Afsana (1970) - Synopsis

Saturday, March 31, 2012

This is a synopsis of the movie Afsana, released in 1970. Lead cast includes Waheed Murad, Deeba, Rozina and Nanha. 
Story and dialogue were written by Dr. Anwar Sajjad, and lyrics by Tanveer Naqvi and Tasleem Fazli.
The movie was directed by Luqman. The synopsis is divided in segments, using each song as a divider. Link to the complete movie at Youtube is provided at the end.


>1. The setting
2. Chariot race
3. A family no more
4. The ways of the world
5. The ways of love
6. Picnic
7. Brotherly love
8. Solidarity
9. The climax

1. Lost in love

Naheed, an underprivileged girl, wins an intercollegiate poetry competition against competitors like Nasir, a rich guy, and Ghazala, a rich spoiled girl. Nasir tries to get close to Naheed in spite of her ignoring him, but Nasir’s friend Badar is suspicious about her.

On Nasir’s request, he spies on her only to discover that she secretly sells dolls made by her mother. Nasir’s admiration for Naheed increases when he learns this.

However, Naheed’s upright nature repels his overtures so that he is left to express his feelings only to Naheed’s doll. Ghazala compels Badar to bring Nasir to her party who agrees to go only after securing a promise from Badar that he would help him in getting close to Naheed.
Disguised as Nasir’s father, Badar accompanies him to Naheed’s house when she is not home, and pretending to be an exporter, he offers Naheed’s mother a tremendous order for dolls along with some advance payment. Naheed returns before they have left, recognizes them, and shares everything with her mother as soon as they leave.

Nasir’s father returns from Murree in Nasir’s absence from house, and is surprised to find Nasir’s interest in dolls, when Naheed’s mother arrives to return the money. Nasir’s father makes an apology, and decides to punish Nasir. Unmindful of his father’s presence, Nasir comes home to sing his love to Naheed’s dolls.

Youn Kho Gayey Tere Pyar Mein Hum
By Mujeeb Alam

2. Imaginary happiness

Just then, Nasir’s father discloses the matter about the money Naheed’s mother returned, and slaps Nasir for his misconduct. Nasir informs his father about the depth and purity of his love for Naheed.

On his father’s insistence, he accompanies him to Naheed’s house and apologizes to Naheed’s mother. Sharing his life history with Naheed’s mother, Nasir’s father relates how as an orphan he went to Africa in search of employment where his business flourished. He married there but his wife died when Nasir was still very young. Desirous of his son marrying Naheed, he puts the proposal of marriage to her mother. It gets accepted. 

Naheed fantasizes about a happy ever-after with Nasir and sings a song in her imagination.

Hum Aap K Hain Janabe Aali
By Ahmed Rushdi and Mala

3. The accident

Receiving this news, Ghazala vows to make life difficult for the couple.

Hours after their marriage, Naheed and Nasir accompany Nasir’s father to his house in Murree. Badar is also with them while Nasir is driving the car. On the way they listen to a happy song on radio and soon afterwards meet an accident on the road.

Na Hum Tum Se Juda Hain
By Ahmed Rushdi

4. The new beginning

Nasir and Badar die in the accident. Nasir’s father is also in a critical condition but just before dying he manages to transfer all his property and wealth to Naheed on condition that she cannot sell it but can appoint a heir. He dies. The only survivor of the accident is Naheed, although she is disabled now – her legs have stopped functioning due to lack of blood circulation.

News of Nasir’s death reach Ghazala through newspaper. Just then, she catches hold of a cutpurse attempting to take away her hand-bag. Something about the culprit surprises her (although it is not revealed to the audience).

Naheed is living a solitary and grim life until Zafar, Nasir’s cousin from Africa having a very close resemblance to Nasir, comes to her place and tries to enliven her. He is also maintaining a secret correspondence about his activities with someone.

Naheed, truehearted to Nasir’s love, is hesitant to acknowledge Zafar’s warm feelings. In a rage she asks leave of Zafar but her mother asks him to stay. The couple expresses their concerns more openly at a picnic and later while watching a song and dance event in the marriage ceremony of their servants.

5. Happy again

Soon afterwards, their decision to get married is approved by Naheed’s mother and the wedding brings happy moments to their life. The happiness is expressed through a song which Zafar sings to Naheed.

Hum Ko Tumharay Sar Ki Qasam
By Ahmed Rushdi

6. Another accident in the making

This happiness is disrupted when Ghazala comes to meet Zafar secretly. She demands his meeting their chief in a hotel that evening.

In that meeting, Zafar is reminded of his life as a thief before Ghazala took him to the chief, owing to his likeness to Nasir (and in this flashback the audience is informed that Zafar was the cutpurse whom Ghazala caught on the day she received the news of Nasir’s death). He got trained duly so that he could carry out their plan of taking over the wealth inherited by Naheed from Nasir’s father. Zafar is not willing to betray the trust of Naheed anymore but he finds himself to be helpless.

In Zafar’s absence, Naheed receives a letter written to him by Ghazala and delivered belatedly. It reveals the truth about their plans to her. Zafar returns drunk and murmurs his reluctance to kill his wife while Naheed overhears. Naheed’s reflection on this is that her life is of no value before the relationship which exists between her and Zafar. Later, she writes her will accordingly.

The next day, Zafar meets the gang, and is forced to kill Naheed soon. On his refusal the Chief threatens to reveal his reality to Naheed.

That evening, Ghazala keeps calling Zafar and pressing the matters. To avoid picking up the phone anymore, Zafar places the receiver off the hook. Just then, Naheed insists on going for a walk. Since the call was not disconnected, Ghazala gets to hear the route over the phone line.

Naheed hands over her will to a servant. While Zafar pushes her wheelchair on what Naheed is presuming to be the last evening of her life, she sings back the song which Zafar had sung to her soon after their marriage. The gang moves along secretly, following them through the hills.

Hum Ko Tumharay Sar Ki Qasam
By Mala

7. Wind-up

The gang hits Zafar to unconsciousness. Naheed has closed her eyes, anticipating that Zafar would throw her wheelchair down the hill. So, she doesn’t get to see it when Ghazala commits the crime instead.

On being brought back to consciousness, Zafar is confused about what happened. He holds himself responsible for the death of his wife and, filled with grief and remorse, he refuses to transfer her wealth to the Chief. He is beaten up but to no effect. Ghazala tries to resolve Zafar’s guilt by confessing her act of pushing Naheed’s wheelchair. Accompanied by Naheed’s servant, the police reaches the place and catches her just as she is inadvertently confessing her crime. The rest of the gang is arrested too but Zafar is spared.

Link to complete film Afsana on Youtube


Akhtar Wasim Dar said...

This is a very valuable and extremely quality presentation.

CN said...

What a complicated, dramatic plot which is most compelling -- so I will probably return. Wow, you sure spent a lot of time on this summary and post. Do tell us what caused you to choose this topic?

So glad to see how consistently so many on the RR blogs feature this amazing actor!

Namrah Mahmood said...

Thanks :)
These films have the potential to directly influence the society and their proper analysis can be of help to generate such arts and literature which can be used as tools for projecting history, philosophy and world-peace in general.
Also adequate promotion is needed to attract the present-day generation towards these films, about which not much info is available anywhere in our media.
Thanks for appreciation :)

Supriya Arcot said...

I am addicted to Waheed Murad's movies. In the past few months I have seen some 100 movies of his. Pakistani and Hindi movies were very much alike in those days.Full of fun and frolic. Now that I have read your review,this will be my next movie. Thanks.

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