Chhoti Si Baat (1976)
(Certified: Dec 31, 1975)
Chhoti Si Baat is an endearing, lovable comedy about a painfully shy young man Arun Pradeep (Amol Palekar), who lacks self-confidence and fails to stand up for convictions, in the process letting all and sundry walk all over him. He falls in love with Prabha Narayan (Vidya Sinha) after catching a glimpse of her at the bus stop enroute to work. Lacking enough courage to approach her, he pines for her from afar while following her to her office, home, in the bus.... Prabha fully aware of his affections, secretly relishes the fact and loves seeing him squirm in discomfort, while waiting for him to make the first move. While, Arun seems hopelessly stuck, wondering what to do next, in comes the suave, brash Nagesh Shastri (Asrani), a colleague of Prabha's from work and emerges a serious rival for Prabha's attention. It doesn't help that he appears to be miles ahead of Arun in the "race" and is all that Arun is not-He's gregarious while Arun is shy, he's confident and boastful, while Arun is besieged with self-doubt, he's smooth, while Arun is awkward, he's street smart, while Arun's na?ve, he's assertive while Arun's timid. All in all not a very good sign for Arun. Plus the fact that he owns a scooter further ensures that he would have enough opportunities to offer a ride to Prabha, while Arun can only look on. A gullible Arun, trying to match Nagesh with a bike of his own is taken for a ride when he's saddled with a dud, further embarrassing him in front of Prabha. He seeks salvation in astrology, tarot cards, dubious godmen only to land up with the egg on his face.
In desperation, he finally turns to Colonel Julius Nagendranath Wilfred Singh (Ashok Kumar) of Khandala for help, who has made it his mission to assist those in love find their true destiny. Colonel Singh agrees to help Arun and thus, begins the turnaround as Singh begins to mould Arun into a mature, confident young man through a series of meticulously designed lessons, dosed with philosophical interjections and "hands on" training. A "born-again" Arun returns to Bombay (now Mumbai) with a distinguished swagger, brimming with newly discovered self-esteem, ready to take on the world and win over Prabha.....