SYNOPSIS - RAJA HINDUSTANI
("INDIAN KING")

  1. Aarti Sehgal and her dad, who adore each other, have a joint birthday and thus a joint birthday party. Aarti's stepmother Shalini doesn't like Aarti much.

  2. Later. Aarti announces her intentions to go to the hill station Palankhet, where her dad and mom first met, in order to be with her mother's memories. Her father tells her to forget her dead mother, adding that Shalini's her mother now. Aarti, however, is set on going. Since Mr. Sehgal is going to Germany, he arranges for their servants Gulab and Kamal to accompany Aarti.

  3. At the airport. Upon arrival, there's no trace of the taxi that Gulab was supposed to have arranged to meet them at the airport. At Aarti's behest, Gulab and Kamal approach the only taxi around and ask for a ride. The cab driver, a man named Raja Hindustani, refuses to take them until he catches sight of Aarti, and is stricken into agreement by her beauty. He makes Gulab and Kamal ride up top.

  4. In the cab. Raja says he's an orphan. Aarti is unimpressed by either Western music or Hindi film hits, but she loves Raja's voice.

  5. At the Taj Mahal Hotel. There's no record of their reservation. Turns out that Gulab booked a room at the TM Hotel in Agra (location of the actual TM). Since there's a convention in town, the hotel is full. Raja offers to take them somewhere where, he claims, no one is ever turned away.

  6. This promised land of hospitality turns out to be the house where he lives with his aunt and uncle (no actual relation). Aarti is warmly greeted. Gulab and Kamal are staunchly unimpressed.

  7. The next day. Raja shows Aarti around town. He gets rid of Kamal and Gulab by pawning them off on his best friend, Balwant Singh. When she makes a purchase at a shop he's taken her to, he returns the commission to her (taxi-drivers often have agreements with certain stores: they will get a slice of the inflated purchase price if, after having taken their passengers to the shop, the passengers actually buy something). Later, Aarti insists he take payment for showing her around. He's very displeased at the idea that he is just a servant to her, but can't come out and say that, so he finally relents and takes the cash.

  8. Kamal and Gulab approch Raja to take them to the market. He refuses, saying that he's in the pay of the memsahib, not her servants. They threaten to tell Aarti, to which he replies that he is unafraid of her. Gulab and Kamal decide to take a different approach to getting revenge.

  9. They tell Raja that Aarti thinks he's very handsome and talented, but, alas, lacks style. He accepts their offer to give him a makeover. Naturally, they dress him in an utterly terrible get-up and present him to Aarti, who laughs wildly.

  10. Realizing that she's hurt his feelings, Aarti apologizes and tells him he's priceless for the very things he was trying to change - his simple-hearted ingenuity. He realizes she's right, and gives her a cash tip in thanks for the service she's rendered him - thus leveling the playing field.

  11. Aarti buys a short red dress that Raja doesn't like. She is harrassed for wearing it and Raja beats up her molestors with overzealous force.

  12. Aarti rebukes Raja for making a scene. Asks him if it's his job to personally correct every wrong he sees, as well as what gives him the right to tell her he doesn't like her outfits. He retorts that she's right. Neither of them has the right to tell the other what to do. He storms out.

  13. Aarti finds Raja and apologizes (tugging on one's ears is a sign of contrition). She asks him to show her all around Palankhet.

  14. Raja tells her she's the most beautiful woman he's ever seen. She doesn't believe him. During a rainstorm, they are overwhelmed by passion and kiss. When Aarti comes to her senses, she is panicked by what they've done and she runs back to the house.

  15. Her father has come to get her and take her back to Mumbai. Raja drives them - still hasn't spoken a word to Aarti since the kiss. A landslide halts their progress and they stop at a nearby restaurant, where Raja's heartfelt singing breaks Aarti's will. She goes to him - and exposes their love to the world.

  16. Aarti's dad is infuriated and refuses to countenance a wedding between Raja and Aarti. Balwant and Kamal, who have been flirting since they first met, armwrestle to decide whether the wedding will take place. She cheats. They decide to wrestle. She loses, and agrees to be a girl, as well as to marry him.

  17. Aarti's dad agrees, but only on the condition that Raja return with them to Mumbai and mold himself in their ways. Raja refuses, and Aarti agrees with his refusal, saying she will marry him no matter what. She asks for her father's blessings anyway. He refuses, and leaves.

  18. They are married.

  19. Aarti's father can't bring himself to disinherit her. He visits her and gives her a house as a wedding gift, which Raja is later furious to learn she has accepted. They fight. Finally he apologizes but tells her he can't live in that house - he wants to be her sole provider. She says she can sacrifice one hundred houses for his sake, but if he ever talks of leaving her again she will kill herself. He responds, "You love me that much?"

  20. At Aarti's stepmother's request, they go to Mumbai to celebrate Aarti and her father's joint birthday. (Aarti's stepmother is scheming to find a way to keep all the wealth in her own hands.)

  21. Shalini tricks Aarti into giving Raja a tuxedo and lying about where it came from (at Shalini's suggestion, she tells Raja she saved up and bought it herself). Later, at the party, Shalini's nephew tells Raja that it is actually his tuxedo, and Aarti gave it to Raja because she didn't want to be shamed by his shabby clothing. Raja gets drunk and embarrasses Aarti horribly, and then raises his hand to her father, a slight which she cannot forgive and which leads her to cast him out from her home. (Fun fact: Aamir Khan, who is not in the habit of drinking, consumed almost a liter of vodka before the filming of the song in this sequence, "Tere Ishq Mein Nachenge.")

  22. Raja does not come back. Aarti is heartbroken and stays with her father. She finds out she's pregnant, and desperately wants to return to Raja. Her stepmother offers to go in her place, and bring Raja back. But what Shalini really does is proffer him divorce papers, which she claims came from Aarti. He refuses to sign, saying that in her world, marriage might be a game, but in his, it is an unbreakable bond.

  23. Shalini gives Aarti divorce papers, saying they came from Raja. She adds that he sends message to her to get an abortion. Aarti is horrified, saying she'll neither divorce him nor get an abortion.

  24. Aarti has the child.

  25. Kamal and Balwant come to visit Mumbai. Shalini won't let them see Aarti but they see her in the distance, holding her child. They return to Palankhet with word that Raja is a father.

  26. Raja goes to Bombay and kidnaps his child. Shalini's brother only pretends to call the police and inform them of the kidnapping; in truth, he decides to track Raja and the baby down and kill them.

  27. Aarti and her family go to Palankhet, where they meet Raja's aunt and uncle and the truth about the divorce papers is exposed. Shalini admits everything and begs forgiveness.

  28. Next day: Raja returns home, but when he sees Aarti, he flees. Shalini's brother and nephew catch up with him and try to kill him. He almost dies, but Aarti's father saves him. Several more fight sequences. Finally Balwant and company come and save the day.

  29. After much begging and pleading on Aarti's part, Raja yields and takes her back. Happy ever after, credits.

 

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