Grahasti (1963 film)

Grahasti, (Family Life) also called Grihasti, is a 1963 Hindi family drama film, directed by Kishore Sahu. Produced by S. S. Vasan for Gemini Studios (Gemini Chitra, Chennai), its music director was Ravi and the lyrics were written by Shakeel Badayuni.[1] Pandit Mukhram Sharma wrote the dialogues with cinematography by P. Ellappa. The film starred Ashok Kumar, Manoj Kumar, Rajshree, Nirupa Roy, Indrani Mukherjee, Bipin Gupta, Lalita Pawar and Gajanan Jagirdar.[2]

Film Poster
Directed byKishore Sahu
Produced byS. S. Vasan
Written byPandit Mukhram Sharma (dialogue)
StarringAshok Kumar
Manoj Kumar
Music byRavi
CinematographyP. Ellappa
Gemini Chitra
Release date
Running time
154 minutes

Grahasti was the first film to "start the trend" of family dramas being made in South India.[3] The story revolves around Harish Khanna (Ashok Kumar) who leads a dual life, having two sets of families in different cities. The effect the exposure has on him and his family forms the basis of the story.


Harish Khanna (Ashok Kumar) lives in a happy household consisting of his wife Maya (Nirupa Roy) and his large family of seven daughters and one son. Also staying with them is his widowed sister (Lalita Pawar), and her son Jaggu (Mehmood). Harish spends five[4] days of the week away from his family for work. Harish and Maya soon have a ninth child much to Maya's consternation, as her older daughter, Kamla (Bharati Malvankar) who is married to Gopal is also expecting a child. The fact that Kamla is pregnant is a cause of anxiety, as according to Gopal's parents, the couple have not been together since the wedding and her pregnancy is considered as a sign of her disreputable character. Gopal is not there to give an explanation and his parents decide to send Harish's older daughter back home. Harish finds out that two of his daughters, Kiran (Rajshree) and Kamini (Indrani Mukherjee) are in love with Mohan (Manoj Kumar), the son of the College principal, and Ravindra (Soodesh Kumar) respectively, and that Jaggu is in love with Rekha (Shobha Khote). Harish decides to get the three pairs married.

Their meeting is fixed on Friday, the same day Harish always returns from Delhi. Harish has not appeared. Suddenly, a young lad by the name of Sundar appears. He is looking for Harish. He later explains that Harish is his father and he desperately needs to see his father to ask for money for his school fees. Not long after, Harish appears and the situation turns to chaos. One thing led to another to the extent of affecting the marriage of Kamla and Gopal. When Kamla is sent home accompanied by her in-laws back to her parents, Harish loses his cool and he is forced to break his promise he had made to one person he respects the most; his father in law, the father of Sundar's mother. His second wife is none other than Maya's younger sister, Radha (Pushpavalli), whom Maya thought was dead. When Maya's father (Gajanan Jagirdar) had approached Harish to marry his daughter, Harish had assumed it was Radha, as the two were in love with each other. When Radha finds out that Maya too loves Harish, she forces him to marry Maya. Harish and Maya then leave their hometown Meerut, where Harish was helping his father-in-law in his car mechanic business, to go for a job to Rangoon at the invitation of Haris's brother in law, his sister's husband. One day, his brother-in-law brings home cinema tickets to see a stage performance. Maya, Jaggu and his mother went for it. The time period is WW II, and during a bomb raid, it is assumed that all three of them are killed. Harish gets back to India after he fails to find them. Radha's father who is already heartbroken due to Maya's death, asks Harish to marry Radha, but complications arise when news by telegram reaches them that Maya is alive in Rangoon. Her father then suffers a heart attack, but makes Harish promise that he'll not let Radha know that Maya is alive, nor tell Maya that he's married to Radha, as he feels that each may sacrifice their life for the other. After Harish ends up telling the truth, Gopal too admits to having spent nights with his wife, Kamla, without his parent's knowledge. All ends well with the last scene; the families, in laws, brides and grooms are in the wedding processions.



