Satyakam is an ideal of truth, obedience and true service to the guru. Satyakam’s story is from Chhandogopnishad (4th chapter). The Story goes like this:
Satyakam was the son of a woman named Jabal. He had a strong wish to study and so he left home in search of a guru. He went to the ashram of sage Gautam and requested him to make him his pupil. Gautam questioned him, “Before I make you my pupil, I need to know about your family.” This puzzled Satyakam, as he had no idea about his family except his mother. But to join the ashram he would not lie. He told the sage that he would ask his mother. So he went to Jabal.
His mother told him, ” Go to the sage and tell him ‘I am the son of Jabal and my name is Satyakam Jabali‘.” (Jabal had served as maid servant to many, and she did not knew who Satykam’s father was). Satyakam went to Gautam and told him what he knew. The sage was pleased with his love for truth and accepted him as his pupil.
Based on this story, a film by same name was released in 1969, directed by Hrishikesh Muherjee. With Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Sharmila Tagore & Ashok Kumar in leading roles, this is till date Dharmendra’s best performance. Satyakam is story of Satyapriya Acharya, Played by Dharmendra, who embodies the repercussions that result when a man places his lofty ideals over social obligations, monetary temptations and, indeed, over his own family.
A riveting, nationalist drama in which, Satyakam asks, ‘In an imperfect world, is it possible to be an honest, unadulterated individual?’
Synopsis: Circa British Rule in India, Satyapriya Archarya (Dharmendra) lives a modest yet noble lifestyle with his grandfather, Satyasharan (Ashok Kumar). His mother passed away while he was very young, and his dad became a celibate and went off on a pilgrimage, never to return. Satyapriya studies Engineering, and becomes a close friend of fellow-collegian, Narendra Sharma (Sanjeev Kumar). India gains independence, both friends successfully obtain degrees, part ways, and Satyapriya gets employed by the United Paper Mill. Satyapriya soon finds out that his employers want him to forge papers to obtain Government funds, and he resigns in protest. He also finds out that a partner of the paper mill, Kunver Vikram Singh of Bhawanigarh, had sexually molested a young woman, Ranjana, the daughter of a prostitute, and he marries her, earning the wrath of Satyasharan, who refuses to have to do anything with him. Shortly thereafter Ranjana then gives birth to Kabul. Always refusing to adapt to bribery and corruption, Satyapriya moves to town to town, and from one job to another. Narendra and he finally do meet each other – this time Narendra is his immediate Supervisor, and it is here the stage will be set for a confrontation after Narendra instructs Satyapriya to compromise with situations. But for Satyapriya compromise equals corruption – and he will never compromise – even for Narendra.
Watch this movie for the Dharmendra’s performance. He plays the character with the ease, when his warm smile reaches his brimming-with-tears eyes, the sincerity is eminently believable. Sanjeev Kumar’s is incomparable, when he finds his best friend in trouble, and is not able to convince him to be practical.
Rajinder Singh Bedi’s dialogues are another high point of the movie. Some of the dialogues:
- Distressed-by-poverty Sharmila Tagore remarks- “Sone ke zevar banane ke liye thodi toh khot milani padti hai .
- When Satyapriya cant adopt to the mindset of others he says – “Mera dimaag kharaab ho gaya hai, ya main cynic ho gaya hoon, ya duniya badal gayee hain “
- His desire to reach a higher self arises from his conviction that- “main insaan hoon. Bhagwan ka sabse bada pratinidhi”
- And the sarcastic Dialogue- “Yeh aadmi (Satyapriya) bahut hi badmaash aur paaji hai. Rishvat vagerah nahin khaata “
The songs of movie were, though not so hit, but still had a meaningful lyrics by Kaifi Aazmi. One song, Zindagi hai kya, one of my fav, has some good lyrics such as:
Latoo nahi hai, ladki nahi hai, zindagi hai sachai,
mitti ki murat jab sach boli, aadmi tab kahelayi
bander nahin, charkha nahin, aadmi ka kya kehana,
pyar mohabat fitarat uski, dosti majhab uska
lassi nahin hai rasshi nahin dosti dil ki dhadkan,
dushmani sahara sahara, dosti gulshan gulshan.
You can have a small glimpse of the film here: Scene shows when Sanjeev Kumar comes to know that Dharmendra is his immidiete junior and he come to visit him in office hours.
Its a movie which makes you to think, and provokes you to follow the Satyapriya’s way of living, but its really tough and you end up being a Naren, like every other man.
I knew the satyakam story much before I saw the movie. Thanks to my dad for introducing me to Amar Chitra Katha. ( I am still a big fan of Amar Chitra Katha).
- Satyakam’s Story from here.
- Inputs on film From Rediff, IMDB & Dinesh Raheja.