An orphan gets in trouble with the law and is sent to a home for young women. There, for the first time, she finds friendship, compassion, and possibly love.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Balraj Sahni ...
Ashok 'Babuji'
Sunder ...
Pratima Devi ...
Superintendent "didi"
C.S. Dubey ...
Banke Lal
Shivraj ...
Krishnakant ...
Radha's Husband
Praveen Paul ...
Mrs. Kashinath
Mamtaj Ali
Shubha Khote ...
Baby Shashi
G.B. Singh
Neel Kamal
Premlata Deep


After her parents pass away, teenager Gauri goes to live with her paternal uncle, Kashinath, and his wife. She is ill-treated there, made to do all the housework, and abused by her aunt. She is also asked to work as a servant for meager wages in another household, and her earnings are taken away by her aunt. One day, Kashinath is summoned to the Police Station where he is told that since Gauri has been convicted of stealing a necklace from her employer, she is placed under his care for 12 months. Kashinath undertakes to look after her, but she manages to escape, and beats up Bankelal, who had originally accused her of stealing the necklace. The Police are summoned again, and this time Gauri is placed with Shree Satyanand Anarthalaya, an orphanage run by a compassionate Manager, Ashok. Gauri revolts against all the rules imposed upon her and she is placed in solitary, where she ends up breaking all the windows and furniture. Then one day she escapes, beats up Bankelal severely, and ... Written by rAjOo (

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Andhera Hai Mann Ka Diya To Jala Le . . .
8 September 2013 | by (India) – See all my reviews

Seema (1955) is a gem from the black and white era of Bollywood. A true classic indeed. It's an idealistic movie with a strong psychological base.

Seema (threshold / boundary / limit) is the story of Gauri (Nutan) who is an orphan and lives with her greedy and exploitative uncle and aunt. She only earns for them by working as a maid-servant in a household but they treat her very poorly. A criminal-minded male-babysitter Baanke (C.S. Dubey) also works in the same household and keeps on trying to make advances to Gauri. When discarded, he traps Gauri under the false charge of theft. She is released by the police on the personal guarantee of her guardians (the greedy uncle and aunt) but now they refuse to keep her with them. Being labelled as a thief, now this innocent and truthful girl does not get any job elsewhere too. Lustful people cast their eyes on her physic only. Homeless, jobless, starved and bearing the stigma of the theft that she had not done, she gets filled with anger for Baanke, she approaches him but again gets cheated by him through his sweet talks and the police catches her again. Now seeing almost the whole world against her, she loses her temper and starts behaving like an insane person. Since her guardians have refused to take her to their home, the police sends her to a charitable institution (known as Aashram) meant for the care and rehabilitation of homeless females only which is run by a benevolent person Ashok (Balraaj Saahni) with the help of a lady called Didi (Pratima Devi) who is the superintendent of the females living in the Aashram and a male assistant - Muralidhar (Sunder).

Gauri is not ready to live there or listen to anybody in this regard. Her insane behaviour continues resulting in the breakage of furniture, window glasses etc. and she refuses to consume any food (though she has not eaten anything for quite a period). The inmates of the Aashram as well as the people associated with the management of that are not able to understand her anguish and the cause of her stubborn and rebellious behaviour. However the in-charge of the Aashram, i.e., Ashok refuses to be judgmental towards Gauri and asserts something similar to the assertion given in the beginning of this review - 'Being unaware of the background / experiences of some person, you can't understand why he / she behaves the way he / she behaves; you may not be knowing the bitterness of life that he / she might have gone through'. And when Gauri accepts food from the hand of a little girl and showers her affection on her, he immediately realizes that she is noble at heart and needs sympathy (as well as empathy) to recover from some trauma that she might have undergone.

Now Gauri gets normal with the passage of time and by the effect of the positive environment in the Aashram but still the fire within her heart against Baanke has not been mitigated and she wants to take her revenge from him. She gets empathy and help from her inmate Putli (Shubha Khote) who has been a criminal in her past. She moves out of the Aashram one night and reaches Baanke. She beats him black and blue and thus vent her anger, stuffiness and frustration out; returning to the Aashram thereafter feeling light and relieved. However, for breaking the rule of the Aashram (going out without permission and without any escort), she gets punishment to live in seclusion for a night. Considering it an injustice (as she feels that by punishing Baanke, she has done nothing wrong), she starts behaving rebelliously again which immediately renders a message to Ashok that perhaps the theft-charge levied on her was not genuine. He traps Baanke with the help of Muralidhar and by arranging his confession, gets the stigma of being a thief washed away from Gauri's forehead. Now Gauri not only becomes absolutely normal but she also refuses to leave the Aashram and with utmost gratitude towards Ashok, keeps on working tirelessly and sincerely to meet the noble objectives of the Aashram. Ashok works very hard despite the fact that he is a heart patient. He is able to sense the tender feelings in Gauri's heart towards him but feeling that he may not live for long and getting concerned for Gauri (perhaps because he also has started loving her within his heart), he asks her to marry Muralidhar and settle down in life. Besides, he decides to move out of the city for some time so that Gauri is able to drive her thoughts away from him and marry peacefully in his absence. However it does not happen and the true love of Gauri only triumphs in the end.

Shankar Jaikishan have composed unforgettable gems with the help of the heart-conquering lyrics of Hasrat Jaipuri and Shailendra. It contains Manna Dey's classic devotional song - Tu Pyar Ka Saagar Hai, Teri Ek Boond Ke Pyaase Hum on one hand and Lata's gems viz. Suno Chhoti Si Gudiya Ki Lambi Kahaani, Mann Mohana Bade Jhoothe and Baat Baat Mein Rootho Na on the other. It also contains Mohammad Rafi's impressive song - Hamen Bhi De Do Sahaara Ki Besahaare Hain. However the song which I am never able to forget even for a moment is Rafi's classic philosophical song - Kahaan Ja Raha Hai Tu Aye Jaane Waale, Andhera Hai Mann Ka Diya To Jala Le (where are you heading for O traveller; there's dark before you, hence first light up the lamp of your heart before proceeding).

Seema is undoubtedly an excellent movie. A masterpiece for sure.

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