The story begins in the Central Jail, where a prisoner (Raza Murad) being hanged in the morning is desperately bewailing his fate. His fears are soothed somewhat by another inmate named Chetan (Rajesh Khanna) who tells him that he is not dying but starting a new life elsewhere in a body free from sin. The principle comforts the prisoner and jail inmate becomes happy. Chetan has served a 10-year-long sentence for murder and is about to be released early for good behavior. The Jailor (Murad) is curious how such an obviously empathetic and honest man as Chetan has proved to be could be a murderer as well, and he asks Chetan to explain. Initially Chetan refuses gently but then starts disclosing his past.
Chetan is a penniless poet while Sunita is the daughter of a wealthy man (Kamal Kapoor). Both are very much in love. Chetan’s close friend Bansi (Gurnam Singh) thinks Chetan should use his education to get a job to keep the creditors from his door, but Chetan wants to continue writing books and develop his habit of writing stories with Sunita’s full support. Sunita fears to talk before her father. Her rich father has the reason for being a stubborn father too and that is that he was a poor man and his wife had died because he could not afford proper medical facilities for her only because he could not afford them and this has made him more ambitious in life. So Sunita's father has throughout his life concentrated more on building his house and earning more money for a secure future but all this at the cost of a complete disconnect personally between him and Sunita. Sunita’s father decides to get her married off to a man named Gopal (Dheeraj Kumar), a doctor. Gopal and his mother (Sulochana Latkar) meet Sunita in her house for the first time and they like her. Her dad decides to announce their engagement at the birthday party. Meanwhile Sunita urges Chetan to ask her hand to her father on her birthday and she invites him for that party.At the party her father is rude to Chetan and then announces her engagement to Gopal — she swallows her anger in order to maintain a good front before the guests, but later goes in search of Chetan at his home.
Sunita tells Chetan that they should elope and go far away from her parents and live a separate world of theirs. Chetan says why should they elope instead they should go together to her father and tell him that they want to get married to each other and that Chetan will take care of Sunita. Sunita does agree with him but tells Chetan that this idea of his won't help as her father may attack or kill Chetan. To this Chetan replies that its completely unethical to run away from problem and in this case from her father as it would bring dishonour to Sunita and even to their own love story. Chetan promises that if her father refuses to give his permission they will get married anyway.So Chetan advices her to go back home and that Chetan would marry her after trying to convince her father. Chetan points out that society will disapprove and she might regret it someday. To this Sunita declares that Chetan is a coward and a selfish person who does not want to share a bit of sorrow that her parents did not approve of their relation and take a risk by running away and start a life together, when she left her wealth and family and came to him. Sunita says she did not think of anything except her love for Chetan and came running with her belongings to Chetan's house. That shows she is selfless in this love affair. So by this logic she tells Chetan that she would now marry Gopal only as Chetan has belittled their love and her ability to make choice.
Sunita marries Gopal and they live happily but one day she discloses her husband that she was in love with a person in her college days. Gopal gets angry and hurt so starts drinking wine and confides his problem to a friend in bar Mahinder and goes off to England for years to further his medical studies, abandoning Sunita to bring up their son Munna (Master Tito) and take care of his mother.
Chetan meanwhile channels his despair into writing and becomes critically renowned and popular; one of his biggest fans is Sunita’s mother-in-law. His greatest work is a novel called Tyaag—the story of his romance with Sunita. Five years pass after Sunita's marriage and Gopal decides to return to India as he by now realises that Sunita is a good mother and a good daughter-in-law and so decides to mend their marriage life.
Sunit's child then runs away from home in search of his father and boards a train. There he meets a passenger and he turns out to be Chetan. Chetan realises that the child is innocent and decides to lodge a police complaint. On this child being smart and hyperactive decides to run away from him. But Chetan catches him and promises him to take him to England. Munna agrees to go home now provided Chetan takes him home.
Sunita gets angry on seeing Chetan. She tries her best to throw him out of her life. Rest of the story is about the dilemma which Sunita faces. Will Chetan avenge his failed love affair with her in the past by destroying her present married life? Will Chetan avail of the opportunity of Gopal's absence to molest her? Is Chetan really in love with her child? What will happen to her life when her husband returns? This forms the rest of the story.
- Genre: Romantic
Tyaag is a 1977 Bollywood film directed by Din Dayal Sharma. The film stars Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore in lead roles. The film was produced by Sharmila Tagore's secretary, N.S.Kabir, and was co-produced by Sharmila Tagore. Rajesh Khanna’s real-life secretary Gurnam Singh played the side kick Bansi to Khanna's character Chetan in this film..The film was critically acclaimed and given four stars by critics upon its release in Bollywood Guide Collections.It was the last film to release with music director as S.D.Burman.