Ek Chitti Pyar Bhari (1985) Is a Classic Film Showcasing the Struggles of a Single Mother and a Child’s Desire for Fatherly Love

The classic film Ek Chitthi Pyar Bhari (1985) which translates to “A Letter Full of Love” is written by a very cute little girl named Bulbul asking God to send her father who she has never seen or heard from. It is a sublime story with a full range of emotions that will teach you many significant lessons in life and leave you with a heart full of compassion and love. In conjunction, this film educates the audience on child development and their overall psychology, especially for new parents or parents-to-be. The film is directed by Vijay Sadanah and stars the wonderful legends as well as popular on-screen duo Reena Roy and Raj Babbar in leading roles followed by Jagdeep, Ramesh Deo, Seema Deo, Sulochana Latkar, and Baby Bulbul.

The story is as follows:

Aarti Saxena who was raised in an Ashram in rural India, gets married to a well-to-do family. Unfortunately, her husband dies after their Suhaag-raat (Nuptial night) leaving her pregnant and her in-laws hold her guilty for killing her husband.

Not knowing what else to do, she ends up leaving her in-laws place and almost attempts suicide. A benevolent boarding school teacher (Seema Deo) traveling in a bus with her students rescues her and takes her to the hospital. This woman further motivates her to fight life and live for the sake of her unborn child. Hence, Aarti studies to become a nurse while being a doting single mother to her daughter. This classic tale does a fine job of projecting the triumphs and perseverance of a young single mother, especially in an era where they are represented to be the most vulnerable members in society.

As the story progresses, we encounter Kamal Nath (Ramesh Deo), a wicked man living in society as a well-regarded individual who gets admitted as a patient in Aarti’s hospital. He has his eyes set on Aarti since she is so young and extremely beautiful. Aarti has been assigned a night shift on the night of Diwali and this is the horrible night in which Kamal Nath tries to molest her when she comes to take care of him as his nurse. Thankfully, Aarti escapes by hitting him hard on the head with a vase. After being falsely blamed while being a victim of calumny by Kamal Nath for hitting him on the head when he was asking for assistance, Aarti gets fired from the hospital. Again, the world is shown to be excessively cruel towards women and a single remark made by men serves as the ultimate symbol of veracity.

To further add to Aarti’s agony, she ends up getting blacklisted from the Nursing Association without committing any crime. It pains me to see how brutally innocent women were treated in a male-dominated society in which the woman is always the one bearing the brunt of malevolent men.

Unfortunately, this tag of being “blacklisted” will prevent her from seeking employment elsewhere creating a massive amount of difficulty in raising Bulbul as a single mother.

The Grocery vendor enters as a ray of hope for Aarti as he is the one who informs her of an advertisement he spotted in the newspaper. The advertisement is seeking a qualified nurse in Dr. Sunil Sharma’s nursing home, but the requirements are that the nurse should be unmarried and not have kids. This is the complete contrast of who Aarti is, and her landlord advises her to send Bulbul to boarding school and to apply for this job offer. Bulbul is playing with her doll and ends up listening to the conversation.

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The simple thought of separating her beloved daughter from her fills her with tears and she cannot imagine doing this just to get a job. Bulbul ends up acting very strong and mature for her age and willingly tells her mother that she is ready to go to boarding school. It is impressive how maturity tends to arise in some children exposed to financial hardship and single parenting.

Hence, she visits the boarding school of Seema Deo (the woman who rescued her when she was found unconscious after being thrown out of her in-law’s home) who encouraged her to face life with a smile and continue living for the sake of the child.

Bulbul ends up acting in front of her mother by saying that there are so many kids and swings here that she can play with. Right after her mother leaves teary-eyed, she ends up releasing bursts of tears holding her favorite doll close to her heart. Honestly, no person can ever take the place of a mother because a mother understands her child the best.

The bus that was supposed to take Aarti to Dr. Sunil Sharma’s nursing home stops functioning and she ends up asking for a ride from a young handsome intelligent man. Guess what, this man is none other than Dr. Sunil Sharma (Raj Babbar), himself!

Dr. Sunil Sharma (Raj Babbar) strategically conducts both an oral and practical interview of Aarti once he discovers that she needs to go to his nursing home for the nursing job interview. His lively voice is worth listening to as he adds an extra layer of rejuvenating candor to each dialogue he renders.

In fact, Aarti pours her heart out during this oral interview in which she replies to one of his questions by saying: “Meri ek chotisi duniya hai jisme maariz aur dard ke siva kuch bhi nahi.” To translate: I have a small world in which there are only patients and pain.

This is the type of nurse Sunil is looking for and this sets the stage for the second part of the interview. The practical interview occurs in the way in which he suddenly starts gasping for oxygen making it seem like he’s having a heart attack. This scene tugs at the heartstrings and adds the much-needed comic relief to this forlorn tale of mother-child separation and their never-ending struggles. Being the exceptional nurse Aarti truly is, she manages to leave an indelible mark on Sunil’s mind by passing the practical interview with flying colors!

