- Communal riots are tearing apart Bombay. The
military may be called in. Ajay (Ajay Devgan), a famous music composer,
is disgusted. His wife, Sonia (Sonali Bendre) emerges to ask what
he was singing last night. (SONG: HUM YAHAN TUM YAHAH). Flashback
to Ajay asking Sonia to marry him. In the present, he retires to the
bedroom and asks her not to leave him. Sonia says, "Do you know
how much I love you? I'm not leaving you. I'm leaving this place,
for the sake of our unborn child." Ajay argues that thousands
of children are born here, and that this is the reality of their country.
He accuses her of never really forsaking her home in England, never
giving India a chance. "You always kept the door half-open so
you could go fleeing back to England." Sonia: "Yes, I did!
What's wrong with that? I didn't want our child to be born in a place
where knives are drawn in the name of religion!" She begs him
to leave with her. He refuses: "This is my home. If it goes up
in flames, I'll put the fire out, or burn in it myself."
- Ajay gets a phone call from his brother, Anand,
the youth leader of the local chapter of a right-wing Hindu political
party. In the background, the party leader is agitating against Muslims.
Ajay warns Anand that the leader, Subodh, is going to drag him into
trouble. Anand grows defensive: "I'm no longer a kid; let me
make my own decisions." He asks to speak to their mother. Ajay
is astonished and wants to know if he's been drinking "You
took Mom to your place yesterday." Ananda tells him that their
mother left at 5 AM to go pray. Ajay says he'll find her.
- In the lobby of the apartment building, a
Muslim tenant, Issa Bhai is telling the landlord, Gurdial, that he's
decided to leave. Last night a paper was thrown through his window
telling him to go to Pakistan or the graveyard. Gurdial blacks out
the list of tenants names so no one will know who belongs to which
- At a police blockade, Ajay is informed by
a policeman-cum-fan that the area he
wants to go to is shut down. Some old Hindu lady got torched outside
the church just this morning by a group of Muslim boys. Ajay, horrified,
heads to the hospital where she was taken, only to discover that the
victim is indeed his mother. Anwar Hashmi, a journalist, tells Ajay
that he's seen six Muslim corpses in two days. "I don't understand
something," he says to Ajay. "You're Hindu, but your mother
was calling upon Allah. Is she not your real mother?" Ajay says,
"I'm in great pain right now. Please leave me alone."
- Flashback to Ajay's youth. His friend Hari
wants to know why, if he's Hindu, he comes to the church to pray.
Ajay explains that his mother conceived him only after praying to
Mother Mary; hence, whenever he wants to ask for something special,
he prays to the Virgin as well. "What are you asking for?"
Hari wants to know. Ajay prays to Mary: "My father is coming
home tonight after many days. Please don't let him leave ever again;
tell him to live with us forever."
- At home, Ajay's mother (Pooja Bhatt) prepares
for his father's visit. (SONG: SAARI RAAT). But his father doesn't
show up. "He must have gotten caught in traffic," she speculates.
"Or maybe the shooting's run late. Call the studio." Ajay
does, but his father's secretary, Baadal, informs him that his father's
gone home. Ajay's mother tells him to call his dad at home, "but
if anyone else answers, say it's a wrong number and hang up."
Ajay's grandmother answers, but he goes ahead and asks for his dad.
His grandmother is infuriated: "If you ever call my son your
daddy again I'll cut off your tongue. And if you call again, I'll
cut off your fingers, you son of a whore." Ajay is upset; he
demands to know why everyone calls his mother a concubine. His mother
tells him to let the world say whatever it will; Daddy loves them
a lot. Ajay: "If he loves us then why doesn't he live with us?"
His mother replies, "You love your mother, and so you live with
her. Same for your daddy." Ajay tells her not to lie to him:
"Hari's mother says he didn't marry you." "We married
in the temple," she argues, "and when his mother finally
consents, we'll marry publicly too." "When?" Ajay demands.
