Tere ghar ke samne - more delight!

Publié le 22 Juin 2011

Cheek to cheek, almost

Tere ghar ke samne (1963) has a Molièresque quality to it. I don’t know if English-speaking readers know about Molière, but this story of two young lovers who want to marry in spite of their cantankerous fathers immediately made me think of L’Avare, or Le bourgeois gentilhomme, where such situations are standard fare. The line that made the connection was this one, where Sulekha (Nutan)’s father, Seth Karamchand, actually admits he was a fool to counter-bet his arch-enemy Lala Jagganath, for the purchase of a plot where to build his future house:

you were nuts

But foolishness doesn’t stop these rich neighbours from waging a very serious war, a war of influence and bad-tempers, a war of old men stuck in their seriousness. Old men indeed, because both young folk and womenfolk denounce their foolishness, but even if they themselves see it, they won’t budge. Old age is when you are stuck in foolish attitudes which hurt yourself and others, and that you don’t want to change because you think it will imperil your dignity. Compared to some more recent movies, where the stubbornness of fathers seemed rather easily overturned (even if at first it looked formidable), in TGKS it takes an enormous amount of energy, and only the confrontation with the whole town, invited to a wedding which neither father was going to accept, and the public singing of words which appeal to their sense of humanity, make them change finally and accept the dreaded marriage. But the refusal had formerly been so absolute, that in fact the reversal looks a little contrived.

back to front

Anyway, the feud between two grumpy grandpas wasn’t, you faithful readers know it, why I had been watching this film. (Here we go again, another Nutan eulogy!!) (I thought he'd gotten over it) (No, sadly he's still smitten) (How can one be so  Nuts about Nutan?) Ahem. Nutan shot this film in 1963, after she had taken leave from the movies to marry and have her son, Mohnish, born on Feb 14 of that year. The film shows how right she was to have come back, and how glorious maternity made her. I could also say, how little it shows that she’d just been a mum. Not that I mind her being a mum, in fact mumness is the most glorious thing to be on Earth, probably! It shows also how much she wanted to return to the cinema, because TGKS is a delightful Dev + Nutan powerhouse. Nutan’s exquisite looks are complimented by Dev the charmer’s expressions, and they form a perfect couple. I don’t know what Lieutenant-Commander Behl thought about this quick return to the dazzling limelights! Just look at this:

The Indian way-copie-1

Doesn't she seem tenderness incarnate? One word has got to be said for the famous scene (and song) in Qutub Minar, the inside of which I have read somewhere has been reconstructed in studio (so that when I was watching the movie, and called my boy to come and have a look because last year when we went there, the tower was no longer open to the public, he probably did not see what the inside really looked like!). The ascent to heaven it represents, with the pauses at the various levels, is peppered with songs filled with allusions, jokes, innuendoes and gags: in short it’s so full of fun that it’s pure joy to watch and rewatch. There’s this delightful moment when Dev is ordered to hush because, taking advantage of their seclusion, he starts praising her appearance. So he complies, and walks up behind his mirthful companion with a finger on his mouth, and she just melts at seeing him (I just melted too, did it show?). At one level, hearing all noise fade throughout the building, she stops:


And she says "can you hear the sound of silence?" As far as I'm concerned, I could hear many silent thoughts and feel many silent aspirations... But the expressions on her face, as she focuses on the stillness of the moment, and then on Dev’s remarks that the only noise he can hear are the beats of his heart, are almost too much for a lover of her looks. We have other hilarious moments when they banter and are surprised by other visitors, and they play, like children, pretending they’re suddenly serious, or hide under Dev’s overcoat. At one stage, he gives her his binoculars to watch her brother and his girlfriend flirting down in the grounds. She takes a peep, but Dev is gone somewhere else, and she hands the binoculars to a stranger, before realising he’s accepted the offer, and she has to wrench the thing away from him! She turns around, and her back to him, shakes her hand in a gesture which means, wow, silly me, quick, let’s leave! And she rushes back to an expectant Dev.

inside the tower  the sound of silence 5

They exchange looks, smiles, pranks, reproaches, impressions, giggles, his coat, his cap, her love of life, her fears, her girlish seriousness and her mature fun-loving candour. This climb and descent belongs to the anthology of cinema. It’s probably been done before, but who cares, both actors have pit-patted their way to the top of fame in this scene.

