Annual of Urdu Studies, v. 5, 1985 p. 82.


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(1955) Madhumati (1958) Anuradha (1960) Anupama (1966) and Satyakam (1969)

Although Bedi was well-regarded as a dialogue writer he felt frustrated by the changes in his material inevitably made by the directors under whom he worked As early as 1954 he joined with Amar Kumar Balraj Sahni Geeta Ball and others in forming their own company Cine Cooperative The first product of this joint venture was Garm Coat a film based on one of Bedi s own early short stories and released in 1955 Bedi wrote the entire screenplay for the film and although it was directed by Amar Kumar he had a greater responsibility for its final shape than he had had with previous directors Despite the more than adequate performances of the film s stars Balraj Sahni and Nirupa Roy Garm Coat failed commercially and Bedi was forced to return to writing for others

Bedi s second attempt to bring out a film in which he wrote the entire screenplay and dialogue himself was Rangoli released in 1962 Again directed by Amar Kumar the film starred Kishore Kumar Vyjayantimala and Durga Khote An allegorical comedy with a good guys vs bad-guys theme Rangoli too failed commercially despite its respectable cast and skillful direction and writing

After almost ten years spent writing for others Beds again ventured out on his own in Dastak a film partially financed by the Film Finance Corporation of the Government of India and released in 1971 Expanding on his own radio play Naql-e Makanf { Moving to a New House ) Bedi wrote produced and directed the entire film Starring the established actor Sanjeev Kumar and the then recent graduate of the Film Institute in Pune Rehana Sultan the film was well received critically and was quite popular gaining national awards for acting for both its principals and for musical direction

Following Dastak Bedi wrote produced and directed three more films none of which was commercially successful Phagun an off beat love story starring Jaya Bhadun Vijay Arora and Om Prakash was released in 1973 Nawab Sahib a Muslim social starring Pankshat Sahni Tamanna Om Prakash and Bedi himself in a guest appearance was released in early 1978 Finally Aankhan Dekhi film set in 1930 and depicting a Gandhi like leader of non violent agitation was completed late in 1978 Partially financed by the Film Finance Corporation the film was expected to do well commercially despite its cast of relative unknowns 6 However Bedi suffered a stroke in November 1979 before arrange ments for its distribution could be completed and the film as yet unreleased remains in the hands of the National Film Development Corporation (the successor to the FCC)

Ideally for a study of the relationship between Bedi s writing and his films one should survey all of his films short stories and plays This being a prelilminary paper however I have chosen to focus on three of Bedi s films—•Garm Coat Dastak and Aankhan DeA/7/—for which good supporting documentary material exists As two of these films are based on literary antecedents and one received national recognition they provide a substantial sample Although the study here will primarily be based on the release scripts of each of the films I have seen all three of them 7

6 See for exampe the prevew artcle n the trade paper Cne Advance (1978)

7 saw a 16mm copy of Garm Coat at the NFAI Pune I saw Dastak n Deh n 1972 and agan at the NFAI n March 1982 and I saw Aankhan Dekh at the NFDC Theater Bombay n March 1982

Annual of Urdu Studies #5

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