"In five years? Ten? Fifty? In your next lifetime?" His
mother assures him that her god wouldn't do her injustice; everything
will be fine. Meanwhile, his father, Raman (Nagarjuna), tells his
mother that he's decided to bring his wife and child to live with
them. His mother tries to kill herself, and later vows that as long
as she lives, the concubine and her bastard child will never live
- The next morning, Ajay tells his mother that
the god Ganapati has come in his dreams and told him what to do. Later
Ajay seeks out Hari and convinces him to come to Raman's studio, where
Ganapati has recommended that Ajay ask his father to marry his mother.
At the studio, however, they find something very alarming, which leads
them to a shocking discovery.
- Present day: Anand arrives at the hospital
full of rage. His friends inform him that they've found some Muslim
trying to sell a mangalsutra (wedding necklace worn by Hindu women),
and to come see if the mangalsutra is his mother's. Ajay runs after
them, and saves them from killing the criminal. He drags the Muslim
inside the hospital, where the man admits to putting petrol on Ajay's
mother, but not lighting it. Ajay loses his temper, and later apologizes
to a policeman, who comforts him by saying that he is a great man
for saving the wretch's life. A higher-ranking police officer shows
up in the company of other Hindu fundamentalists, and taunts the good
police officer. The journalist, Hashmi, watches and records all of
- Hashmi writes an editorial, opining that as
long as brothers cannot see eye to eye on such issues, the country
won't progress. He praises people like Ajay Desai, "who saved
his mother's attacker from the policeman's bullet." But he predicts
that in the hospital is a time bomb ready to detonate. Meanwhile,
Anand says he will never forgive Ajay for protecting the criminal.
"You're nothing to me," he says, and retreats to his political
friends. "These people are my family now. Go ahead, try to save
that bastard, but when Subodh-ji comes, I'll send him where he belongs,
or I'm not my mother's son."
- Subodh counsels Anand to be patient: "Don't
touch the criminal. That journalist is watching your every move. Our
revenge will be against not only the boy, but against his entire people."
On the corrupt policeman, Yadav, he showers his contempt: "Anand
is a boy, naive, foolish. But you should know better. If this kid
dies, the whole issue will die down. The only death to our advantage
is that of Anand's mother. Pray she dies quickly. Our youth leader's
mother burnt to death by Muslim youth! When you call with the good
news, I'll come for a rally. We'll parade the body to the crematorium
and victory will be ours."
- Ajay speaks again to Sonia. She insists on
coming to the hospital, and agrees to let Issa Bhai and Gurdial escort
her. Ajay tells her that he's kept somethiing hidden from her and
the world, and now he must tell her. "Come," he says, "and
I'll tell you here."
- Sonia arrives. Ajay tells her, "I've
hidden a wound from you but now I can't even if I wanted to. There's
something in my mother's life from before which has taken me a long
time to understand." Flashback to his childhood. Raman enters
his office to find it trashed by Ajay. He says to his son, "If
I told you why I married this woman, you wouldn't understand."
Ajay accusatorily observes that even when Raman has come to
the house, he's never removed his shoes, never really intended to
stay. "I'll come tonight and do as your mother says. But don't
- Raman arrives (SONG: GALI MEIN CHAND NIKLA).
Ajay's mother tells him that she can't continue to pretend to be his
wife. "I free you from this illicit relationship." She removes
her mangalsutra. Raman: "It's true that I got married without
telling you. It's true that I couldn't pain my mother for your sake.
But this is the greatest truth: I love you more than anything in the
world. Don't ever take off this mangalsutra, even after my death.
I love you very much."
- In the morning, Raman is gone, but Ajay's
mother assures him that "I told him to go. He'll keep coming
here as usual." When Ajay has a tantrum, she grows fierce: "He
can't be ours! I've accepted it. Now you too must learn to live with
it." Ajay vows to make Raman put sindoor (vermilion, as worn
in the part by married Hindu women) on his mother.
