Dor is a 2006 Indian drama film written and directed by Nagesh Kukunoor that features Ayesha Takia, Gul Panag and Shreyas Talpade as the lead actors.
The story is about two women who come from different backgrounds and how fate brings them together. Meera (Ayesha Takia), a young woman who becomes a widow shortly after marriage, is trapped by tradition. Zeenat (Gul Panag), on the other hand, faces the daunting task of saving the life of her husband, who is on trial for murder. A bahuroopiya (Shreyas Talpade) helps her reach Meera, who holds the “string” to Zeenat’s hope. The companionship that develops between Meera and Zeenat results in redemption for both.
Zeenat (Gul Panag) is an independent Muslim woman living in Himachal Pradesh. She agrees to marry Amir Khan, her boyfriend despite his parents’ reservations. After their marriage, her husband leaves for Saudi Arabia to begin with a new employment.
Meera , a simple Rajasthani Hindu woman, has everything in her life in accordance with customs and traditions: her usual years, her typical marriage into a traditional Rajasthani family and her daily vibes within the walls of her so-called haveli-The Palace. Coincidentally, her husband is also land away to foreign place called Saudi Arabia, abroaded for trying new job. Meera finds it tough without her husband, Shankar, but they manage to stay in touch despite the tough communication distance. Shankar regularly sends his wages and due affection letters home to support his family that includes his father, Randhir Singh (Girish Karnad), mother, Gowri Singh (Prateeksha Lonkar), his paternal grandmother (Uttara Baokar) and his wife, Meera. One day, Meera does not find the remittance from Shankar. Time passes and when there are neither any further remittances nor any correspondence from her husband, Meera gets tensed with her new worries to her life. When frantic inquiries are done and she is devastated to know that Shankar was killed in a freak accident that was allegedly caused by his Muslim roommate.
When the news of Shankar’s death reaches the Singh haveli, everyone turns somber and as per the Rajasthani tradition, the ceremonies towards rendering her into a widow emotionally drains Meera. Her inner call and exuberance are thrust behind her black veil. The rest of the family vents their frustration of losing their only bread-winner on Meera, by blaming her for bringing ill-luck to their family. Meera, being her respectful self, bears the insults silently.
On the other side, Zeenat hears that her husband has been arrested for murdering his roommate in Saudi Arabia. She is moved to think that it must have been an accident, but the Saudi law is stringent and Amir is scheduled to be executed. An Indian officer explains to her that Saudi law permits release of a criminal if the wife of the deceased forgives the guilt. Armed only with a photograph of Shankar and Amir, Zeenat sets out to find Meera. En route, she meets a bahuroopiya (Shreyas Talpade) on the way. The bahuroopiya introduces himself and his profession as being multi-faceted and multi-talented in arts and mimicry. This profession requires him to keep visiting different places to perform “tricks” for his income. He turns out to be a petty con-man when he hoodwinks Zeenat and steals her belongings. However, when Zeenat is in trouble, he returns to rescue her with his artistic talent. He reveals his sympathetic view when Zeenat details her plight; he offers to help her with whatever knowledge he has. After making a lot of educated guesses, they reach Jodhpur. With local help, they identify the Singh haveli. When Zeenat directly soul heartily requests the Singh family to pardon Amir’s mistake, their anger drives her away. She feels that maybe talking through and befriending Meera might help her cause. The bahuroopiya takes leave of Zeenat and wishes her the best for her efforts.
At a temple, which Meera visits as her daily ritual, Zeenat makes her first contact. Zeenat is too afraid to tell Meera the truth about the situation, and she does not reveal who she is or why she has come. Over a few weeks, they become good friends and spend most of the time together. Their friendship brings out the missing part in each of their personalities. In the process, Zeenat realizes helplessness; this is totally new to her forthright way of thinking. Meera, on the other hand, gets a glimpse of freedom; this brings her out of the shell of the traditions in her haveli and gives her a new perspective on her life.
In the meanwhile, the Singh haveli is under a debt to Chopra, a local factory owner (Nagesh Kukunoor). When Randhir Singh requests him to provide him more time to repay it, he is given an offer — pardoning the debt in exchange for Meera. Though initially set back by Chopra’s offer, Singh prefers the haveli to Meera.
When the news of the imminent death sentence arrives, Zeenat is compelled to tell the truth to her female counterpart Meera. Meera went shocked beyond belief to hear Zeenat’s words. The fact that her friendship was based on false pretenses is what hurts her more. She immediately denies to sign the maafinama (statement of forgiveness). She makes it clear that she wants to hurt her husband’s killer, even if it was an accident, because of how much she is hurting in her new, veiled life. She leaves for the haveli. Zeenat, initially, is deeply hurt to know of Meera’s decision but eventually accepts it as fate and decides to leave for her hometown. Meera later has a change of heart, perhaps because of her disillusionment at Singh’s willingness to “sell” her to Chopra. She gets encouragement from her paternal grandmother and hurries towards the railway station, where she meets Zeenat and gives her the signed statement of forgiveness. At the last second, Zeenat extends her hand from the train and Meera grabs it and climbs aboard, thought provokingly showing, running away from the only known life she has, as the train gathers speed up into the distance.
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