Grahasti, (Family Life) also called Grihasti, is a 1963 Hindi family drama film, directed by Kishore Sahu. Produced by S. S. Vasan for Gemini Studios (Gemini Chitra, Chennai), its music director was Ravi and the lyrics were written by Shakeel Badayuni. Pandit Mukhram Sharma wrote the dialogues with cinematography by P. Ellappa. The film starred Ashok Kumar, Manoj Kumar, Rajshree, Nirupa Roy, Indrani Mukherjee, Bipin Gupta, Lalita Pawar, and Gajanan Jagirdar.
Grahasti was the first film to "start the trend" of family dramas being made in South India. The story revolves around Harish Khanna (Ashok Kumar) who leads a dual life, having two sets of families in different cities. The effect the exposure has on him and his family forms the basis of the story.
Harish Khanna (Ashok Kumar) lives in a happy household consisting of his wife Maya (Nirupa Roy) and his large family of seven daughters and one son. Also staying with them is his widowed sister (Lalita Pawar), and her son Jaggu (Mehmood). Harish spends four days of the week away from his family for work. Harish and Maya soon have a ninth child much to Maya's consternation, as her older daughter, Kamla (Bharati Malvankar) who is married to Gopal is also expecting a child. The fact that Kamla is pregnant is a cause of anxiety, as according to Gopal's parents, the couple have not been together since the wedding and her pregnancy is considered as a sign of her disreputable character. Gopal is not there to give an explanation and his parents decide to send Harish's older daughter back home. Harish finds out that two of his daughters, Kiran (Rajshree) and Kamini (Indrani Mukherjee) are in love with Mohan (Manoj Kumar), the son of the College principal, and Ravindra (Soodesh Kumar) respectively, and that Jaggu is in love with Rekha (Shobha Khote). Harish decides to get the three pairs married.
However, it is disclosed that Harish has been leading a double life. His second wife is dead and the son from his second wife has come to inform him. Harish explains the situation; his second wife is none other than Maya's younger sister, Radha (Pushpavalli), whom Maya had thought was dead. When Maya's father (Gajanan Jagirdar) had approached Harish to marry his daughter, Harish had assumed it was Radha, as the two were in love with each other. When Radha finds out that Maya too loves Harish, she forces him to marry Maya. Harish and Maya then leave their hometown Meerut, where Harish was helping his father-in-law in his car mechanic business, to go for a job to Rangoon. The time period is WW II, and during a bomb raid, it is assumed that Maya is dead. Somehow Harish gets back to India. There he stays with Radha and her father who is ill. Radha's father has Radha and Harish marry. But complications arise when Maya is reported to be alive in Rangoon. Her father then suffers a heart attack but makes Harish promise that he'll not let Radha know that Maya is alive nor tell Maya that he's married to Radha, as he feels that each may sacrifice their life for the other. To keep the promise given to his father-in-law he had to continue the deception. Gopal too admits to having spent nights with his wife, Kamla, without his parent's knowledge. With all explanations forthcoming, the marriages go ahead as planned.Ashok Kumar as Harishchandra Khanna
Nirupa Roy as Maya Khanna
Manoj Kumar as Mohan
Rajshree as Kiran Khanna
Mehmood as Jaggu (Harish Khanna's nephew)
Lalita Pawar as Harish's sister
Indrani Mukherjee as Kamini Khanna
Pushpavalli as Radha
Soodesh Kumar as Ravindra Swarup
Shobha Khote as Rekha Swarup
Achla Sachdev as Gopal's mother
Bharati Malvankar as Kamla, eldest daughter of Harish
Bipin Gupta as Mohan's father
Iftekhar as Harish's brother-in-law
Kanhaiyalal as Ram Swarup, station master
Manmohan Krishna as the Doctor
Jagirdar as Radha and Maya's father
Master Shahid as Harish's son
Producer: S. S. Vasan
Director: Kishore Sahu
Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni
Dialogue: Pandit Mukhram Sharma
Camera: V. Ellappa
Cinematography: G. Balakrishnan
Sound: C. E. Biggs
Art: M. S. Janakiram
Make-up: Sahadeva Rao, S. Tapkire
Set Decoration: N. J. Kanniah
Choreography: Gopi Krishna
The film premiere was held at the Naaz Theatre in Bombay on 28 February 1963. The songs and story were appreciated by the critics. With the crowds "storming" the theatre, MotherIndia magazine commented that "Grahasti has pleased the masses". The film was a big office-office success, with journalist Randor Guy describing it in The Hindu as a "box-office bonanza". The Thought journal called it a "Daringly different domestic drama".
The music composer Ravi, won an award for the song "Jeevan Jyot Jale". It was adjudged the Best Classical Composition in the "Sur-Singar Film Awards" for 1963. He won the "Swami Haridas Award" while Asha Bhosle won the "Mian Tansen Award" as the singer.
The film was adapted from a true story as recorded by Randor Guy in The Hindu and based on Liam O'Brien's hit play, which in turn was made into a film of the same name, The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker (1959) with Clifton Webb. Producer S. S. Vasan, first presented the story idea to Sivaji Ganesan, who turned it down. It was then made in Hindi with Ashok Kumar playing the main character. The success of the film changed Sivaji Ganesan's mind and it was produced in Tamil as Motor Sundaram Pillai (1966), with Sivaji Ganesan playing the role enacted by Ashok Kumar. Sowcar Janaki and Manimala played the two wives. The film was also remade in Telugu as Manchi Kutumbam.
Asha Bhosle's rendition of the song "Jeevan Jyot Jale" won her the "Mian Tansen Award". The song was cited as the best song of 1963 out of the 544 songs released that year from a total of 77 films. The other popular number from the film was Geeta Dutt's "Ding Dong Ding Dong Ding Lala". The music composer was Ravi and the lyrics were by Shakeel Badayuni. The playback singers were Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle, Geeta Dutt and Usha Mangeshkar.