Asha Parekh's character is treated like garbage by everyone except for a father figure who is killed for his concern and, eventually, of course, the moronic and utterly useless hero (Jeetendra) who is too caught up in his own delusions of grandeur to notice that the woman right in front of him is classy and clever. Aruna Irani, whom I am always thrilled to see in an actual role, is equally delusional, then smothered with a coating of rage and violence that is probably supposed to be read as "feisty" but I think is more accurately labeled "insane"—and because she expresses desire and flaunts sexuality, she takes a bullet for the hero and the woman he loves. As soon as she picked up a gun, I thought "She's a goner," even as I was a strange sort of impressed that a woman was actually going to do something in a typical rambling finale brawl. Helen is duped and physically harmed by the man she loves; even comic player Manorama is beaten by her husband over a trivial matter (Madan Puri, who is the otherwise very decent and reasonable leader of the gypsy musical troupe).
However, this being prime vintage masala, there are a handful of things I liked quite a bit, in addition to the overall candyfloss gloss. Most noably:
1) I agree with Filmi Geek that there is something a little "Jab Jab Phool Khile lite" about this story. It is no small thing for me to be invoking JJPK as a compliment, and Caravan just goes to show that it's possible to make a romance between an uneducated man (who in this case does not even have the sort of insight into human nature and his own limitations that JJPK's hero does) and a more sophisticated, learned woman without it being completely objectionable. I still don't love the way Caravan ends and I don't see anything love-worthy about Jeetendra's character, but it doesn't enrage me, either.
2) "Dayia Re Main" is hilarious. I like it even more than "Piya Tu." Both Asha and Jeetendra work their comic chops really well; the costuming is a hoot; the choreography is exuberant and creative.
I'm tempted to put Caravan on the "watch again later when I've had more sleep" pile. The evidence within the text suggests it has a lot more going on than some of its surface style and elements suggest. Whether I'd have any respect for what I find if I dig is less clear.