Rajnigandha’s love philosophy

Among the many romantic films I’ve seen, few have touched me the way Rajnigandha did. I consider this an incredible film not only because it is such an original theme, but primarily because Basu Chatterjee delves so beautifully into the mind of a woman.

Very briefly then, Rajnigandha talks about a young woman, unable to decide between the two men in her life. When the film begins, Deepa (Vidya Sinha) is already engaged to the ever-so-cheerful Sanjay (Amol Palekar). Things seem set for the couple, until Deepa gets an interview call in Bombay for a lecturer’s job. She comes to the city, planning to stay with her college friend, who is now married. But to her surprise, it’s not her friend, but her old flame Naveen (Dinesh Thakur), who comes to receive her at the station. She’s struck by his ‘hippie’ like looks, but keeps her train of thought to herself. In the taxi, she recollects her past with Naveen, where they’re a couple in college but separate due to a seemingly trivial reason. Hot- headed back then, Naveen gets furious when Deepa doesn’t join him in a students strike which he’s leading.  Lonely and dejected Deepa moves out of the city and starts staying with her brother and his wife. She meets Sanjay – a jovial, simpleton who she starts to find charming.

Back to present, Naveen is now an advertising guy. He’s savvy, attractive and is attentive to Deepa’s needs. Slowly, she starts to compare her two lovers – current and ex, and comes to the conclusion that she had never really got over Naveen in the first place. “Ladki ka pehla pyaar hi uska saccha pyaar hota hain,” she says to herself. There’s only one problem though – Naveen does not broach their past, nor does he express his feelings to Deepa. The latter waits and watches teary-eyed as Naveen does not utter the words Deepa has been waiting to hear. She leaves Mumbai but continues to think of Naveen,  until she receives a telegram from him. She excitedly reads its contents but is left dejected.


The doorbell rings and Deepa finds Sanjay – smiling with flowers.


Essentially, Chatterjee’s message through this wonderful film is that ‘what one has today, is the only reality’


4 Responses to “Rajnigandha’s love philosophy”

  1. imlostinoblivion Says:

    I love this song. But never watched the movie. Now I think I will watch it. Thank you 🙂


  2. It’s Basu chatterjee day on the blog today! I too love this film and song..


  3. “Essentially, Chatterjee’s message through this wonderful film is that ‘what one has today, is the only reality’ ”

    Satyam, was that your reading of the film also?


  4. Sandy: That’s a fair reading and the symbol of the film is of course a flower (a transient thing).

    On another note this film is a great example of what precisely always makes me cringe or more often enrages me(!) when people compare some of the stuff being made these days with Mukerjee or Chatterjee!


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