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Duniya Na Mane (Hindi) 1937.jpg
Directed by V. Shantaram Rajaram Vankudre Shantaram
Produced by Prabhat Film Company
Written by Narayan Hari Apte (novel & screenplay)
Munshi Aziz (dialogue)
Cinematography V. Avadhoot
Release date
  • 1937 (1937)
Running time
154 minutes
Country British Raj
Language Marathi/Hindi
Duniya Na Mane (Hindi version)
Kunku (Marathi version)

Kunku (Marathi title)[1][2] is a 1937 Marathi classic social drama film directed by V. Shantaram, and based on the novel, Na Patnari Goshta by Narayan Hari Apte, who also wrote film’s screenplay.[3] The film was also released in Hindi as Duniya Na Mane (The Unexpected).

The movie went on to become both a critical and commercial success, and was shown at the Venice International Film Festival.[2] The film is now hailed for "its daring attack on the treatment of women in Indian society." and depiction of child marriage.[4]

For film's lead actress, Shanta Apte, it was third most memorable performance in a row, after V.Shantaram's previous classics, Amrit Manthan (1934) and Amar Jyoti (1936). Besides other songs, she also sang a full-fledged English song in the film: "A Psalm of Life", written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882).[5][6][7]


The basic storyline revolves around a young woman, Nirmala (Shanta Apte) rebelling against her marriage to a much older widower, Kaka Saheb (Keshavrao Date), as was the practice in those days. The story is based on a novel by Shri. Narayan Hari Apte. It reminds us instinctively of the story of Sharada, a play by Deval which had long been a classic of Marathi theatre. Neera, a young girl, is married off to an old widower by her foster-parents, an uncle and his orthodox wife. The deal is obviously motivated by considerations of money. The shock of the marriage is too much for the girl, but she bravely tries to accommodate herself in the house. The widower deceives himself into believing that he is still not old enough to have lost his manhood. His college-going son tries to flirt with his young stepmother, while a widowed daughter of his sympathises with her in her woe. The marriage does not work. Some cheer is added to Neera's life through the company of a teenage girl belonging to the household. However, when the old man fully realises the implications of his action, he commits suicide, leaving the girl he has married against her will to go her own way.


The songs are from the lead actress Shanta Apte even sung. Shantaram Athavale wrote the lyrics to the music of Keshavrao Bhole. The English text of the song in the world's broad field of battle ... Be not like dumb, driven cattle is a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.


A scene from the film. Apte is seen in the centre.


Despite the stresses of the film's melodramatic trains get Shantaram, his films always cut themselves, some outstanding visuals as the smiling face of the old man in the shards of broken mirror and the leitmotif of the ticking clock. Many of these images symbolize the impotence of the old man.


  1. ^ Armes, Roy (1987). Third World film making and the West. University of California Press. p. 112. ISBN 0-520-05690-6. 
  2. ^ a b Films Prabhat Film Company.
  3. ^ Duniya Na Mane National Film Archive of India
  4. ^ India's Art House Cinema by Lalit Mohan Joshi, British Film Institute.
  5. ^ ‘Hinglish’ Song
  6. ^ 'A Psalm of Life' text
  7. ^ Duniya Na Mane-In The World's (Longfellow poem by Shanta Apte) on YouTube

External links[edit]