Maya Darpan

Maya Darpan, India, 12 May 1972

The film is set in a provincial town in Northern India, at a time following the nation’s independence in 1947 when India was yet to be completely integrated as a political entity and when Nehruvian socialism was about to take on the existing feudal hierarchy.

Taran (Aditi) is the daughter of a wealthy landlord (Anil Pandya) and lives with her father and her widowed aunt (Kanta Vyas) in their ancestral mansion (which goes on to represent the whole of upper class in the film). The town is witnessing protests by newly formed labour unions which are partly being politically educated by the local railroad engineer (Iqbalnath Kaul), who seems to have an unspoken romantic relationship with Taran. Taran’s unseen brother, who had, to the chagrin of their father, renounced his class privileges and gone off to an Assamese tea estate, asks Taran to join him. Stuck in a stifling patriarchal order, with pressure to get married to an upper class groom mounting, Taran decides to talk to her father about her plans.

  • Genre: Horror
  • Runtime: 107 Minutes
  • Director: Kumar Shahani
  • Awards: National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi, Filmfare Critics Award for Best Movie


Maya Darpan (English: The Illusory Mirror) is an Indian Hindi film directed by Kumar Shahani. It is a significant work of the Indian Parallel Cinema movement which started during the 1970s with filmmakers Mani Kaul and Shyam Benegal. The film was forgotten soon after its release, but was rediscovered and is today considered a landmark work of Indian cinema. The film stars Aditi and Anil Pandya.