There are some films that you need to watch with an open mind. Then there are
some others for which your mind has to be so open that your brains fall out.
You watch a film like Maa Santhoshi Maa with a certain mindset and, though surprises
are otherwise good, this is one place where they are certainly unwelcome. And
I, for one, do not appreciate being hit in the face with a family drama when
I expect a mythological. Besides, this is not your Barjatya type family drama.
I thought that their films had innumerable characters. Watch this, and Hum Aapke
Hain Kaun appears to be one Chota Parivaar Sukhi Parivaar.
We have Gauri Shankar (Alok Nath), whose son, Ajay, is married to Shalini. Shalini
is Lakshmichand's (Rajesh Tandon) daughter. Now Gauri Shankar has a daughter
Santosh (Bhagyashree). Santosh falls in love with Rajkumar, who is Shyam Sunder's
(Navin Nischol) son.
When Lakshmichand gets to know of the impending alliance, he rants about how
Shyam Sunder, who was once his closest friend, and his wife Sarita (Kunika)
deceived him and took away all his money, leaving him with not enough even to
buy medicines for his ailing wife, who subsequently expires. So, if Santosh
marries Rajkumar, then he would never step into Gauri Shankar's house again.
Shyam Sunder has a daughter, Kamya, who is married to Vineet (Amit Behl). Vineet
has left his mother for the luxuries of Kamya's house. Sarita is hatching a
plot of sending Shyam Sunder's aged parents to an Old Age Home. Then Santosh
comes in as the 'Bharatiya Bahu' and the usual clash of interests occurs.
Suddenly Shalini (Shalini, who? refer the first line, dude!) gets pregnant but
she aborts the child as it came in the way of her becoming Mrs. World (huh?
with a size 40 waist?). This alienates her from Ajay, and she finally realises
her folly. She goes missing, and for this Lakshmichand vows to let those responsible
pay. And what do you know! He brings Shyam Sunder onto the streets! Excuse my
naiveté, but why was he the culprit?
Anyway, by this time if you still know what is happening or even care to, then
all's well that ends well. The so called climax occurs in a Santoshi Maa temple.
Lakshmichand gives a 'Lalkaar' (sorry folks, there is no English substitute
for this word) to Maa Santoshi. She appears before him, and his daughter comes
back, and he forgets all about his enmity with Shyam Sunder. Ajay and Shalini
get back together. Sarita and Shyam Sunder reform their ways. But then, what
happens to Vineet, whose mother dies, and Kamya is anybody's guess. And where
was Shalini anyway for the sixteen Fridays for which her mother-in-law had fasted?
The film has certain moments that challenge your sensibility to its absolute
limit. Just to give you a taste, here is one. Ajay tells Shalini, "A woman's
honour is with her husband. The man's honour is not with his wife." Where did
that come from? Tell me if you know.