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For the villages in Iran, see Dastak, Iran.
Dastak (1970).jpg
Directed by Rajinder Singh Bedi
Produced by Rajinder Singh Bedi
Written by Rajinder Singh Bedi (screenplay)
Starring Sanjeev Kumar
Rehana Sultan
Anju Mahendru
Music by Madan Mohan
Majrooh Sultanpuri (lyrics)
Cinematography Kamal Bose
Edited by Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Release date
Running time
140 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi

Dastak (The Knock) is a Hindi film made in 1970. It was written and directed by Rajinder Singh Bedi and was his directorial debut.

The film is known for its performances by its leading cast, Sanjeev Kumar, and the newcomer, Rehana Sultan, and for its memorable songs by Madan Mohan. He won his first National Film Award for it and the lyrics of Majrooh Sultanpuri. Hrishikesh Mukherjee, the famous film director-turned-editor of this black-and-white film and won a Filmfare Award, his second after Madhumati in 1958.[1]



Dastak presents an expanded version of Rajinder Singh Bedi's radio play, Naql-e-Makaani (Moving to a New House), first performed on All India Radio, Lahore in 1944.[2]

Upon release, the film established Rajinder Singh Bedi as an important force in Indian Parallel Cinema, as Dastak is considered an important film of the decade.[3] In 1972 the director was awarded the Padma Shri.

The director Hrishikesh Mukjherjee once said, "Rajinder Singh Bedi was an extraordinarily gifted writer. Indeed, I feel privileged that I could edit his maiden venture as writer-director 'Dastak' in stark B&W starring Sanjeev Kumar and Rehana Sultan. Rehana won the 'Urvashi' award then the term for the National Award for Best Actress and I won the coveted Filmfare award for my first love - editing!"[4]

Critical Reception[edit]

Dastak was featured in Avijit Ghosh's book, 40 Retakes: Bollywood Classics You May Have Missed.


The film was known for its unusual story line set in a red light area. A newlywed couple, Hamid (Sanjeev Kumar) and Salma (Rehana Sultan), unwittingly rent a flat, and thus begins their daily turmoil at the knocks (dastak) on their door. The previous occupant was Shamshad Begum (Shakeela), a famous mujrewali (nautch girl).



Dastak was released when the nation was gripped by the western rhythms prevalent in the music of music directors like R.D. Burman. The film's music director stood his ground as a maestro of classical rhythms on the dholak and raga based melodies. The music of Dastak stood out for its allegiance to the classical traditions of raga-based melodies by its music director Madan Mohan, who managed to get from Lata Mangeshkar, ostensibly her best performance as a playback singer.[5]


The film is known for its poignant lyrics by famous lyricist, Majrooh Sultanpuri, especially in capturing the painful state of the story's female protagonist, Salma — be it a dramatic statement about the society: "Hum hai mataye koocha bazaar ki tarah, Uthti hai har nigaah kharidaar ki tarah" or the silent pain of "Mai Ri mai ka se Kahoon peer apne jiya ki..."[6]


  • "Baiyan Na Dharo" - Lata Mangeshkar - (based on Raag Charukesi)[7]
  • "Hum Hain Mata-e-koocha-o-bazaar" - Lata Mangeshkar
  • "Mai Ri Main Kase Kahoon" – Lata Mangehskar/Madan Mohan
  • "Tumse Kahoon Ek Baat" - Mohammed Rafi


  1. ^ Hrishikesh Mukerjee
  2. ^ The Films of Rajinder Singh Bedi, Annual of Urdu Studies. v. 5, 1985
  3. ^ Parallel Cinema
  4. ^ Hrishikesh Mukherjee remembers Dastak
  5. ^ The Incredibly Sweet Sound - Madan Mohan
  6. ^ Dastak (1970)
  7. ^ Film Songs on Ragas

External links[edit]