Movie begins with Meena (Rekha) singing the title track – Hume aur jeene ki. Ashok Mehra (Rajesh Khanna) and Meena are a very-much-in-love happily married couple expecting their first child.
Ashok, a wealthy industrialist throws a huge party when Meena delivers a baby girl. He sings Sach hai yeh koi .
But shortly after giving birth, Meena suffers from post-delivery complications and dies leaving Ashok devastated and lonely.
Shakur Ahmed Chacha (Madan Puri) consoles Ashok over his grief and tells him that can’t lose hope and stop living. He has a daughter to care for. And slowly Ashok goes back to work.
Ashok’s company has launched a new cosmetic range of Emami products but with no proper ad campaigns, the brand remains unknown to public. So his company hires a famous photographer Raj Bedi (Raj Babbar) and gives him the charge of designing ad campaigns and publicity of the product. Ashok pays him an advance of Rs. 50,000 and says he wont interfere Raj in his work but would like to see his designs and plans ready in two months.
Raj sets out in search of a model for the campain. He spots Radha (Rekha) on a beach one morning and follows her to the orphanage where she lives. After a little convincing she agrees to model for him.
She poses in her typical-Rekha-style for Emami products and Raj is happy with the shots he has clicked. He informs Ashok that he’ll be ready with the Ad Campaign soon.
During the shooting there’s a song Dheere dheere zara zara
But Radha and Raj fall in love and they get married.
Now that Radha is his wife, Raj doesn’t want her to appear in Ads and Magazine covers. So he tells Ashok that all the photos he had taken were destroyed due to some problem in reels. Chandu (Asrani), Raj’s assistant, loses his job because he says something about Radha and Raj no longer wants to work with a person who doesn’t respect his wife.
To take revenge, Chandu goes to Ashok and tells him that Raj married his model that’s why he has refused to handover the photographs to him as per the contract. Ashok respects Raj’s feelings as a husband but as per business rules he can’t just let Raj get away for breaching the contract.
Raj sells everything he has (including his house) to pay back the contract amount to Ashok. Radha and Ashok move into a new house. There’s a song here – Kal toh sunday ki chhutti. Then he goes out searching for a new job. Since he had left his earlier project incomplete he’s not able to find a proper job. But he blames Ashok for using his influence and holds that as the reason behind him not getting a job.
He finally gets a job but meets with an accident while working on an assignment, and is hospitalized. He does recover, but his legs are paralyzed and is confined to a wheechair. With no income, it starts getting difficult for Radha to run the household and provide for Raj’s treatment. So she decides to work. She’s so happy about getting a job that she bursts into tears. But when the interviewer learns that she’s in desperate search of a job because her husband is ill, he takes back the offer letter saying with her husband sick in hospital she wont be able to concentrate on her work.
Ashok’s 5 year old daughter Mini ( Baby Shabana), misses her mother a lot. When she asks about her, Ashok tells her that her mother’s gone to god and lies to her that she’ll come back some day. She ties letters/messages to her mother to a balloon and sends them to god.
But god doesnt send her mother back to her. Tired of waiting for her mother to come, she loses interest in studies and fails in all subjects. Ashok doesnt know how to deal with her. Tired of Mini’s tantrums, her governess quits her job. Now he’s on a look out for new governess.
Radha sees an ad in newspaper for Governess, but the first requirement is that the governess should be unmarried. Since the pay is good and she feels she can save enough for Raj’s treatment with the money she gets as a governess, she goes for interview. Once she reaches the venue and sees the range of Emami products displayed there, she recognizes it as Ashok’s office. Aware of what had happneed between Ashok and Raj, She decides not to work for him and turns to leave. But one of the employees in office sees her and informs Shaukat chaha about her. He’s shocked to see her there. He offers for more money and hires her as the new governess.
When she goes to Ashok’s house the following morning, Ashok doesnt beleive his eyes when he sees her. He literally piches himself to make sure he’s not dreaming.
When Radha comes home to teach Mini, Ashok sings Hume aur jeene ki
Mini tries to chase Radha with her usual pranks but when Radha doesnt complain to Ashok about it and after the initial qualms they bond very well.
