Shehnai , India, 18 December 1964

The story starts in 1942 against the backdrop of war. Shobha (Nirupa Roy) and Asha (Veena) are friends married to two pilot officers (Rehman and Iftekhar). Shobha is pregnant and her husband extracts a promise from her that if it’s a boy she will make him join the Air Force. The next morning the families have to vacate the Air Force station due to war activities. The two pilots are killed when their plane is hit during a mission. Shobha lives with her mother-in-law in Kashmir and gives birth to Deepak. The grandmother fusses over and spoils Deepak. Shobha has to finally send Deepak to a boarding school as he gets into bad company and plays truant from school. The mother-in-law dies leaving Shobha alone to fend for herself. Deepak (Biswajeet) grows up to be an excellent student with a promising future in business. Against his own wishes he joins the Air Force when his mother reminds him of the promise she had made to his father.

Deepak meets Preeti (Rajshree) and they fall in love and plan to get married. Preeti’s mother Asha, now remarried to a rich businessman (Sapru), is against the marriage as she is still haunted by the death of her first husband. She does not want Preeti to marry an Air Force pilot. Deepak refuses to leave the Air Force even if it means giving up Preeti. He cites his mother’s sacrifices in order to give him a good education so that he could join the Air Force. He is sent to the front and gets injured. Preeti has left her home and joined the Red Cross as a nurse. She nurses Deepak back to health and they get married. They reach home to find that Preeti’s mother has had a change of heart and is happy about their wedding.

  • Genre: Thriller
  • Runtime: 132 Minutes
  • Director: S. D. Narang
  • Awards: Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award 1965 for Nirupa Roy


Shehnai is a 1964 Indian Hindi family drama film directed by S. D. Narang. The film stars Biswajeet, Rajshree, Nirupa Roy, Leela Chitnis, Johnny Walker, Iftekhar and Asit Sen. The story was written by Gulshan Nanda with screenplay by Z. Hussain. The film's music was composed by Ravi. The songs "Na Jhatko Zulf Se Pani", "Kya Ajab Saaz Hai Yeh Shehnai", "Is Tarah Toda Mera Dil", "Kitni Jawan Hai Zindagi Kitni Jawan Bahaar" and others were written by Rajendra Krishan.The film is about a pilot’s widow who goes through hardship and loneliness in order to fulfil her husband’s last wish to make her son an Air Force pilot.