Story behind the Masterpiece: Mother India
Posted on by desairaj17
Aaj khush toh bahot hoge tum? Yes, we are back with yet another blog.
Trivia answer: The person in the photo in the last blog was not Nawazuddin Siddiqui(Told you already), it was Saadat Hasan Manto.
Bollywood was booming, films like Pyaasa, Awaara, Shree 420, Aan are some of the masterpieces of the time. Then came Mother India and broke the industry. Mother India became the first-ever Indian film to be nominated for the Academy Awards. It was nominated for the award for Best International Feature Film. It still is one of the highest earning films in Bollywood.
This movie was actually a remake of the movie Aurat(1940) which was directed by Mehmood as well. The movie did not receive similar praise and response from the public as the remake.
The title of the remake had a purpose behind it. In the year 1927, an American historian Katherine Mayo wrote the book Mother India which was concentrated on criticising the Indian way of living. In this book, he only concentrated on the bad treatment of the women, the dirt in the country, the marriage of young girls and problems arising from them,the treatment of the untouchables(later known as Harijans)and the bad character of the politicians. There was a huge outrage because of this book as this book gave shape to the way Americans’ point of view of India. Though the facts in the book were true and depicted the alarming status of the country, the people believed that it only showed the bad side and did not capture the whole thing. Many books were written by Indian authors as a response to this book.
To rebuke this book, Mehmood named the remake of his movie Aurat, Mother India.
The movie depicted the situation of the farmers, a mother’s undying love for her children and how far can she go for the honour of her and her family. The movie was a masterpiece in terms of direction story and music. We will know more about the songs of this movie during the ‘ songs that defined a generation’ blog series. (spoiler alert).
In this movie, Radha(Nargis), had to do a scene where she is running between haystacks on fire to find her in film son Birju(Sunil Dutt) had to save him. Due to wind and other problems, the fire could not be controlled and Nargis really got trapped in the fire. Despite the attempts, the fire was not controlled. Sunil Dutt stepped up and jumped into the fire with a blanket and saved Nargis. The film shooting was stopped temporarily because both of them had sustained injuries. During the recuperation of Sunil Dutt, Nargis tended to his wounds which eventually led her to fall in love with Sunil Dutt
A rare photo of Nargis tending to Sunil Dutt’s wounds after the fire scene.
Due to the same reason, Nargis even had problems where she had to do a scene where she had to beat Birju( Sunil Dutt ) with a stick. . Nargis wanted to get married just after finishing the shooting of the film but was advised against it by the filmmakers because they thought that a mother and son(in the movie) and the characters getting married in real life would harm the film’s reputation. That’s it for this blog and we will be back soon with more history and more interesting facts about the golden era of Bollywood.
Trivia: What was Nargis’s age when she played the role of the mother in Mother India.