The title tells us everything we need to know:
We're on vacation in the big city - where anything can happen - and the happily askew font is a promise that jolly times lie ahead!
In our cinematic suitcase:
Old friends (or half-brothers, or cousins - I couldn't pin down what their relationship is) Nath (Shashi Kapoor) and Gautam (Rajendra Nath), who are super excited to be in Bombay.
Their friend Shambunath, who has a good job and great apartment in the city. When Shambunath tries to tell them that he's also added another good thing to the list, they leap to very reasonable conclusions:
"Yes, boys, I got a rocket. That makes sense."
Actually, he's acquired a wife, the funny and spunky Sharda. Sharda likes her husband's friends, and she gets her aunt to help them find a place to stay in the city.
New digs in a chawl, managed by the mean and meddlesome Mr. Hanuman (Dhumal).
Gautam's is Seema (Naseem Banu), whose father, a boxing enthusiast, will only let her marry a tough guy.
Nath's is Vijaya (Vijaya Choudhury),
whose guardian, her creepy uncle (Rajan Haksar), has secretly arranged to marry her off to some really age-inappropriate guy so he can take over the inheritance she will gain when she marries.
Of course neither boy knows of these impediments, so they quickly fall in love.
That's Gautam and Seema on the balcony, being adorable in the park.
Nath loves Vijaya in a library - or so I infer from the subtitles, because my DVD had a weird skip in it and missed what was surely a cute scene. Shashi in a library!
Plenty of fake beards, which are necessary components of the disguise-based schemes to work around the impediments to the romances.
Don't worry - we get good mileage out of our disguise kits, because bad guys later use them on to try to undo the romances.
You're going to need an extra checked bag for all the cuteness in Narayan Dutta's songs! The best one is "Yeh Hasin Bombay," in which Nath and Gautam frolic around Bombay and cavort carelessly on a variety of modes of transportation.
Nath manages woos Vijaya on the beach in "Aaj Yeh Aanchal" despite his ill-fitting polo shirt.
Not one but two songs serenade the chawl: Gautam entertains on the balcony with "Lanat Hai Aisi Mohabbat Pe," and later both boys sing a qawwali ("Raswaare Matwaare Kajraare Nainwa Tihaare") for the youth club.
The girls have their own song too - the sad, post-disguise-and-deception-fuelled romantic separation "Pihu Pihu Papihe Na," complete with giant peacock.
Side note: the only other giant peacock in a song set that I can think of is the gorgeous "Kannamoochi" in Kandoukondain Kandoukondain, and I love it! Can anyone name some more?
Update to post (March 10, 2009): here's one from Tananam Tananam!
There's even one of those classic "couples go sight-seeing" songs with famous landmarks overlaid with footage of people walking, pointing, and loooking really happy.
Ooh, I remember that movie theater! Too bad my photo doesn't have a ghost-Shashi in it.
And making its debut appearance in my personal catalog of Hindi films, "The Limbo Song" complete with cow bell and Rajendra Nath in drag!
On the itinerary:
A boatload of cute, that's what! If I hadn't just put "Squeee!" in the title of a post, I'd do it here. To be honest, there's nothing noteworthy in this film except the songs, but the whole thing is adorable and it doesn't really matter what does or doesn't happen. Shashi Kapoor and Rajendra Nath make a really jolly pair, as they did in Raja Saab, and they manage to pull off acting like doofuses without being annoying. The movie feels a lot like you're watching someone's home video of their 1963 trip to Bombay - the print is fuzzy, the camera goes in and out of focus, and the sound occaisonally disappears. But again, that doesn't matter, because the characters we're supposed to like are funny and sweet, the affectionate relationships (both friends and romantic) are breezy and fun, the bad guys get what they deserve, there's a gigantic rambling fight at the end in which Nath dishooms and Seema accidentally hits Gautam on the head, and all is put right at the end.
Pack your bag and go romp around with Shashi!