Upon receiving the job offer, Aarti ends up conversing with Sunil regarding the boisterous and disorganized environment she observed once she entered his nursing home. It was refreshing to watch this funny banter between the doctor and his newly appointed nurse. Below are the details of their conversation:

Aarti: “Yahan kisi cheez ki kami nahi hai, kami hai toh discipline aur dekh rekh ki.” (There is no equipment lacking here. The only thing lacking are discipline and proper care). “Issi liye yeh hospital kam aur dharamshala zyaada lagta hai.  Shayad yeh sab baaton ke liye aap ke paas waqt nahi hai.” (This is why this place looks more like a spiritual dwelling rather than a hospital).

Sunil: “Exactly Ms. Aarti. Mushkil se hafte mein doh teen din yahan rehe paata hoon. Baki din Lonavala aur baki ke aas paas ke gaon mein visit ke liye jaana parta hai. Issi liye mujhe aise nurse ki jaroorat hai joh yahan ki tamam zimmedari sambhal sake.” (With great difficulty, I’m able to stay in this clinic 2-3 days a week. The rest of the days I must go visit Lonavala and other nearby villages. Therefore, I needed such a nurse who can handle all the significant responsibilities here).

Aarti: “Mein puri koshish karungi.” (I will try my best).

Sunil: “Toh theek hai… aaj se ye na cheez ka bhavishya aapke haath mein hai.” (Ok then, from today the responsibility of this hospital’s future lies in your hands).

Aarti: “Aur mera suitcase abhi tak aap ki car mein hai.” (And my suitcase is still in your car!).

At the boarding school, we see the constant tears of sadness dripping from Bulbul’s innocent eyes. Not only is she crying for her mom, but she is also crying and asking God to please send her father to her. Aarti is also shedding tears at work and destiny confronts her with a young girl just like Bulbul when she is admitted at the hospital also crying because her parents left her alone in a boarding school. She wants to go to her mom. Unlike Aarti, this child’s parents are wealthy and are currently in London and Kashmir enjoying their life.

She then takes her outside to show her “Chanda Mama.” She ends up narrating a sweet but painful story via the lugubrious song “Yeh Hamari Tumhari Kahani.” Dr. Sunil Sharma is still awake and hears her singing. He instantly gets smitten by her and a very delightful chemistry is displayed between the two. It was indeed a treat to the eyes to observe a romantic bond forming between a doctor and a sedulous nurse which is quite common in today’s world!

Their mellifluous conversation goes as follows:

Sunil: “Aarti yeh konsi waje ho sakti hai jiski liye tumne aaj tak shaadi nahi ki.” (Aarti, what could possibly be the reason as to why you haven’t married yet?)

Aarti: “Shaadi kar leti toh yahan naukri kaise milti.” (If I had gotten married, then how would I have gotten the job here?)

Aarti: “Aap ko aise nurse chahiye thi jis paar koi zimmedari na ho. Ek baat puchu aapse.” (You had wanted such a nurse who has no responsibility. Can I ask you something?).

Sunil: “Ha pucho.” (Yes, ask me).

Aarti: “Aakhir aapne aisi sharth kyun rakhi. Kya shaadi shuda yeh family wali ladkiyaan nursing nahi kar sakti.” (After all, why did you put forth such a condition? Are women who are already married and have a family not capable of being a good nurse?)

Sunil: “Zaroor kar sakti hai Aarti. Lekin itni lagaan se nahi.” (They can certainly do so, Aarti. But not with a lot of dedication).

Aarti: “Mein iss baat ko nahi maanti.” (I don’t agree with this point!)

Sunil: “Dekho Aarti, tum mano ya na mano. Lekin meri baat ka sabse bari sapoot toh khud tum ho. Dekho na din raat ek kar ke tumne ye hospital ko sanwara hai. Kitna apnapaan hai tumhari har kaam mein. Aur yeh sirf iss liye ke tum akeli ho. Tumhara koi nahin.” (Look Aarti, whether you agree or not. But the biggest proof behind my words is you! Look at the fact that you glorify this hospital with your effort’s day and night. You have a lot of affection in all your work. And this is only because you are alone. You have nobody).

His feelings for her are automatically revealed in front of his mother (Sulochana Latkar) when he merrily talks about her, her competence as a nurse, how she has managed taking care of the hospital with full discipline and affection while he is out working at his other clinic. His mother wants him to get married but he does not want to at the moment. Hence, his mother arrives at the clinic to see Aarti and requests her to convince Sunil to get married. She further gives her two golden bangles as a young woman’s hands should never be empty. She says to accept it as her medical fees with high hopes shining bright in her aged eyes.

As Aarti works on the task given to her by Sunil’s mother, the harmonious song “O Tune Di Awaaz” sung by the legendary Asha Bhosle and Manhar Udhas plays as Sunil starts daydreaming of romance with Aarti. The organic romanticized chemistry between both are soul-stirring and the beatific lyrics persuades you to believe in the enduring strength of love. Their natural chemistry is indeed the product of their multiple collaborations together as co-actors.

