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Tapasya (1976)

| Drama, Family
2:01 | Trailer
Tapasya - meaning penance is the story of Indu, eldest child of Prof Chandrakant Sinha takes on the responsibility of rearing her younger siblings, Vinod, Madhu and the youngest sister. ... See full summary »



(as Smt. Asha Poorna Devi), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 win. See more awards »


Complete credited cast:
Indrani Sinha
Dr. Sagar Varma
Vinod Sinha
Chandranath Sinha
Nasir Hussain ...
Professor Sinha
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Manju Asrani
Manju Bhatia ...
Urmila Bhatt
Chacha's son
Abha Dhulia
C.S. Dubey
Raja Duggal
Master Eknath
Gayatri ...
Chanda Sinha


Tapasya - meaning penance is the story of Indu, eldest child of Prof Chandrakant Sinha takes on the responsibility of rearing her younger siblings, Vinod, Madhu and the youngest sister. Indu is the breadwinner of the family and acts as both father and mother to the children. The family doctor, young Sagar Verma who treated Chandrakant through his terminal illness falls in love with Indu, which is reciprocated. Being the only son of his widowed mother brings expectations Sagar's wife is expected to take on the responsibility of managing the affairs of their palatial home, giving up her siblings and her parental home. This is not possible for Indu, who is willing to sacrifice her own love and happiness at the altar of responsibility to her brother and sisters. It is only when the children are settled in their own homes that Indu can think for herself. Sagar in the meantime has handed over his clinic to a locum and left without any forwarding address or informing anyone of his return ... Written by MG Gopalan

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Drama | Family





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Remade as Sandhya (1980) See more »

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"Raakhee in the role she was born to play". Indeed.
22 July 2011 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

Let's start with saying that this is a wonderful film, and far from what I expected to see. Tapasya is the story of a young woman who sacrifices everything for her three young siblings after the death of their parents and becomes the sole breadwinner of the family. She gives up her academic studies and separates from a young doctor with whom she planned to settle down. She sets a private primary school in order to build a future for her siblings, and as years go by, the story follows her life with them when they are already grown. This is a moving story, and Anil Ganguly handles it exceedingly well. The film is simple, realistic and subtle, sans the high melodrama that would have been the ultimate option for many Hindi filmmakers of that time, particularly with this kind of a story. At the same time, Tapasya has a certain commercial appeal which never takes away from its credibility and makes the film a very good watch for different kinds of moviegoers.

Having watched already several movies made by Ganguly, I see that he used to keep everything in his films simple, and the acting in particular. In Kora Kagaz, for one, I was truly impressed by the portrayal of a newly married couple where Jaya Bhaduri played the main lead to perfection. Here there's a similar lifelike portrayal of family, and the cast is spot on. Tapasya is Raakhee's film all the way, and she is excellent in an author-backed role. In one of the film's posters, the tag-line reads as, "Raakhee in the role she was born to play", a sentiment I couldn't agree more with. She is the perfect choice for such roles of women who sacrifice their happiness for their dear ones, as evidenced in other such great movies as Baseraa. Here she plays Indu with depth, restraint and sincerity, and her care and disappointment are moving. This is a quiet and understated portrait of strength, maturity and dignity, and it is definitely one of her finest performances.

The film does not have many songs, the ones that are there are mostly nice, though I would personally edit out the bride reception song. The cast of supporting actors is very good. Parikshat Sahni is very good as Dr. Sagar. It's nice to see Asrani in a completely serious role, although his hairdo is very funny. Nasir Hussain, a fantastic character actor of the time, is great. Lalita Pawar is good as always in a tiny role as Sagar's mother. Manju Bhatia is very annoying at first, but later does better, while Om Shivpuri is excellent as her father. The girl who plays Indu's first younger sister is quite okay, but the one who plays the second is less. In one scene, by the way, I found a funny minor flaw when Indu slaps her on one cheek and the girl "reflexively" grabs the other cheek. Towards the end, the film actually does become a bit melodramatic, but that's forgivable, because real life too is full of melodrama. Tapasya is overall a worthy and very enjoyable film.

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