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Maya (1993)

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A frustrated housewife whose marriage to an average man does not meet her expectations enters into an affair with a younger man. Of course, there are no easy escapes from reality.



(based on "Madame Bovary"), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Deepa Sahi ...
Farooq Shaikh ...
Dr. Charu Das (as Farooque Shaikh)
Shreeram Lagoo ...
(as Dr. Shree Ram Lagoo)
Sudha Shivpuri
Paresh Rawal ...
Lalaji (as Paresh Raval)
Raghuvir Yadav
Satyadev Dubey
Shri Vallabh Vyas ...
(as Shrivallabh Vyas)
Arvind Vaidya
Manish Nagpal
Rajesh Vivek
Idries Malik ...
(as Idris Malik)
Alpana Upadhyay


Young, beautiful, and intelligent Maya lives with her father in a palatial mansion in rural India. When her father suffers a stroke, she calls for the local Dr. Charu Das, who arrives on his bicycle and prescribes treatment for her dad. He comes often, more on the pretext of seeing her, than her dad, and eventually both get married. Years pass by, and Charu is busy engrossed in treating patients, leaving Maya alone to ponder her own fate and life. And it is not long before a young man named Rudra enters her life, and an affair follows. This affair does not last long, as a much younger man, Lalit, now enters Maya's life, and thence begins another passionate affair. But again, Maya is not satiated. She longs for more than bodily needs, and it is perhaps this that leads to her sudden death, leaving two investigators to probe who or what really killed Maya. Written by rAjOo (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Mystery | Romance


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Release Date:

2 July 1993 (India)  »

Also Known As:

Maya: The Enchanting Illusion  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Khan was seen in a controversial, explicit nude scene See more »


Version of Madame Bovary (1937) See more »


Ek Haseen Nigah Ka (F)
Music by Hridaynath Mangeshkar
Lyrics by Gulzar (as Sampooran Singh Gulzar)
Performed by Lata Mangeshkar
See more »

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User Reviews

Fantastic Adaptation Of A Sad Novel

I saw MAYA MEMSAAB some two years after I read the book it is based upon. Gustave Flaubert's 'Madame Bovary'. The English translation of it from Bantam Classics. I had heard about MAYA MEMSAAB a long time back, sometime around when it was released. That was in 1992 or 1993. I was very young then. 10 years old. So technically I couldn't see a film like MAYA MEMSAAB, nor read a book like 'Madame Bovary', classic or whatever.

Though I couldn't see MAYA MEMSAAB, the film intrigued me a lot. Whatever I learnt about it from the media was enough to stir me. There was Shah Rukh Khan, a rising star. There was Deepa Sahi, who I had seen in her husband Ketan Mehta's earlier film 'Hero Hiralal'. I didn't quite understand what role she played. She was this mysterious woman who wore this huge cape and wielded a Mandarake-like wand. But that intrigued me. And I was like – What is MAYA MEMSAAB What is MAYA MEMSAAB? I saw a scene from this film on the weekly news-show 'The World This Week' on Doordarshan. It was a time when satellite channels had not invaded India and Doordarshan was the only TV channel and Prannoy Roy-hosted 'The World This Week' was the only English-language news-show in the country and all thanks to 'The World This Week' I came to know of brands like Gillette, Cathay Pacific and Van Heusen. Next, I read about it in the Sunday magazine of The Telegraph newspaper. Deepa Sahi wearing a white salwar-kameez, lying on a bed of rose petals. Wow! I was just waiting to grow up so that I could see MAYA MEMSAAB or at least read 'Madame Bovary'.

I read 'Madame Bovary'. When I turned twenty. It is one of the best books I've read so far. I liked its honesty. Its openness. I liked how this book calls a spade a spade without beating around the bush. And I liked its ending. It is very sad. Emma dies, her father dies, Charles dies, and Emma's little daughter is sent to work in a factory. A very suitable ending. Sad – for one couldn't help feeling sorry for the little child – yet, justified.

I saw MAYA MEMSAAB and found out that it is a very fantastic version of a sad book. Though it is fantastic, with some magical elements thrown in – hence, the name 'Maya', I guess – it, in some places, retains the darkness of the novel. There is this questioning feeling. What happened? What was supposed to happen? Sort of.

The acting is good. I liked Deepa Sahi. I liked Paresh Rawal. But I didn't like SRK at all. He looks like a fool. And I liked Farooque Sheikh in places.

The cinematography is nice. It brings out the fantasy element very well. The chemist's lab, the houses are very well done.

And I loved the songs. Just loved them. "Ek Haseen Nigaah Ka Dil Pe Saaya Hai", "O Dil Banjaaray", and "Yeh Shehar Bada Purana Hai" are songs I am constantly listening to on my mobile phone and laptop. Plus, there is this song-like conversation between Deepa Sahi and Farooque Sheikh. I don't have it and I couldn't find it anywhere. So, through my comment, I'd like to ask the readers if they could help me find this song. MAYA MEMSAAB is a nice movie. Well-made, aesthetic, with a hint of sophistication. Quite art-house.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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