Aah (film)

Aah is a 1953 black and white Bollywood romantic drama film starring Raj Kapoor and Nargis in lead roles. The film was produced by Raj Kapoor and directed by Raja Nawathe. This was Nawathe's first independent directorial venture. He had previously worked as assistant director to Kapoor in Aag (1948), Barsaat (1949) and Awaara (1951).

Aah film.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed byRaja Nawathe
Produced byRaj Kapoor
Written byInder Raj Anand
Screenplay byInder Raj Anand
Story byInder Raj Anand
StarringRaj Kapoor
Music byShankar Jaikishan
CinematographyJaywant Pathare
Edited byG. G. Mayekar
Distributed byR. K. Films
Release date
  • 22 March 1953 (1953-03-22)
Running time
150 minutes
Box officeest. 70 lakh
(est. 71.68 crore as of 2019)[1]
Aah, 1953

The film was rated "Below Average" at the box office[1] but has various hit songs like "Raja Ki Aayegi Baaraat", "Aaja Re Ab Mera Dil Pukara" and "Jaane Na Nazar". The song "Chhoti Si Yeh Zindagani" sung by Mukesh was also picturised on him. Subsequently, the film was later dubbed in Tamil as Avan (Dialogues by S. D. Sundharam) and Telugu as Prema Lekhalu .[2] The film was remade in Turkish as Ah Bu Dünya (1965) starring Cüneyt Arkın.


Raj Raibahadur (Raj Kapoor) lives a wealthy lifestyle with his father, a widowed businessman. One day Raj is sent to work in the countryside, Saraswati Dam. One day, his father visits to Raj his deceased mother wished for him to marry Chandra (Vijayalaxmi), the daughter of his rich family friend. Raj decides to write a letter to Chandra, which she completely ignores. But Chandra's younger sister Neelu (Nargis) acknowledges the letter and responds to it in Chandra's name. After few letters, Raj and Neelu fall in love, but Raj is still unaware that it is Neelu who writes to him. Just then Raj is diagnosed with tuberculosis, the same disease that killed his mother. Raj decides to pretend that he never loved Neelu and also insists that she should marry his physician friend, Dr. Kailash (Pran). He also flirts with Chandra to make Neelu believe that he does not love her. Chandra decides to end the suffering of her heartbroken sister. Upon learning the truth, Neelu accepts Raj as he is. Miraculously, Raj also turns well and both lead for a happy life.

Theme and plot changeEdit

The theme of the tragic hero and the sufferings of the heroine was inspired from Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's famous novel Devdas, which has also been inspiration to various other films.[3]

The end of the film originally showed Neelu marrying Dr. Kailash at Raj's insistence; Raj dies while Neelu's wedding procession is passing by. But at the premiere, Kapoor realised that this film would not work. Kapoor said

The atmosphere in an auditorium is like a living, palpitating thing. It told me again and again: "Your picture is a flop."[4]

The end of the film was then changed from a tragic one to the happy one, but the change destroyed the thematic unity of the text. Bunny Reuben, who wrote Kapoor's biography Raj Kapoor, The Fabulous Showman, gives his rationale for the change: "The film had some of Shankar-Jaikishan's loveliest music, and a 'Devdas'-ian tragic ending which was changed to the conventional happy ending because the film didn't do well in its first release."[3]

The Telugu dubbed version of the film Premalekhalu, 1953 was so well received that Raj Kapoor was elated and showed his gratitude for Telugu audiences by having a song in Shree 420 beginning with the lines Ramaiya Vastavaiya (Lord Ram, you will come).


  • Nargis as Neelu Rai
  • Raj Kapoor as Raj Raibahadur
  • Vijayalaxmi as Chandra Rai
  • Pran as Dr. Kailash
  • Ramesh Sinha
  • Bhupendra Kapoor
  • Leela Mishra as Mrs. Rai
  • Rashid Khan as Dr. Yusuf
  • Sohanlal
  • Kusum
  • Mukesh as Carriage Driver (Cameo role)


Composed by the musical duo Shankar Jaikishan.

Hindi songs for the film are written by Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri.

1."Jaane Na Nazar"Hasrat JaipuriLata Mangeshkar, Mukesh03:38
2."Jhanan Jhanan Jhanan"Hasrat JaipuriLata Mangeshkar02:52
3."Jo Main Jaanti"ShailendraLata Mangeshkar, Mukesh03:25
4."Raat Andheri Door Savera"Hasrat JaipuriMukesh03:02
5."Aaja Re Ab Mera Dil Pukara"Hasrat JaipuriLata Mangeshkar, Mukesh03:44
6."Yeh Shaam Ki Tanhaiyan"ShailendraLata Mangeshkar03:23
7."Sunte The Naam"ShailendraLata Mangeshkar03:06
8."Raja Ki Aayegi Baaraat"ShailendraLata Mangeshkar03:29
9."Chhoti Si Yeh Zindagani"ShailendraMukesh03:34

Tamil lyrics for the film are written by Kambadasan.

1."Kann Kaanaadhadhum Manam Kannduvidum"KambadasanJikki, A. M. Rajah03:38
2."Jalakku Jalakku Jalakku Jalakku"KambadasanJikki02:52
3."Aahaa Naan Indru Arindhukonden"KambadasanJikki03:25
4."Kaarirul Neram Kaalaiyo Dhooram"KambadasanA. M. Rajah03:02
5."Anbe Vaa"KambadasanJikki, A. M. Rajah03:44
6."Ekaanthamaam Immaalaiyil"KambadasanJikki03:23
7."Un Perai Ketten Thendralthanil Naan"KambadasanJikki03:06
8."Kalyaana Oorvalam Varum"KambadasanJikki03:29
9."Minnal Polaagum Indha Vaazhkkaiye"KambadasanA. M. Rajah03:34

Telugu songs for the film are written by Aarudhra.[5] Amongst them Panditlo Pellauthunnadi song is an evergreen track played at many marriage functions even today.

1."Neevewaravo Chiru Naawulato"AarudhraJikki, A. M. Rajah03:38
2."Jalakku Jalakku Jalakku Jalakku"AarudraJikki02:52
3."Ghallu... Gajjela Sangeetam"AarudraJikki03:25
4."Vidi Rakasi"AarudraA. M. Rajah03:02
5."Raaraada Madhi Ninne"AarudraJikki, A. M. Rajah03:44
6."Ekaanthamu Saayantramu"AarudraJikki03:23
7."Neeku Purtigaa Telusunugaa"AarudraJikki03:06
8."Panditlo Pellauthunadhi"AarudraJikki03:29
9."Padu Jeevithamu"AarudraA. M. Rajah03:34


  1. ^ a b "Box office 1953". Boxofficeindia.com. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  2. ^ "Her tantalising voice will live forever..." The Hindu. 20 August 2004. Archived from the original on 25 August 2004. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  3. ^ a b Vijay Mishra (2002). Bollywood Cinema: Temples of Desire. Routledge. pp. 104–105. ISBN 0-415-93015-4.
  4. ^ Bunny Reuben (1995). Raj Kapoor, The Fabulous Showman: An intimate biography. Indus. p. 108. ISBN 81-7223-196-2.
  5. ^ "Premalekhalu (1953)". Ghantasala Galamrutamu (in Telugu). Kolluri Bhaskara Rao. Retrieved 3 March 2016.

External linksEdit