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Garm Hava (1973) - (Movies To See Before You Die - Drama / Historical)

31 Jul, 2011 | Movies To See Before You Die / Drama

Garm Hava is a classic gem of Indian cinema that has to be there in the top brackets of any kind of list compiled about the movies made on India’s partition. Widely considered as one the Top 10 movies made in Hindi cinema, it's among the favourites of many renowned stalwarts of the industry too, who still remember the aura it created at the time of its release in 1973.

As per my personal opinion, it is one of the two incomparable works conceived around the subject of India’s partition, with the second one being TAMAS directed by Govind Nihalani.
Based on the story of famous Urdu Writer Ismat Chugtai, Garam Hawa captures the moments of those times and its impact in just the right spirit without going into any usual blood-shed or extreme violence. And it is certainly a rare achievement of its kind, to recreate the trauma of partition through characters, their interactions and their changing relationships in the later decades, avoiding the bloody scenes of deadly riots and killings full of mutual hatred.
The film has Balraj Sahni - the most natural Indian actor playing the lead character caught in the communal tension felt after years of partition and his performance is undoubtedly among the 'Best Ever Performances of Hindi Cinema' till date. In fact why he is known as one of the most natural actors, is righty proved by this film without any slightest of doubt. Unfortunately, the veteran performer couldnt see the film post completion as he passed away just after finishing the dubbing. And reportedly the last line he recorded was "Insaan Kab Tak Akela Jee Sakta Hai" (Till how long a persona can live alone?)
Thoughtfully directed by M. S. Sathyu, the film gives you a chance to feel and witness the violent conflicts between communities, before & after the partition, as a first-hand experience, living along the characters getting affected in their own way by the hard & unexpected decision taken the key leaders. And as you see it, the shameful moments are bound to make you go numb and speechless for a few minutes, forcing you to sit back and think about the situation our ancestors had to face at that particular point of time and in the later years.
It subtly and sensitively captures the dilemma faced by the people about whether to move away or not making the big decision. And further has a well shot, indicative climax which is a complete chapter in itself to study, leaving many open questions for the viewer to seriosuly think upon. As an added gem it has a memorable qawwali track Maula Saleem Chisti by Aziz Ahmed Khan Warsi, which is still cherished by the lovers of this specific art form. And just watch out the way, director M. S. Sathyu beautifully incorporates the qawwali in a terrific manner. 
For the younger generation, GARAM HAWA might turn out to be a slower version of those hyperactive ugly moments of the significant era. But the film has many hidden meaningful sequences which need to be studied deeply considering it as an opportunity to visit the crucial time period through an effective Time Machine. 
Giving you an example of its vision and the excellence achieved, the film begins with the voice of Janab Kaifi Azmi reciting his own verses in the opening titles as:

"Taqseem Hua Mulk To Dil Ho Gaye Tukde,
Har Seene Mein Toofan Wahan Bhi Tha, Yahan Bhi,

Har Ghar Mein Chita Jalti Thi, Lehra Tey Thhey Sholay,
Har Shehar Mein Shamshaan Wahan Bhi Tha, Yahan Bhi,

Geeta Ki Koi Sunta, Na Quran Ki Sunta,
Hairaan Tha Imaan, Wahan Bhi Tha, Yahan Bhi"

Ironically, the film unanimously acclaimed to be among the best ever made in Indian cinema was not officially available on any format for a long period till the YouTube revolution allowed some enthusiastic movie lovers to upload it online for all. 
However just recently it was in news that the film is being digitally restored and is being readied for a re-release in theaters reaching out to the new generation. So if you haven't watched it yet then go for it at the earliest as this is one of those important Indian classics that essentially need to be seen in order to call yourself a dedicated and responsible follower of Hindi cinema.
In short, it's a not to be missed, must watch gem for all lovers of meaningful, thought-provoking movies who wish to see the hardcore reality, as it was or unfortunately as it is. And I honestly love it the most as despite talking about the black events it still successfully conveys a positive message to the viewers, strengthening the strong image of a diverse yet united 'One India'.

Directed By M. S. Sathyu
Starring : Balraj Sahni, Farukh Sheikh & More 
Music By Bahadur Khan, Aziz Ahmed Khan Warsi

Tags : Garam Hawa / Garm Hawa - An overview by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Movies on Indian Partition in 1947, Movies To See Before You Die, Balraj Sahni, M. S. Sathyu, Farukh Sheikh, Top 10 Indian Movies.
31 Jul 2011 / Comments ( 6 )

Dear Mr. Bobby,

Every time, I read an article here, I always want to leave a comment but unfortunately that hasn\'t been happened for last one year.

But today, you published something regarding one of my favourite movie \'Garam Hawa\', I couldn\'t resist.

First of all, I would like to salute your vision, knowledge and understanding for good cinema. You have been doing a great job in this era of paid reviews on every second website.

What I have understood for the last one year\'s leeching of this website is that we have pretty much similar taste when it comes to Bollywood cinema.

Being living abroad, I would say I have a decent genuine / original movie library, which still has a lot of room for improvement with movies like \'Garam Hawa\'. But unfortunately, its rare to find the original title online and shops.

I have seen this movie few times online and it is totally a Balraj Sahni\'s movie all the way. He acted so naturally and played the character so beautifully that you actually feel his misery.

God bless you and I wish you all the best.

I wouldn\'t sit back and leech this website anymore but would put my comments time to time. I Promise. :)

Kind Regards,


Bobby Sing

Hi Rajnish,
Its really an honor to know that you have been hooked on to the site from the last one year......and I am really thankful to you for that and for respecting my passion for the art.

Yes, it seems we have same taste for Hindi Films and I would love to know more about any such movie which you do not find in my list.

I am really glad to read your encouraging comment and promise to continue working with the same spirit in the future GOD WILLING.

Do keep visiting and write in more often brother.


Parth N. Acharya
I just paused the film after watching first few minutes of it, just to say thanks for sharing. Cheers!
Bobby Sing

Glad to hear that your loved it so much only after seeing its few minutes....Thanks for your sharing the thought Parth.


Dear Bobby

\'Garam Hawa\' is one of those movie which i admire and luv to watch again and again. a couple of minutes ago i hav searched it on flipcart for buying online but alas it was not available as expected.

I hav seen this movie a long time back and want to see it again. Now I will try to see it in youtube.

U r doin a gud job buddy. Having similar taste we can share more by becoming friends. Awaiting reply


Bobby Sing

Hi Vashishta,
Sorry for the late reply and thanks for your appreciations dear.
We sure are friends already as you are the site being a like-minded friend discussing movies.

But for more discussions you can join me at Facebook too with all other friends.
Keep Visitng and writing in.


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