Arth (transl. Meaning) is a 1982 Indian drama film directed by Mahesh Bhatt, starring Shabana Azmi and Kulbhushan Kharbanda in lead roles and Smita Patil, Raj Kiran and Rohini Hattangadi in supporting roles. It features some of the most memorable soundtracks by Ghazal duo, Jagjit Singh and Chitra Singh.

Arth, 1982 film.jpg
Directed byMahesh Bhatt
Written byMahesh Bhatt
Screenplay byMahesh Bhatt
Sujit Sen
Story byMahesh Bhatt
Produced byKuljit Pal
StarringShabana Azmi
Kulbhushan Kharbanda
Smita Patil
Raj Kiran
Rohini Hattangadi
CinematographyPravin Bhatt
Edited byKeshav Hirani
Music byJagjit Singh
Chitra Singh
Kaifi Azmi (lyrics)
Release date
  • 3 December 1982 (1982-12-03) (India)
Running time
138 minutes
Budget₹1 crore
Box office₹2 crore

The semi-autobiographical film was written by Mahesh Bhatt about his extramarital relationship with Parveen Babi.[1] It is one of the 25 Must See Bollywood Movies as compiled by Indiatimes Movies.[2] The film was remade in Tamil as Marupadiyum (1993) by Balu Mahendra. In 2017, Pakistani actor and director Shaan Shahid released, Arth 2 and Bhatt acted as a "mentor" during production.


Pooja, who grew up as an orphan girl and always dreamt of owning a house, becomes insecure when she finds out that she and her husband, Inder, have to leave the apartment they rent. The twist that occurred when Inder gives her the keys of a new house proves to be double-edged, when it is revealed that he is in love with another woman, Kavita, with whom he earned the money (in the film industry) for the new apartment. While previously giving advice to her maid cheated by her husband, now Pooja becomes herself involved in a similar situation. When Inder deserts Pooja for Kavita, she chooses to leave the apartment for a women's hostel with only 2000 that she had when she got married. She is helped by Raj to surpass the difficulties of life as a single person, to find a job and to rely morally on herself. Raj and Pooja become good friends. Gradually, Kavita's mental instability deepens her fears of insecurity, even after Inder requests Pooja to sign the divorce papers.

Raj falls in love with Pooja and proposes to her. She refuses saying she is empty and cannot give him anything. Raj tries to persuade her saying that she cannot spend the rest of her life feeling miserable about the past and that she should try to find a new life for herself. Pooja promises to think about it.

Pooja's maid, whose only aim in life is to secure a good education for her daughter, has saved 1000 towards her admission fees. She finds out that her drunk husband has stolen the money. Furious, she searches for him to find him in the arms of his lover after spending all the money. She kills him and goes to the police station and confesses her crime. Worried about her daughter, she calls Pooja who promises to take care of the daughter.

After the insistence of Kavita's mother and her personal doctor, Pooja personally assures Kavita that she is not interested in Inder any more. However, Pooja's attitude only convinces Kavita that breaking Pooja's marriage was a mistake. To escape from her feeling of guilt and insecurity, she breaks-up with Inder. The latter tries to revive his relation with Pooja, but is rejected.

Pooja continues to live with her maid's daughter and refuses to marry Raj saying that she has found a new meaning to life in being independent and being a mother to the child and marrying Raj will only weaken her.



All music is composed by Jagjit Singh and Chitra Singh.

1."Jhuki Jhuki Si Nazar"Kaifi AzmiJagjit Singh 
2."Koi Yeh Kaise Bataye"Kaifi AzmiJagjit Singh 
3."Tere Khushboo Mein Base"Rajindar Nath Rehbar[3]Jagjit Singh 
4."Too Nahin To Zindagi Mein"Iftikhar Imam SiddiqiChitra Singh 
5."Tum Itna Jo Muskura Rahe"Kaifi AzmiJagjit Singh 


The film was made on a budget of 1 crore and grossed 2 crore at the Box-office and was declared as "Hit" by the Box-office.


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result
1982 National Film Awards Best Actress Shabana Azmi Won
1983 Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards Best Art Director Madhukar Shinde Won
1984 Filmfare Awards Best Film Kuljit Pal Nominated
Best Director Mahesh Bhatt Nominated
Best Story Nominated
Best Dialogue Won
Best Actress Shabana Azmi Won
Best Supporting Actress Rohini Hattangadi Won
Smita Patil Nominated


  1. ^ "A tribute to Parveen Babi". NDTV. 4 October 2011. Archived from the original on 4 October 2011.
  2. ^ "25 Must See Bollywood Movies". Indiatimes Movies. 15 October 2007. Archived from the original on 15 October 2007.
  3. ^ Walia, Neha (28 May 2010). "Easy come, easy go? Nah". The Tribune. Chandigarh, India. Retrieved 15 July 2021.

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