Boot Polish

Boot Polish is a 1954 Hindi film directed by Prakash Arora and produced by Raj Kapoor. It won Best Film at the Filmfare Awards and was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.


Belu (Baby Naaz) and Bhola (Ratan Kumar) are left to the care of their wicked aunt Kamla (Chand Burque) when their mother dies. She forces them to beg in the streets and grabs all the money they get.

A bootlegger John Chacha (David) teaches them to lead a life of self-respect and work for a living instead of begging. They scrimp and save to buy a shoe-polish kit and start shining shoes. Kamla finds out about what they have been doing behind her back, beats them and throws them out of the house.

Meanwhile John Chacha is arrested and the kids are left to fend for themselves. When it rains and people don’t get their shoes polished any more, the children are in danger of starving. But Bhola believes that he will never beg anymore but on one rainy night, a man tosses him a coin and he rejects it, but Belu takes it as she is very hungry.

Bhola slaps Belu for that and she drops the coin. Belu rushes in an unknown train whereas Bhola is arrested by the Police. In the train, Belu is adopted by a rich family and she mopes for her brother.

Bhola after getting out tries to search for Belu but to no avail. Through a turn of events, he ends up in an orphanage which he doesn’t like and runs away. Unable to find any work and extremely hungry, Bhola starts begging again. Bhola incidentally runs into Bhelu when he is begging at a railway station where Bhelu along with her new family are travelling by train for a vacation. Humiliated, Bhola runs away while his sister runs for him. John Chacha has also come to the station to say final good bye and he sees Bhelu following Bhola and he also runs after Bhola. Bhola stops running and Bhelu and Bhola are again united. And then the rich family adopt both of the siblings and live happily ever after.

Moral: Begging gives the beggar little, and takes more from him. (This means that a beggar loses all his/her selfrespect by begging).