It was Sadhana’s birthday on 2nd September. She’s one of my favourite actresses and I keep raving so much about her. But look at the irony I couldn’t do a post on her birthday.
I was feeling bad about it but I made up for it last Sunday – saw two of her movies back-to-back. Arzoo and Budtameez.
Favourite actor, favourite actress and lots of fabulous songs – I was dying to watch this movie and it had been lying in my must-watch pile for quite sometime. And now I have finally done it! I had first seen this movie more than a decade ago. I had almost forgotten the story but some of the songs, esp the title track always remained afresh in my memory.
Shyam Kumar Saxena (Shammi Kapoor) hails from Allahbaad and lives with his younger sister Beena (Purnima) whom he lovingly call Binny and step-mother (Manorama). We are not taken to a flashback but through a series of conversation it’s revealed that Binny had met with an accident because of Shyam and she’s wheel-chair bound now. Movie begins with Shyam coming home at midnight and Binny keeping awake to wish him for his birthday. Though she’s his step-sister, she loves him dearly and the feeling is mutual.
But Manorama is not very fond of Shyam and keeps nagging him for not getting a job. So he leaves for Bombay the following day in search of a job.
A beggar asks him for some money on the streets of Bombay and when he takes out some money from his pocket a 100 rupees note falls from his pockets and goes flying into a car. He goes running behind and gets into the car in search of it. Just then the car-owner, Shanta (Sadhana) comes along with a bunch of friends and screams at him. She threatens him to get out of his car and drives away.
Quite lost in the city, he’s just strolling around when he finds a wallet fallen on the ground and hurries behind a man to return it. Raja Bahadur (Brahm Bhardwaj) is highly impressed with Shyam’s honesty and when Shyam breaks a vase worth Rs. 100 in the store, he pays for it. Shyam is hesitant about Raja Bahadur paying for it but he tells him to return the money when he has it and gives his card before leaving.
Shyam comes across Shanta and her friends again at a swimming pool and demands for his money. They play the fool with him and sing Surat haseen lagta hai deewana. At the end of it he somehow manages to get his money back and goes to Raja Bahadur’s house to return the money.
As they converse, it turns out that Raja Bahadur was friends with Shyam’s grandfather in Allahbad. And he invites Shyam to stay with them. Shanta, Raja Bahadur’s granddaughter, is literally shocked to find him in her house. She tries her best to get him out of the house.
Raja Bahadur loves Shanta dearly and oversees her faults. Now this has made her such a spolit brat. He realizes that his affection has made her so headstrong and rude. So he has hired Rita (Laxmi Chhaya) to help him out in bringing Shanta back on track but all their efforts have been going in vain.
They sit down for breakfast the following morning. Shanta throws away the juice that her butler serves her because she doesn’t like it and half of it falls on Shyam. He argues with her saying she’s not the only one at the table and she should at least have some basic table etiquettes. They have a row over this. At the end of it, Shyam gets up, fetches a jug of water, pours it on Shanta and walks out. Raja Bahadur and Rita look at the entire episode in awe. Shyam, guilty of his actions, goes to his room and starts packing. He wants to leave the house before Raja Bahadur throws him out for insulting his darling granddaughter.
But what follows next is quite the opposite. Raja Bahadur is highly impressed with Shyam and is convinced now that if someone can put some sense into Shanta’s head, it’s Shyam. So he hires Shyam as the Manager of the house! But before handing over the charge, he explains few things to him as to why Shanta is so aloof to everybody and why she hates men so much – Shanta’s father was a drunkard. The sight of her father getting drunk everyday and beating his wife has etched an indelible impression in her memory. One day when it gets too much to bear, her mother commits suicide. And this has turned her into a man-hater. She doesn’t believe in love and she feels all men are the same. According to her every love story/marriage would end either giving lots of pain or in a suicide. She is also the president of a Ladies Club, a club where she preaches how bad men are and all the members of the club are prohibited from falling in love.
Raja Bahadur also blames his son for all this and says he personally despises people who drink.
But now that Shyam has come into their lives, he is assured that Shanta will learn to love her life and people around her. He also reveals to Shyam his wish of getting Shanta married to him. According to him, he could never find a better guy for Shanta.
Now, there’s Devdas (Kamal Mehra) who has always dreamt of marrying Shanta. He happens to be a family friend’s son and is a little crazy. His sense of dressing is wierder than himself- one day he comes dressed as Robinhood to meet Shanta and the other day as a donkey. He’s such a joker.