O Tune Di Awaaz Toh Jaga Mere Dil Mein Pyaar (O You called me, and love has arisen in my heart)

Pyaar Bina Soona Tha Mera Bhi Sansaar (Without your love, even my life was empty)

Pyaar Se Badhke Duniya Mein Kuchh Bhi Nahin (There is nothing greater than love in this world)

Kuch Bhi Na Tha Jeevan Mein (There was nothing left in life)

Chain Kaha Tha Mere Maan Mein (There was no peace in my mind)

Tu Layi Hai Bahare (You brought in abundant happiness)

Tu hi Tu hai Chaman Mein (You and you are in the flowers)

Mujhe Tera Pyaar Mila Hai (I got your love)

Dil Ko Karaar Mila Hai (The heart got respite)

Dilkash Yaar Mila Hai (Breathtaking partner I got)

O Mujhe Dildar Mila Hai (O I got a beloved)

O Ek Taraf Sari Duniya (On one hand is the entire world)

Ek Taraf Hai Yaar (On on hand is my beloved)

Yaar Se Badke Duniya Mein Kuchh Bhi Nahin (There is nobody greater than my beloved in the entire world)

Pyar Se Badke Duniya Mein Kuchh Bhi Nahin (There is nothing greater than love in this world)

Now back to reality at Bulbul’s school, the other girls are teasing Bulbul by constantly nagging her by asking where your father is? while they are showing off their toys their father bought for them. She then comes up with an idea to write a letter to Bhagwanji (God) after she sees her teacher asking her assistant to write a letter to Meena’s father in England stating that she is happy and received the toys from him. Bulbul is asking for her father to come see her and bring a doll for her.

Whether you call it a twist of fate or the director’s masterstroke, Dr. Sunil Sharma arrives at the post office to pick up the parcel with medicines when the staff are discussing this rather puzzling letter directed to God. He ends up opening the letter and reads it.

The pure soul he is, he smiles while reading the letter and feels bad that the child does not have a father.

Below are the pertinent details of the adorable letter:

“Chiranjeevi Bhagwanji,

Mere papa ko aap kyun legaye

Une jalti se mere paas bhejdo

Nahin toh dekhna phir saab bacchon ke papa gudiyan laate hai

Mere ko bhi ek gudiya bhejdo”

-Bulbul

After reading this letter, Sunil utters “Kitni pyaar bhari chitti hai.”

To Translate: Dear God, why did you take my father away? Please send him to me ASAP. If not, then see how all the kids receive a doll from their fathers. Please send me a doll!). He then decides to send the girl a doll so that she can be happy and keep her belief intact.

Bulbul starts beaming with ebullient happiness once the postman delivers the doll to her and she goes around telling all the other girls that her father sent her a doll! According to decades of research in the field of Child Psychology, the first five years of a child’s life are deemed as the most “critical” phase for physical and psychological development. During these five years, children learn to explore their surroundings, trust others within their social orbit, begin to form meaningful connections with others besides their parents, and experience increased cognitive and reasoning abilities.

Furthermore, the expectations of both Sunil and his mother goes down the drain as Aarti ends up refusing to get married to Sunil due to her unconventional circumstances. This leaves Sunil and his mother disappointed. Then, Sunil receives another letter from Bulbul but this time it is a sincere wish to see her father and not just a doll.

So, he decides to visit Bulbul’s boarding school as his father and his heart melts seeing this cherubic girl playing with the doll he sent. It was an absolute delight to observe the affectionate and playful relationship between a father and his daughter. Truly, a father is usually the first male best friend a young girl can ever have, and their bond made me reminisce about my special bond with my dad.

Near the end of the film, the villain (Kamal Nath) re-enters as a patient in Dr. Sunil’s hospital! Upon seeing Aarti, he reveals everything about her bitter past leaving Sunil and his mother shocked.

Ashamed of her murky past, she resigns and heads off to see Bulbul at her boarding school. Here, she sees photos of all those lovable moments Bulbul spent with Sunil who she believes is her father sent from God. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes when Bulbul’s bus meets with an accident. By the grace of God, Sunil performs a successful operation and saves Bulbul’s life!

As the climax unfolds, Aarti ends up saving the life of Kamal Nath who experiences both liver and stomach pain caused by excessive drinking of alcohol before Sunil arrives via the administration of an injection. This further highlights the virtuous woman Aarti really is because not all women would have the stamina to be able to save the life of a vile human being who literally destroyed her flourishing career. Again, Reena Roy emerges as an exceptional actress who has earned critical acclaim for her range of versatility and strong author-backed roles. Kamal Nath then ends up asking Aarti for forgiveness, realizing the gravity of his crime and desire to atone for his sin before he passes away. Seeing this softens Sunil’s heart even more and he cannot imagine a life without her and Bulbul.

Does Ek Chitthi Pyar Bhari have a happy ending in which Bulbul finally gets the gift of a “perfect family” consisting of her and both her parents? I will leave it up to you to discover the answer to this idyllic question!

 

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Erikka Chowdhury

A scientist who has an immense appreciation for the arts and enjoys creating innovative content designed to engage the audience from all spectrums of life. read more...

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