Kalyana Parisu (Eng: Wedding Gift) is a 1959 Indian Tamil-language romantic drama film written and directed by C. V. Sridhar. The film stars Gemini Ganesan and B. Saroja Devi in the lead roles while K. A. Thangavelu, C. R. Vijayakumari, M. Saroja, S. D. Subbulakshmi, Akkineni Nageswara Rao and M. N. Nambiar play supporting roles. A triangular love story, the film is about two close sisters whose lives turn upside down when they both fall in love with the same man. Out of respect, the younger sister decides to sacrifice her love, unknown to the elder sister.
Kalyana Parisu was the directorial debut of Sridhar, who co-produced it with his partners S. Krishnamurthi and T. Govindarajan under Venus Pictures. It also marked the cinematic debut of Chitralaya Gopu, who worked as associate writer, and the debut of A. M. Rajah as a music composer in Tamil. Cinematography was handled by A. Vincent, and editing by N. M. Shankar.
Kalyana Parisu was released on 9 April 1959. It was critically acclaimed, particularly for eschewing formulaic Tamil cinema conventions like long dialogues and fixed-point cinematography in favour of short verses with simple words and camera mobility. The film was commercially successful, running for over 25 weeks in theatres and thereby becoming a silver jubilee film. At the 7th National Film Awards, it won the Certificate of Merit for Best Feature Film in Tamil .
Kalyana Parisu emerged a milestone in Tamil cinema, and the breakthrough for Saroja Devi and Rajah. Its success led to Sridhar launching his own production company Chitralaya Pictures, and set the pattern for his later works in which he repeated the motif of the eternal triangle and unrequited love. The comedy subplot written by Gopu involving Thangavelu and M. Saroja gained popularity, and was sold separately on audio cassettes and vinyl records. The film was later remade by Sridhar in Telugu as Pelli Kanuka (1960) and Hindi as Nazrana (1961), and in Malayalam by J. Sasikumar as Sammanam (1975).
Baskar and Vasanthi are college-mates. When Baskar sends a love letter to Vasanthi, she complains to the dean, who dismisses Baskar from college. Baskar later manages to obtain employment at a tea company with the help from his friend Sampath, who also gives him shelter since Baskar is homeless. Vasanthi approaches Baskar and apologises for her earlier act. Baskar forgives her, and they both fall in love. Vasanthi lives with her mother and unmarried elder sister Geetha. Baskar rents the vacant portion of their house.
One day when Baskar falls ill, Geetha nurses him and in the process, falls in love with him. She confides her love to Vasanthi who is heartbroken, but decides to sacrifice her love out of respect for her sister. Since Geetha was responsible for raising Vasanthi, she is granted her wish, and Vasanthi convinces Baskar to marry Geetha. After Baskar and Geetha marry, they shift to Coimbatore where Baskar has been transferred. Meanwhile, Vasanthi has obtained employment as a typist. Her manager Raghu falls in love with her and expresses his desire to marry her, but she is unable to respond to his feelings.
Baskar is unable to lead a happy life as he often thinks about his disappointment in love. Vasanthi writes to Baskar advising him to forget about the past and lead a happy life with Geetha; he relents. Shortly thereafter, Geetha becomes pregnant and returns to her original home where she delivers a son named Babu. Raghu again meets Vasanthi and proposes to her, but she tells him her past and expresses her inability to respond to his love. Heartbroken, Raghu leaves her and resigns from his job. Vasanthi joins Geetha at their Coimbatore house following her mother’s death. When Geetha falls ill, Vasanthi attends to all the household work. Baskar spends more time with Vasanthi than his own wife, who suspects them of being in a relation, and berates them both. Due to this, Vasanthi leaves them.
Geetha, having realised that Baskar and Vasanthi loved each other, dies in guilt, leaving Baskar alone to bring up Babu, making him promise that he will find Vasanthi and make her the child’s mother. He searches for Vasanthi all over the city, to no avail. Meanwhile, Vasanthi meets with an accident, but is saved by a wealthy old man who allows her to stay in his house. The man’s son arrives and is revealed to be Raghu, who Vasanthi agrees to marry. Through Sampath, Baskar learns about Vasanthi’s impending marriage, and rushes to the marriage hall with Babu. However, by the time they arrive, Vasanthi is already married. Baskar then leaves Babu to her as a wedding gift, and walks away.
Directed by C. V. Sridhar
Produced by S. Krishnamurthi, T. Govindarajan & C. V. Sridhar
Written by C. V. Sridhar
Starring Gemini Ganesan, B. Saroja Devi
Music by A. M. Rajah
Cinematography A. Vincent
Edited by N. M. Shankar
Production Venus Pictures
Release date 9 April 1959
Running time 194 minutes