  • Producer: S. S. Vasan
  • Director: Kishore Sahu
  • Music: Ravi
  • Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni
  • Dialogue: Pandit Mukhram Sharma
  • Camera: V. Ellappa
  • Cinematography: G. Balakrishnan
  • Sound: C. E. Biggs
  • Art: M. S. Janakiram
  • Make-up: Sahadeva Rao, S. Tapkire
  • Set Decoration: N. J. Kanniah
  • Choreography: Gopi Krishna

Reception and box office

The film premiere was held at the Naaz Theatre in Bombay on 28 February 1963. The songs and story were appreciated by the critics. With the crowds "storming" the theatre, MotherIndia magazine commented that "Grahasti has pleased the masses".[5] The film was a big box office success, with journalist Randor Guy describing it in The Hindu as a "box-office bonanza".[6] The Thought journal called it a "Daringly different domestic drama".[7]


The music composer Ravi won an award for the song "Jeevan Jyot Jale". It was adjudged the Best Classical Composition in the "Sur-Singar Film Awards" for 1963. He won the "Swami Haridas Award", while Asha Bhosle won the "Mian Tansen Award" as the singer.[8]

Story inspiration and remake

The film was adapted from a true story as recorded by Randor Guy in The Hindu and based on Liam O'Brien's hit play, which in turn was made into a film of the same name, The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker (1959) with Clifton Webb. Producer S. S. Vasan first presented the story idea to Sivaji Ganesan, who turned it down. It was then made in Hindi with Ashok Kumar playing the main character. The success of the film changed Ganesan's mind and it was produced in Tamil as Motor Sundaram Pillai (1966), with Ganesan playing the role enacted by Ashok Kumar. Sowcar Janaki and Manimala played the two wives.[6] The film was also remade in Telugu as Manchi Kutumbam.


Asha Bhosle's rendition of the song "Jeevan Jyot Jale" won her the "Mian Tansen Award". The song was cited as the best song of 1963 out of the 544 songs released that year from a total of 77 films.[9] The other popular number from the film was Geeta Dutt's "Ding Dong Ding Dong Ding Lala". The music composer was Ravi and the lyrics were by Shakeel Badayuni. The playback singers were Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle, Geeta Dutt and Usha Mangeshkar.


1 "Jaane Teri Nazaron Ne" Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi
2 "Aaj Mili Ek Ladki" Mohammed Rafi
3 "Jeevan Jyot Jale" Asha Bhosle
4 "Ja Ja Re Ja Deewane Ja" Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle
5 "Wo Aurat Hai Jo Insaanon Ki" Mohammed Rafi
6 "Zara Dekh Sanam" Lata Mangeshkar
7 "Payal Khul Khul Jaaye Ram" Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle
8 "Ding Dong Ding Lalla" Geeta Dutt
9 "Khile Hai Sakhi Aaj Phulwa" Asha Bhosle, Lata Mangeshkar, Usha Mangeshkar


  1. Hanif Zaveri (1 January 2005). Mehmood, a Man of Many Moods. Popular Prakashan. pp. 178–. ISBN 978-81-7991-213-3. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  2. "Grahasti (1963)". Alan Goble. Archived from the original on 30 October 2013. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  3. Bhawana Somaaya (2003). The Story So Far. Indian Express Group. p. 73. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  4. Grahasti Full Movie | Manoj Kumar | Mehmood | Old Hindi Movie, retrieved 24 September 2019
  5. Mother India. 29. Sumati. 1963. p. 16. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  6. Guy, Randor (10 July 2009). "Motor Sundaram Pillai (1966)". The Hindu. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  7. Thought. 15. Siddharta Publications. 1963. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  8. The Illustrated Weekly of India. Part 2. 85. Published for the proprietors, Bennett, Coleman & Company, Limited, at the Times of India Press. April 1964. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  9. Times of India (Firm) (1964). The Times of India Directory and Year Book Including Who's who. Bennett, Coleman & Company. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
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