All are happy with this arrangement. One day when Ashok takes Mini to a beach, Radha accompanies them. When Ashok goes to get ice-cream for her, Mini sees some balloons flying and starts running behind them thinking they hold a message for her from her mother. She is almost hit by a car, Radha saves her on time and tells her the truth about her mother – that she’s dead and she will never come back again. There’s a puppet show that they go for after this, and needless to say, there’s a song here – Hum to hai chui mui
As time passes, Mini starts looking at Radha as a Mother-figure.
On another occasion when Mini wants to go out for lunch, Radha and Ashok take her to a restaurant and a local magazine photographer clicks their picture.
Chandu, when he learns about Raj’s accident goes to his house to see him and says he’s really sorry to see him that way. When he learns that Radha has started working and that Raj is alone at home the whole day with nothing to do, he starts coming to give him company. But as the saying goes, old habits die hard, he starts gossiping about Radha.
On the eve of Mini’s birthday, she sees Meena’s photo in Ashok’s cigarette case and takes it for granted that it’s Radha. Mini’s birthday, RAdha and Raj’s wedding anniversary and Radha’s birthday are all on the same day, 15th December. Radha plans to take a day off so that she can spend her anniversary with her husband but Mini says she wont have the party without Radha. So Radha is forced to go to the party where Mini announces that Radha is her mother. Radha doesn’t know how to react to it. There’s a song, a duet version of Hume aur jeene ki.
The same day Chandu tells Raj that Radha’s working for Ashok Mehra. He also shows the photo in a magazine (the one taken during lunch at restaurant with Ashok and Mini) which refers to her as Miss Radha (and not Mrs. Raj Bedi). Raj is furious and feels that Radha has cheated on him in favour of a wealthy lifestyle that Ashok can afford.
When Ashok comes to drop her to her house after the party is over, he gives her a ring and proposes to her. She comes home leaving the ring in the car. Ashok follows her inside only to overhear Raj and Radha having a quarrel due to the misunderstanding created by Chandu’s gossip.
One can’t blame Ashok for asking Radha to marry him, neither can Radha be blamed for hiding the truth. Ashok is heart-broken once again when he learns that Radha is married (I simply love it when he says : Tumhe paaya ek baar, lekin khoya do baar). He doesn’t know what to do with Mini, who had started treating Radha as her mother. So admist tears he packs her off to a boarding school.
But as time passes he understands the circumstances better, and sends an amount of Rs. 5 lakhs to Radha’s house through Shaukat chahcha telling that it’s lottery prize money. With so much of money in hand, she knows she can afford for Raj’s treatment in America (As per the doctor’s suggestion) and they decide to leave immediately.
But Raj sees Ashok at the airport. And when Ashok offers Raj a cigarette he sees Meena’s photo in it.
How will Raj react to it? Will he ever realize and accept the fact that the photo was Meena’s and not Radha’s? Will he get to know that the money with which Radha is taking him to America is given by Ashok? What happens to Mini? Will she be able to bear the greif of separation from Radha? And last, but not the least what does Ashok do?
I thoroughly enjoyed watching this film. All of them have given such a great performance. Not a very happy-happy movie but it isn’t sad and depressing either.
A family drama with realistic and natural portrayal of characters, never over the top. Rekha’s dresses and style are worth mentioning when she models for Emami. Rajesh Khanna is sooooo handsome even at 40+. Raj Babbar looks quite sexy donning deep V-neck shirts and t-shirts with jeans. Even his protrayal as an over-possessive, egoistic crippled husband is great. Feels so good to see Madan Puri in such good roles and baby Shabana is cute too, though a little loud at times. What’s with Asrani and his screen name as Chandu? He is named Chandu in so many movies!!!
I have seen most of RK’s earlier films (60”s and 70’s) but not many of the later ones. Now I think I’ll have to start watching more of his movies from the 80’s 😉
Before I end the post, here’s wishing you all a very happy and a joyous new year! May all your dreams come true. God bless you! 🙂