Pakeezah | 1972
Set in Muslim Lucknow at the turn of the century, a courtesan named Nargis falls in love with Sahabuddin, the son of a North Indian aristocratic family. His father refuses to accept her. Shamed by his insults, but unwilling to return to her earlier life, the pregnant Nargis runs away and takes shelter in a graveyard; while Sahabuddin spends his days going from town to town, searching for her among the courtesan community. Seventeen years later, a book of poems that belonged to Nargis is picked up from a roadside stall by an old scholar, who discovers in it a letter ready for posting. Sahabuddin reads it and learns of his daughter. Though he comes to take her home to protect her, Nargis's daughter, like her mother, goes on to become a much sought-after courtesan.