Aag (1948 film)

Aag (English: Fire) is a 1948 Indian Hindi language film which is produced, directed by and stars Raj Kapoor. The film marked the debut of him as producer and director and was the first film produced by his R.K. banner. Nargis, Premnath, Nigar Sultana and Kamini Kaushal also starred in supporting roles. Raj Kapoor's youngest brother Shashi Kapoor appeared as a child artist in this film playing the younger version of his character (Kewal). This was the first film in which Raj Kapoor and Nargis appeared together.

Aag 1948 poster.jpg
Directed byRaj Kapoor
Produced byRaj Kapoor
Written byInder Raj Anand
StarringRaj Kapoor
Kamini Kaushal
Music byRam Ganguli
(Assistant : Kamal Gangoli)
Release date
  • 6 August 1948 (1948-08-06)
Running time
130 mins


The film opens with a groom approaching his new bride, called Sudha, on their wedding night. The bride, upon seeing the groom screams because his face is disfigured due to burns. The groom then starts telling the bride his story and the remainder of the film is a flashback told to the bride by the groom. The story is about a boy, named Kewal (played by Shashi Kapoor), who is obsessed with theatre but is descended from a family of lawyers. The boy Kewal is fascinated by a girl named Nirmala, nicknamed Nimmi, a classmate in school when he was aged 10 years. They both enjoy theatre and Kewal shares his dream of opening a theatre company and starring in his play with Nimmi as the female lead while watching a play in their school. He soon plans to stage a play in his neighbourhood with Nimmi, but she deserts him because her family moves to a different city on the day of the premiere. The young Kewal takes this to heart, but after finishing school, Kewal (now played by Raj Kapoor) reluctantly submits to his father's (Kamal Kapoor) demands to continue the family tradition by studying law and become a successful lawyer just like him and his forefathers. At College, Kewal meets another Nirmala (who asks him to call her Nimmi, after hearing his story of childhood love). He again plans to stage a play, but the second Nimmi also deserts him because her parents have decided to marry her off to a man who lives in England on the day of the premiere. Kewal is distracted and fails his law exam. This forces him to a reckoning that he has no real interest in becoming a lawyer and would like to pursue his childhood dream of owning his theatre company to write, direct, and produce plays. He argues with his father and is asked to leave the house and despite his mother's protestations, decides to chart his path in life and pursue his dreams. After a little struggle, he luckily finds a patron of the arts named Rajan, (Premnath), who is the owner of a theater company, that has closed down. Kewal and Rajin strike up a creative partnership and a friendship for Kewal to write and produce plays and Rajan to finance these. During the preparation for his play, Kewal discovers a woman made homeless by Partition (Nargis) and casts her as the lead in his play. With the finances and a leader in place, Kewal's dreams can now, at last, be realised; Kewal suggests that Nargis's character (who is not named) takes the name, Nimmi (a third incarnation). Rajan is besotted by Nimmi, but Nimmi is in love with Kewal, who remains unaware of Nimmi's feelings towards him. This conflict comes to a head on the opening night of Rajan and Kewal's first production; Rajan goes berserk and rips all his pictures of Nimmi that he has painted. Kewal, only now, discovers the reality of the situation with Rajin and tries to convince Nimmi that she should get together with Rajan, who is his friend and mentor; Nimmi pleads that she is in love with Kewal and not Rajan. The play starts (with Kewal's parents with whom he has patched up relations are in the audience) and Kewal takes a lit torch (the Aag or fire) and burns his face. During this act, of what Kewal perceives as a sacrifice to save his friendship with Rajan, the stage catches fire and the whole production company is burnt to the ground and he is disfigured. Kewal then confronts Nimmi, who is repulsed by his disfigurement and tells her that she only liked him because of his outer beauty and only the true Nimmi liked him for who he is on the inside. Nimmi (Nargis's version) visits Kewal in the hospital with his face bandaged. Nimmi offers flowers and Kewal notices a ring on her finger which Nimmi tells him was given to her by Rajan; Kewal wishes her well and she slips away. The camera cuts back to the present, the wedding night, where Kewal is telling Sudha that his childhood Nimmi understood him and only she will accept him for who he is. Sudha suggests that Kewal would not know if Nimmi was standing in front of him. Sudha turns out to be the original Nimmi (from Kewal's childhood) and accepts Kewal for who he is. Kewal and Nimmi renew their vow of opening a theatre company together.



The music for this film was composed and conducted by Ram Ganguly. For his next film Barsaat, Raj Kapoor took Shankar-Jaikishan as music director and this duo went on to produce subsequent scores for R. K. Films.

The tracks in this film are:[1]

# Title Singer(s) Duration
1 "Dekh Chand Ki Or" Shailesh, Meena Kapoor 3:39
2 "Dil Toot Gaya Ji" Shamshad Begum 4:48
3 "Kahe Koyal Shor Machaye Re" Shamshad Begum 3:25
4 "Na Aankhon Mein Ansog" Shamshad Begum 3:53
5 "Raat Ko Ji Chamke Tare" Mukesh, Shamshad Begum 2:49
6 "Solah Baras Ki" Mohammad Rafi, Shamshad Begum 3:56
7 "Zinda Hoon Is Tarah" Mukesh 4:36

Box officeEdit

This film was not a major success and did Average business at the box office. As a director, Raj Kapoor had his first major hit with Barsaat (1949).


External linksEdit