- Hari tracks down Ajay and apologizes for not
being able to invite him to his birthday party.
"My mother won't even listen to your name."
Ajay comforts him. Months pass; Ajay's mother's pregnancy develops.
Ajay consigns his father's statue of Ganapati to the sea. [Statues of
Ganesha, or Ganapati, are sometimes consigned to the sea in a religious
- Ajay's mother goes into labor. He calls Raman's
home and tells Raman's wife, Nimmi, that Raman has a new son and he
must come to the hospital. Nimmi relays the message and tells Raman
he should go. Raman's mother freaks out, but finally Raman stands
up to her. On the way to the hospital, he has an accident.
- Ajay's mother takes her newborn son to Raman's
funeral so he can get his father's blessings. Raman's mother attacks
her viciously, but Nimmi intervenes, touching the child to Raman's
portrait. Her mother-in-law shrieks that she's damned his soul; a
Muslim boy has touched his picture! Later, Ajay asks his mother if
that's why she could never marry his dad because she's
really Muslim. Can Hindus not marry Muslims? "They can,"
she says, "but people like your grandmother don't accept it.
Your dad tried to convince her, but our love proved weaker than her
hate...but my Allah won't do me injustice. I'll meet your daddy in
heaven. Promise me you'll bury me when I die, because I am a
Muslim, and we can only go to heaven after being buried." Ajay
promises. She asks him not to tell anyone else the truth not
even his brother: "Like his dad, he will become a Hindu. He'll
never suffer the insult we did today. My being Muslim is a wound on
us both. Hide it away in your breast, my son."
- Present day:
Sonia tells Ajay this isn't a thing to be hidden like a wound; this
is something to be screamed aloud for everyone to hear. "This
was love. Your mother hoped to meet your father after death...and
here I am, leaving you in our lifetime? How much you've endured. I've
been worried over such a little difficulty. Forgive me, Ajay. I'll
never leave you." The doctor emerges. Ajay sends Sonia inside
and goes to tell Anand that their mother is dead. Anand heads immediately
to kill the Muslim, but Ajay stops him by saying, "You think
his blood is dirty? Then so is mine. So is yours. Mom was a Muslim."
Anand is in shock, but his political friends are watching; he calls
Ajay a liar. Subodh soothes him. The journalist warns Issa Bhai that
now would be a good time to split, but Issa Bhai has had a change
of heart: he will stand firm.
- Subodh scolds Ajay for announcing before witnesses
that his mother was Muslim. "It will only get you killed, and
hundreds along with you. You want to take her for burial now, as the
city burns? When thousands of our party arrive and find out the truth
about your mother, won't they feel betrayed?" Anand tells Ajay
that he wants their mother's last rites to fit the form in which he
always knew her i.e., as a Hindu. Subodh chimes in: "No
one need know. We'll take care of the journalist. See? If you don't
want to cremate her, don't. Give her to some medical school for research.
Her body will be used for the welfare of the entire world." Ajay
asks him if it's the world's welfare he's concerned with, or his own.
"I won't let you play political games on my mother's corpse.
Anand, the mother you're so ashamed of today deserves only your pride.
After I die, throw my body into a trash bin. But Mom will be treated
as she wanted." Subodh warns him: "When it comes to public
affairs, we can sacrifice some lives." Ajay: "A man who's
just lost the most precious thing in the world isn't going to fear
you. And no religion on earth can stop a son from fulfilling his mother's
- Gurdial tells Ajay that the curfew's been
relaxed for one hour. This is the time to act. Ajay asks his brother
to accompany them to the burialground: "At the final hour, even
enemies join together." But Anand refuses. Subodh's political
supporters show up to prevent Ajay from taking away his mother. But
at the last moment, Subodh knocks into their mother's body, and Anand
is outraged by this cavalier treatment. He joins Ajay, and they take
their mother to be buried.
- Ajay gives his mother's mangalsutra to the