- The film’s inspiration came from the poem /lyric: Seven cities claimed Homer dead/ Where the living Homer begged his bread.
- Original choice for Vijay’s role was Dilip Kumar who refused thinking it would be too similar to Devdas. Madhubala was to play Meena, but Mala Sinha did finally.
- Guru Dutt scrapped the film’s first four edited reels because he wasn’t satisfied.
- In the original ending, Vijay walks away alone but later Dutt opts for a less tragic end where he is accompanied by Gulabo.
After a comedy (Mr & Mrs 55), and a thriller (CID), Guru Dutt moved into the realm of pessimism and poetry with Pyaasa. The world fails to appreciate the talent of the sensitive poet Vijay; in fact his poems are sold off as waste by his own brother. He is also betrayed in love by Meena (Mala Sinha), and ends up in the arms of another social outcast, prostitute Gulabo (Waheeda).
One day he gives away his coat to a beggar who dies in an accident and his body is mistaken for Vijay’s....