One day Shanta comes down to the hall from her room and is surprised to find the house empty except for Shyam. Shyam tells her that Raja Bahadur has gone to Khandala for some Business deal and Rita has gone with him. As she hates the sight of Shyam, she doesn’t like the idea of being home alone with him. So she decides to go to Khandala as well. She asks the driver to get the car ready.
And yes, you all guessed it right. Her chauffeur is none other than Shyam himself, in disguise of an old man. They leave for Khandala. He drives so slowly and keeps preaching so much to irritate her that after a while she takes over the wheel.
She’s furious when she discovers that Shyam cheated on her and followed her. Like it happens in all Hindi films, their car breaks half way through. She shows attitude and starts walking. And to this attitude he sings Haseen ho tum khuda toh nahin.
Too add to Shanta’s plight, it’s already dusk, getting darker with every passing minute and it starts pouring heavily. Shyam suggests they go and look for some shelter but Shanta says she would spend the night in the car rather than go anywhere with him. So he leaves her in the car, goes behind a tree and hides. From there he starts roaring like a tiger to scare her. In less than a minute, he has Shanta running out of the car calling out for him, scared to death. They finally find the remains of an old abandoned house in the middle of the jungle and they go there to take shelter from the rain. And this is such a beautiful scene. It’s as though only the entrance of the house is intact – there’s only a space wide enough for one to stand there. Shyam, being a perfect gentleman, lets Shanta take refuge there but Shanta’s conscience doesn’t let her leave Shyam getting drenched in the rain all night. So she calls him and they try to adjust in that little available space. Shyam stands with his breath held in so that his tummy goes in and makes some space for Shanta to fit in as well. It’s so hilarious!!! And then Shanta spots a snake hanging nearby and faints in shyam’s arms. Just then, there’s a gunshot and Colonel Jung bahadur (Jagdish Raj) comes marching. He first thinks they must be lovers who have run away from their house and come and almost shoots them. But Shyam manages to convince him that they are already married and were on their way to Khandala but got stuck due to bad weather. Colonel takes pity on them and takes them to his bunglow.
What follows is a laughter riot. Shanta comes back to her sense, she gets murderous when she discovers that she’s put in the same room as Shyam. Now Shyam has to do all he can to make sure that she doesn’t come to know what he has told the colonel – that they are a married couple! He scares Shanta saying Colonel is mad. He has spent 6 months in a mental asylum and shoots anything and everything at the first opportunity he gets. He tells the same story to colonel about Shanta. He goes around the house singing Budtameez kaho ya kaho jaanwar.
When Shanta gets back home the next morning, she realizes that Raja Bahadur had never gone to Khandala. It was all his plan to get Shyam and Shanta together. She goes mad with anger. She goes to Devdas with her friends and tells him she would marry him if he helps her get Shyam out of her way. Devdas is more than eager to please her. Remember, Raja Bahadur hates people who drink. So they make a plan to get Shyam drunk at a party and strike his name out of Raja Bahadur’s good books for good.
Devdas throws a party and everybody is invited. Shanta and Devdas give Shyam laddu’s filled with bhaang.
(Doesn’t she look like Kareena here? )
He gets drunk and sings Apni baahon se koi kaam toh lo. The lines he recites before the song is just awesome : Nashaa pilaa ke giraanaa toh sab ko aataa hai, Arre mazaa toh jab hai ke girton ko thaam le saaqi. Thanks Nasir, I had completely forgotten about this song until I saw saw it on your blog. And now hardly a day passes without me listening to it.
Raja Bahadur makes his entry at the end of the song and is shocked to see Shyam stuporing. And Shanta adds to it saying he even tried misbehaving with her. But is it so easy to trap Shyam? The truth is that he already knew about Shanta’s plan and he never had the laddu in the first place! He was just acting drunk. When he tells the truth to Raja Bahadur, Shanta hits him on his head with a bottle rendering him uncounscious.
Raja Bahadur takes him home and summons a doctor. Doctor, after dressing his wounds and giving him an injection, tells Raja Bahadur that there’s a chance of Shyam getting blind. When Shyam recovers and gets up Rita enquires if he’s able to see. She then confides in him about the doctor’s fear of him losing his sight. This gives him an idea and he hides the fact that he can see. He acts blind in front of Shanta. And this makes Shanta feel guilty. He sings Dil ko na mere tadpao. But it doesn’t take her long to figure out his act. Slowly she starts falling for him. Being headstrong as she is, she’s reluctant to accept it even to herself.
And when she finally does followed by Pehla pehla pyaar hai yeh pehla pehla pyaar, a Baba comes to give news of Shyam’s death.
