Britain's top pop artiste, Tom Pickle, travels to Bombay, India, circa 1960s to learn to play the sitar (musical instrument) from renowned maestro Ustad Zafar Khan. Tom is taken to Zafar's ... See full summary »


James Ivory


Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (story written for the screen by) (as R. Prawer Jhabvala), James Ivory (story written for the screen by)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Rita Tushingham ... Jenny
Michael York ... Tom Pickle
Utpal Dutt ... Ustal Zafar Khan
Madhur Jaffrey ... Begum Sahiba
Barry Foster ... Chris
Aparna Sen ... Ghazala
Zohra Sehgal ... Mastani (as Zohra Segal)
Saeed Jaffrey ... Murad
Nana Palsikar ... The Guru's Guru
Nadira ... Courtesan
Leela Naidu ... Girl at the Party
Usha Katrah Usha Katrah ... Lady Reporter
Fred Ohringer Fred Ohringer ... Howard
Nargis Cowalsji Nargis Cowalsji ... Society Hostess
Marcus Murch Marcus Murch ... Snide Guest


Britain's top pop artiste, Tom Pickle, travels to Bombay, India, circa 1960s to learn to play the sitar (musical instrument) from renowned maestro Ustad Zafar Khan. Tom is taken to Zafar's home, where he gets to meet his wife and several daughters, and the maestro himself. Zafar never has had a disciple as Tom, and is clearly disappointed with his lack of respect. Nevertheless, he asks him to travel to Banares with him. Also accompanying them is a young Caucasian woman named Jenny, who Zafar has taken a liking to, much to his wife's displeasure, and who is more respectful of him than Tom. In Banaras, they get to meet Zafar's aging Guru, and his mistress, Ghazala, who is expecting a child soon. Zafar hopes that it will be a son. Zafar's Guru is quite disappointed with him for having Tom and Jenny as his disciples. An over-awed and overwrought Jenny decides to take it easy - and it is then she witnesses the murder of a courtesan. Watch as events unfold in this peaceful town of Banaras ... Written by rAjOo (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

india | sitar | independent film | See All (3) »




G | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


When the Guru is looking over "Tom Pickle's" albums while upstairs alone at the party (roughly 22 minute mark), he's holding a copy of the Beatle's "Revolver" album, which was drawn by Klaus Voorman. See more »


Referenced in The Darjeeling Limited (2007) See more »


Where did you come from?
Music by Mark London
Lyrics by Don Black
Performed by The Buckinghams (uncredited)
See more »

User Reviews

It might be "so so 60's" but so what
15 July 2007 | by jupiterian-1See all my reviews

I saw this movie on late-night TV years ago; the music was gorgeous as was the photography..the interactions between the young British musician and his guru (teacher) were often amusing, but a scene in which the guru visits his own guru had a lot to say about the role of music in Indian culture and has stuck with me ever since. Of course, it was long ago and I want to see it again. It might be "so so 60's" but so what - it wasn't the 50's or 70's - it was the 60's! People really did dress that way and western young people did flock to India to see why the Beatles were so affected by it.

If you aren't familiar with Indian music, this might get you interested; if you're already a fan, it'll be a treat.

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India | USA



Release Date:

10 February 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Guru See more »

Filming Locations:

Bombay, India See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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