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Aurat - 1940

The 1940 Hindi film Aurat can rightly be described as Mehboob Khan’s domestic saga that details the pathetic plight of a mother. Khan started the production in Sagar Studios and finished at National Studios.

The plot pivots around the central character Radha a resolute mother, abandoned by her husband, who strives hard against poverty and a lecherous money lender to feed her two sons who grew up with contrasting temperament. The elder one Ramu becomes a tight-laced poor fellow and the younger one Birju becomes a thug. Birju kills the moneylender and kidnaps his daughter who is his childhood love. In a highly dramatic climax Radha is forced to kill Birju.

The role of Radha was played by Sardar Akhtar. The other cast includes, Surendra, Kanhaiyalal and Arun (father of actor Govinda). Music was composed by Anil Biswas. Mehboob Khan later remade this film in 1957 with the title Mother India in which he successfully expanded this domestic drama to mythical dimensions. The remake featured Nargiz in the lead role of Radha.