fresh air 2

I should perhaps also underline how much Nutan reigns again here (this is only the continuation of the above eulogy, so I'm entitled). As it’s said later in the film, she’s the granddaughter of the queen of Ayodhya, or perhaps the queen of Ayodhya herself! Nobody’s sure. But what’s sure is that we do have a queenly person in front of us! It’s not because she’s called Rani, but the only person I can think of who comes a little close to Nutan’s charming and fun persona in today’s Bollywood is Rani Mukherjee. She’s perhaps a little too much on the side of fun (Kajol would be too much), and not enough interiorised as an actress, but who else do you see as her aunt’s successor? Nutan is rivalled really only by actresses of her times: Nargis, Meena Kumari, Waheeda Rehman, Madhubala. Shabana Azmi is greater than her in her serious roles, but I’ve yet to see her in lighter ones where Nutan is as much at ease as in her dramatic roles.

melody of love

As for Dev Anand, I like him more and more. He had a genuine knack for comedy, that’s where he’s at his best, perhaps. And romance. I don’t know too much about drama though. Has he played in more sombre films? I haven’t seen him in any of his later movies. In this one, at any rate, he shines as the dependable young urbanite, whose authority and sense of responsibility manage to tilt the stubbornness of foolish elders.

Here's the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dekQT5J3JqU

I’d like to attract your attention (and at the same time extend my thanks) to Harvey, who recently has made on his blog a wonderful selection of songs on the occasion of Nutan’s birthday.

The story should never end

And additional photos here!!

Rédigé par yves

Publié dans #Film reviews

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I can't help but smile (in agreement of course because I loved your praising of Nutan :) ). This was one movie which I really enjoyed. The chemistry between Dev Anand and Nutan was absolutely brilliant. In my eyes, Nutan-Dev Anand was an exceptional pair. It's a pity they did'nt do more movies. I am used to tears from Nutan somewhere or the other in any movie. But this was one where she never cried, so that was very very satisfying.

Looking at your review, it seems you've really gone nuts about her :) :). But it was a very nice read because I agree with everything you've written :)
Thanks to you too. It's very nice to discuss Nutan's qualities and charms with somebody who feels the same! And you're so right about that superb piece of cinematographic ingenuity (the shivering because of the ice cube)!
BTW, I know that on this blog, the comments sometimes place themselves in a strange order, and I can't change it either.
I think this reply of mine will appear "before" your reply to my previous message. I don't know how to correct that.

But I don't think you've gone overboard at all. I enjoy each and every review of yours :). I myself feel that I am very partial towards everything she has done!!! So maybe you should'nt ask me. You should ask someone who's very neutral.

There's one more song in this movie about which I am nuts. The song where Dev Anand imagines her in his wine glass. Specially the incident where his side-kick adds some ice into the glass and Nutan shivers...Oooh.. that was gold!!

My compliments again for such a wonderful articulation :)
Well, "going nuts"... I don't know! Reflecting about it, it seems to me there is a just cause to appreciate Nutan's talent and beauty, and that it isn't only infatuation. Yes, you can really appreciate someone to the point of being crazy about her, that is, losing your mind, and becoming unjustly praiseworthy. Do you think I have gone that far?

Love Nutan in this film, I don't think she has looked so beautiful/naughty/playful in any other film!! Can't say I care too much for Dev-Nutan combo but they look absolutely perfect together in
this film!

c'est bien!


Hello Neha,

Thanks for your visit and message. I too find myself very partial to Nutan, er, in almost any film!

Achha hai, na?


Hello, just to say that M. Makharand Karkare, Indian blogger and lover of this movie TGKS, has been so good as to actually write an article about this review of mine on his blog! It's here below!




Guy de Maupassant is the name that I was searching for!


Hey, Yves! Nice review!
Your comparison of it with Moliere is apt. I noticed it as well. Moliere is known to Indians, but not so much as... now what's his name? Will come to that later. Anyway, I got acquainted with
Moliere more after I came to Europe.
I just loved your description of the song 'dil ka bhanwar kare pukar'. You have expressed it in so many beautiful words, that it came alive to me right away and made me fall in love with it
What I didn't like about the film is that Nutan gets too much of a passive role in it.
I would have loved her to be more active.
The story also reminds me of a Ruth Prawer Jhabvalla novel, whose name I forget. The novel also has a scene in it, where the family goes on a picnic to Qutb-Minar.

