Yeh Woh Manzil To Nahin (1987)
(Certified: Aug 30, 1986)
Akhtar Baig, Shasher Singh and Murli Manohar Joshi are three old man who live rather aimless existence in Bombay. Retired, not knowing what to do with their time, they entertain themselves with childish pranks and when they run out of those they quarrel. Once they had studied together in a town called Rajpur. They know the most uncomfortable facts about each others lives, that Singh's wife committed suicide by jumping out of a tenth floor window; that Joshi has never done a spot of work in his life; and that Baig has led a rather medicore life all in all. Hearing that the university in which they studied is celebrating its hundredth year of existence, the old men decide to go back to their hometown after a gap of over 40 years. Their town is no longer what their memories have made it out to be. Instead, they are led to a dramatic confrontation with the past, and their darkest secrets, uncovered. There is a hint of coming events in the train journey itself, as Baig's sleep is disturbed by a recurring nightmare. In the train, they meet and adopt a young girl, a journalist on her way to Rajpur for a story on the simmering student unrest there. As they wander around their hometown other memories awaken. The student protests bring back memories of their own past when they were romantically involved with the terrorist movement againstthe British. Their university, like most universities, like most universities in the country today, is run by local hoodlums and petty politicians. But one boy, Rohit, has the audacity to stand up and fight. He asserts, through it could cost him his life, that the local industrialist's son had Rohits roommate killed. The victim had accused the industrialist of engineering the accident in which difficult workers were killed. Rohit becomes the focal point around whom angry students gather to protest against the take-over of the university by criminal elements but he has set himself up as the target! The fight leads to police intervention and Rohit is accused of killing a policeman. Rohit runs for his life and lands up in the old men's house, tired, exhausted and frightened to death. And the old men are faced with a moral dilemma for the second time in their lives. In the past, they had handed over a fellow terrorist to the British in order to save their skins. Now, they have not only to confront the guilt but expiate for their past cowardice. In a situation fraught with moral undercurrents, Baig blurts out the secret to a common friend Ismat the moment of truth is upon them. The old men decide to save Rohit and Singhs nephew, the local Supreintendant of police become the unviting decoy for their escape plan. Because, Rohit is now hunted by the police as well as the revenge-vent son of the industrialist. The fairy tale ending of this film should be that they manage to save him and thus atone for their sins. But that is not how it is........