Ray and Bollywood Edizioni Oliveras 
  • Chandrasekhar, Indira; Seel, Peter C 2003 Body city: siting contemporary culture in India Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt ISBN 978-81-85229-76-8 
  • Gulzar; Nihalani, Govind; Chatterjee, Saibal 2003 Encyclopaedia of Hindi Cinema Popular Prakashan ISBN 978-81-7991-066-5 
  • Ray, Bibekananda; Joshi, Naveen 2005 Conscience of the race: India's offbeat cinema Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India ISBN 978-81-230-1298-8 
  • Sommaya, Bhawana; Kothari, Jigna; Madangarli, Supriya 2013 Mother Maiden Mistress HarperCollins Publishers ISBN 978-93-5029-485-7 
  • Dasgupta, Koral 2014 Power of a Common Man Connecting with Consumers The SRK Way Westland ISBN 978-93-84030-15-5 
  • Bajaj, JK 2014 On & Behind the Indian Cinema Diamond Pocket Books Pvt Ltd ISBN 978-93-5083-621-7 

External links

  • Saaransh on IMDb
  • Saaransh Rajshri Films channel on YouTube

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