And thanks for the reference!


Thanks Harvey for the appreciative message! I'm pleased you know Molière (and Guy de Maupassant too!), who is one of favourite playwrights. You say you came to Europe: where, and when? Did you
manage to watch a play by Molière?

Yes, it's true Nutan plays a rather passive role, especially in the end, when she might have been given a more decisive part; there must be reason which I don't know, but like you, I was a little
put off to see her reduced to the obedient daughter's role, when so much could have been done to make her add to Dev's efforts! It's a bit of a waste!


Love the detailed analysis of the song, yves, especially Nutan's actions and reactions, which of course gives us an insight into your dedication for anything Nutan :-)

I love this film. Dev Anand never looked better.

You wanted to know whether Dev Anand has acted in any serious role. Try Manzil, also with Nutan. It has fabulous songs (unless you have already reviewed it).


Hi, I've already seen Manzil (http://www.letstalkaboutbollywood.com/article-manzil-1960-a-photographer-s-camera-obscura-47775683.html) and sort of liked it, but my copy of the movie wasn't that
good. BTW, TGKS neither; there's a whole passage which is almost fuzzy. I wonder how they go about for the making of the DVD.




I'm so glad you liked the film. Nutan was ravishing, wasn't she?? She should have done more such films!! I just love this film and see it whenever I'm depressed. Sure makes me smile :)


Hi Sharmi,

Thanks for your nice words - yes, I can see how TGKS would be spirit-lifting in times of need! And as for Nutan - hm, no words.



Yes, Yves - Zarine Katrak played Ronny's (that was Rajendranath, wasn't it? - It's been a while since I last saw the film, so I've forgotten the names of the characters...) love interest.

I didn't know that the interior of the Qutb Minar had been actually a set, though of course it now sounds so obvious - it would have been impossible to actually get all that crew and equipment up
into the tower. But I suppose it must have been a fairly true recreation of the interior, so at least something - now, of course as you mention, nobody's allowed in ever since all those accidents
and suicides that happened.



Thanks for the confirmation!

Yes I can't exactly pinpoint where the info came from, perhaps Upperstall's? But it does seem probable they would havec redone the set. Anyway, when they're at the top, there's no doubt, it's not
the top of the actual Qutub.


Thank you for reviewing one of my favourite films, Yves! I've seen Tere Ghar ke Saamne several times, and always enjoyed it immensely (especially Dev Anand's efforts to keep his and Nutan's
fathers unaware that he is designing and building their houses right next to each others!) Nutan is especially lovely in this - I was stunned when I first learnt that she had recently given birth
before acting in TGKS. Oh, and the songs are absolutely superb. :-)

By the way, complete trivia: I believe this was Zarine Katrak's only film - she went on to marry Sanjay Khan, and never acted again.


Hello Madhu,

Thanks for your appreciation! Yes, the songs are great (Lata and M. Rafi!), even if I rarely speak about them, I never forget them.

Who's Zarine Katrak in the film? Rony's love-interest?


Its totally evident - you are in love Yves!! :) Poor you..unequited love is hard! :) But its easy to fall in love with Nutan, I would imagine. She is indeed beautiful but its more than that. Hers
is not the cold touch-me-not beauty of beauty queens or models but a lively and vibrant beauty which is heart warming. The film sounds like the sort of light hearted caper I enjoy. I'll try and
get myself a copy. Your print seems excellent, if you have taken such good screen prints off it? Can you tell me who is the publisher of your DVD please?

BTW I read your review of Fire with interest. There are many points I would like to discuss (and probably disagree with) but I first want to re-watch the film to remind myself of some points. Too
busy now, will do one day.

Cheers. Suja


Suja, you are ABSOLUTELY right, and I too delare myself in love! Nutan is indeed long gone now, but I couldn't care less, my love is of her undying soul, as expressed on her luminous face, and
nobody can steal that from me!!

My copy ( Shemaroo Vintage) was good except one part of it (the part when Rakesh goes to Shimla to meet Sulekha): here an old copy was certainly used, or rather they couldn't find a better one.
This part is bathed in a sort of mist. Then there is a distinct transition, and then the picture becomes crisp again.

I'll be expecting your remarks on Fire any day.

Cheers, yves