The title ‘Nest’ is an excellent one for the film, one of the few I have seen on the subject of lack of housing in Mumbai. An interesting and well made film with a good cast and excellent music, it has been largely ignored by Bollywood bloggers. The only review I read was scathing which surprised me as I found the film to be a good watch.
A young woman Chaaya (Zarina Wahab) joins a small business as a typist. She had been interviewed and selected by the well-to-do, middle-aged owner Mr. Modi (Shreeram Lagoo). A widower, he is introduced to us as recovering from a heart problem.
At work, a rather chaloo young man, Sudeep (Amol Palekar), stars a flirtation and soon the two start spending a lot of free time together. One would think that they are in love. Puzzlingly the song Tumhe ho na ho, which shows the mental status of the young woman, tells us that much as she enjoys his company, she is certain that she is not in love with him. It is puzzling because we see that they seem to be much engrossed in each other and soon decide to marry. The one big hurdle is the lack of housing in Mumbai and when they put a deposit for a flat in a new construction site, they are both very happy.
In the meanwhile, Chaaya is uncomfortably aware of the interest shown towards her by Mr.Modi. She learns early on that she was hired for her resemblance to the late Mrs.Modi. Even though there is no overtly inappropriate advances by Mr.Modi, he shows her favouritism and her guard is up. There is soon a confrontation with her saying ‘आपके मन में पाप है ‘ (you have sin in your mind) while he responds gravely saying ‘तुम मुझे अच्छी लगती हो’ (I like you) and that he would like to marry her.
The construction the young couple have invested in turns out to be fraudulent and it leaves them both in shock. ‘I cannot fight this battle where one is lost before one starts’ says Sudeep. ‘It looks as if one can climb here (in this city) only by putting one’s feet on someone else’s head’. In this important scene of the film, we come to know the mind-sets of the two protagonists, which is critical in understanding their actions to come. Sudeep wants Chaaya to accept Mr.Modi’s proposal as he is unwell and would not live long. After he dies, his wealth would be theirs. Her first response is ‘छी! किसी की कब्र पे मेरा घर बनाऊँगी ?’ ‘Shall I make my house on someone’s tombstone?”. I enjoyed Gulzar’s unmistakable hand in the dialogues, like for example इस शहर के लोग रोने के लिए नहीं कंदा देते, मरने तक इंतज़ार करते हैं कंदा देने के लिए .
But the seed planted takes root. Chaaya is disillusioned with Sudeep. She also wants to help her brother with his higher education and agrees to marry Mr.Modi with a mercenary intention. She tries to fit into her new life but is conflicted in many ways. But she finally manages to reconcile her conflicts and accepts her husband whole heartedly. He also thrives in this marriage and his health improves.
But Sudeep doesn’t fare well. He can’t accept the loss of his girl. Perhaps he never meant her to follow the suggestion he thought of in despair? He is also hunted by the loan-sharks from whom he had borrowed for the disaster of a flat purchase.
How will it all resolve itself? Will it resolve itself? The ending seemed a bit hurriedly put together and I didn’t find it well convincingly scripted but then I’ll let you see it and decide for yourself.
Shreeram Lagoo carries the film ably with Amol Palekar and Zarina Wahab doing good jobs in their roles. Jalal Agha has given an excellent performance in a supporting role, as also Sudha Mehra whom I have always admired for her acting skills.
The music is excellent but I give first credit to Gulzar and Naqsh Lyallpuri’s beautiful poetry which Jaidev has moulded expertly into music.
Tumhe ho na ho – Runa Laila. Excellent lyrics and charmingly sung by Runa Laila. After seeing it, I wanted to eat chaat in Chaupati too! Jaidev has made his music match Naqsh Lyallpuri’s poetry perfectly. I had mistakenly thought this to be Gulzar’s work but thanks to a reader, I stand corrected.
मुझे प्यार तुमसे नहीं है नहीं है मगर मैं यह राज़ अब तक न जाना
कि क्यूँ प्यारे लगते हैं बातें तुम्हारे मैं क्यूँ तुमसे मिलने का ढूँढूं बहाना
कभी मैंने चाहा तुम्हे छू के देखूँ कभी मैंने चाहा तुम्हे पास लाना
मगर फिर भी इस बात का यकीन है मुझे प्यार तुमसे नहीं है नहीं
Do diwane sheher mein – Bhupinder and Runa Laila. Well written by Gulzar, beautifully sung and charmingly filmed, it shows how songs can be incorporated convincingly even in a non-masala film. When the hero and heroine caper, they give in now and then to giggles at themselves and are very aware of making a spectacle of themselves!
- Ek akela ik sheher mein – Bhupinder. The sad version of the above song. Very beautifully written and sung. Gulzar always shines in his sad poetry . How cleverly he writes! Take for example : जीने की वजह तो कोई नहीं मरने का बहाना ढूंढता है
To listen to the full album, click here.
As there are basically only two songs, and both very good, I am going to embed both for you. Enjoy!