She almost has a nervous breakdown and goes running to the place where Shyam had dived into the river and drowned himself. Baba follows her and says Shyam had left a note behind for a girl named Shanta. When she tells him that she’s Shanta, he gives the note to her. She reads it and finds out how much Shyam loved her. She feels miserable that he died because of her. So she decides to end her life as well and jumps into the river. Baba catches her just in time and reveals his real identity. They sing Sirf tum hi toh ho jispe marte hai hum pledging their love for each other. This is where the dialogue in my earlier post comes into picture.
Raja Bahadur is delighted that Shanta has fallen in love with Shyam. He meets up with a Panditji and fixes a date for their wedding.
In the mean time, back in Allahbad, Manorama is looking for a guy for Binny. One Panditji tells Manorama that there is one eligible guy who belongs to a respectable family. But they will get their son married to Binny only if Shyam is ready to marry their widowed daughter! She knows that if she talks to Shyam about it, he wouldn’t even listen to her. So she tells Binny, without revealing the actual truth that she has found a guy for her and he has a lovely sister who would make a great match for Shyam. Happy and excited Binny immediately writes to Shyam about it and asks him to reply back to her letter immediately if he’s ok with the proposal so that they can commit to them and begin with the preparations.
Raja Bahadur is busy with wedding preparations as well. When Devdas finds out that he’s getting Shanta married to Shyam, he tries to fight with him for Shanta. But Raja Bahadur doesn’t give a damn to him. Just then Devdas notices a letter addressed to Shyam on the table in the hall.
He, along with his friend read the letter and reply to it. The letter never reaches Shyam! Now thinking Shyam is happy with the proposal, Manorama and Binny also start preparing for the weddings. Before you start wondering how they managed to copy Shyam’s hand-writing…they don’t write the reply back, they send a telegram instead, ruling out the possibility of getting caught! Smart guys
Shyam leaves for Allahbad, with due permission from Raja Bahadur, to return with his family for the wedding. He’s in a shock to discover things at home. He has always held himself responsibile for Binny’s accident. She’s become handicapped because of him. Now there’s a good proposal come in and if he tells about Shanta and his wedding in Bombay, his sister may never get married. Who else would marry a handicapped girl, who can’t even walk??? So he quietly sacrifices his love and gets himself involved in the wedding preparations.
Shyam’s wedding card reaches Raja Bahadur in Bombay and he’s shocked to see it. He can’t believe that he made such a big mistake - He always thought of Shyam as someone who’s very reliable and responsibile. The guy who had left with a promise to marry Shanta is now getting married to somebody else! Shanta, still unaware of Shyam’s wedding, is happily selecting jewelleries for her own wedding.
Shanta is heart-broken when she learns the truth and she becomes her old self again. Raja Bahadur is all set to cancel the invitaitons but Shanta insists that she will get married as planned but to a different guy, Devdas. If Shyam can forget her and get married to somebody else, she argues so can she!
Will Binny get to know that Shyam had already committed himself to Shyam before it’s too late? Will she be able to change their fate even qif she does find it out? Will Shyam ever discover that it was all Devdas’s doing? Watch Budtameez to find out.
It’s a lot like Ziddi (1964). Both are about taming a stubborn girl but I liked this one much better. Not just because it has Shammi Kapoor in it (though that’s one of the reasons) but because the story is handled and executed better here. Sadhana is gorgeous!!! Shankar Jaikishan’s music is awesome and the songs penned by Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri are simply superb. Love each one of them!
The script was written for Shammi Kapoor…everything about the movie is extremely Shammi-sque. I can’t imagine anybody else doing this role. He is stylish, suave, romantic, flirty, smart, caring, funny….as always. Sadhana is amazing - arrogant, stubborn, witty and very very beautiful. Sadhana’s Shanta was a perfect match for Shammi Kapoor’s Shyam! And they shared a great chemistry! Apart from the lead pair, I liked all the others as well. Every character had a well-defined role.
I particularly liked Brahm Bhardwarj and Jagdish Raj!
Jagdish Kanwal’s dialogues were crisp and just perfect. I love him for that filmy dialogue alone! After an overdose of Manmohan Desais movies from the 70′s and 80′s with all lost-and-found themes (not that I don’t like them, I have seen most of them, not just once but so many times) I had almost forgotten that he had directed some great movies like this. This film just restored my faith in him.
All in all, a very entertaining film. I see myself watching it quite often – it has made its place in my favourite Shammi Kapoor films (others being : Dil Deke Dekho, Professor, Teesri Manzil, Raj Kumar…..). I thoroughly enjoyed watching the film. A great stress-buster!
I somehow missed Rajendranath in this movie. Kamal Mehra was great as Devdas but would have loved to see Rajendranath do that role.
You can watch if online if you can’t get a dvd.