OMG! One of the sweetest films ever. Even without the misleading puppy on the title screen—is he peeing on the striped bellbottoms?—you really don’t need a puppy when Farooq Shaikh and Utpal Dutt are in the movie. Big melting brown eyes everywhere. Not to mention Hrishikesh Mukherjee directing!
Throw in beautiful Deepti Naval and funny Saeed Jaffrey, and a cute story with passable non-disco Bappi Lahiri songs and you’ve got at least as much entertainment as a lap full of puppies—and the same gooey warm fuzzy feeling too.
Ramesh (Farooq Shaikh) lives with his aging widower father Kailashnath (Utpal Dutt). Kailash is horrified by the girls he sees in his search for Ramesh’s bride: they lack traditional values, and speak English, and won’t be the kind of bahu that he wants.
Ramesh works for Omprakash (SN Banerjee). Omprakash has just promoted Ramesh to General Manager of the company and is ready to semi-retire in Poona.
His niece, Ramola (Deepti Naval) has just arrived from Delhi. She is a doctor educated abroad, and after a bit of a rough start she and Ramesh have fallen in love. But what can they do about Kailashnath and his acute dislike of “modern” women?
Kailash has the cutest circle of friends you’ve ever seen.
One of them, Lala (Saeed Jaffrey) is very close to Ramesh as well, and agrees to help him gain his father’s approval of Ramola. His plan: pass off Ramola as a traditional village girl with little education (and no English!).
They rope in her uncle to help out and the stage is set. Lalaji tells Kailash that he has found the perfect girl for Ramesh and takes him to an out of the way village, where Ramola and Omprakash (disguised as the village pandit) are waiting. Ramola plays her part to perfection.
Kailash is enchanted with her and immediately arranges the marriage. The wedding takes place and soon Ramola has become a beloved part of the household. I want to live there too!
Ramola has reservations about the deception, and feels guilty about lying to her father-in-law. It’s sometimes very difficult to keep up the pretence too, like when Kailash asks her to cook some food for his friends who are visiting. She has no idea how to cook, but Lalaji comes to the rescue.
Then one day Kailash tells Ramesh to take her to her village so she can visit her uncle. At the same time, Omprakash (now living in Poona) decides to visit her, and disguises himself again as the deaf village pandit.
Hilarity ensues as Ramesh and Ramola (who have taken the opportunity for a short honeymoon, instead of visiting her fictional village home) and Omprakash must somehow save the situation from unravelling—especially when Kailash decides to accompany Omprakash “home” because he’s missing his daughter-in-law!
Kailash isn’t stupid, though, and has been observing Ramola closely. One day he sits her down:
She tells him that she’s very happy, but takes the opportunity to sound him out about his abhorrence of English-speaking modern women. His response disheartens her; he says that he feels the emphasis on speaking English is eroding India’s traditions and values—it’s the result of 200 years of slavery.
She tells Ramesh that she fears Kailash will never accept her as she really is.
Ramesh pleads with her to keep pretending for a while. He is sure that once his father loves and depends on her, he will forgive them when they confess all. I think he’s also kind of a wimp when he comes to his father! In any case, as the months go on, she becomes more and more fond of Kailash—and he of her—which of course only makes her feel worse.
But then Kailash has a heart attack, and the only person who can help him in time is Ramola—the doctor.
What should she do? Can Kailash ever accept her?
Do watch to find out. I’ve left out many little things that all add up to a heartwarming, funny, sweet film. It’s classic Hrishikesh Mukherjee!