Movie Or Parental Guilt Fest? 35 Thoughts I Had While Watching Baghban For The First Time

Movie Or Parental Guilt Fest? 35 Thoughts I Had While Watching Baghban For The First Time

When this movie was released in 2003, it made -- wait for it -- 12 FREAKING CRORES! You’d think a movie that was so immensely popular with the audience would at least be *mildly* entertaining, right? Turns out the Indian audience not only enjoys unrealistically guilting their kids in real life, but they also love boring movies that preach the same. 

Still, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to watch this movie with an open mind, right?

1. Of course the movie opens with Amitabh Bachchan holding a kid’s hand and walking along the beach while narrating some pretentious shayari about trees and shadows and parents and children. 

2. We’re only five minutes into the movie and there’s already a Tata Tea product placement.

3. Why’s Hema Malini complaining about Amitabh’s character never taking chutti when he literally offered to take the day off in the previous scene?

4. Okay, why do these characters break into monologues every now and then? Is this a play?

5. Aaaand the sexist jokes have begun. “Office mein boss, ghar pe biwi” *eyeroll*


6. Hold up, it’s their 40th Wedding anniversary? 40TH?! So unless they both got married before 18, they’re easily 60+. Why does he still have a job? How is her skin so firm? I have so many questions!

7. Wait, I just realised they have the most cliche Bollywood name ever - Mr and Mrs Raj Malhotra. LOL!

8. Mr and Mrs Raj Malhotra’s fully grown son has a fully grown daughter? I might be bad at math, but even I can tell that something doesn’t add up here.

9. The adopted son Alok aka Salman Khan is such a kiss-ass. He just told his girlfriend that he won’t marry her if his adoptive parents didn’t approve of her.

10. And instead of responding with “Grow a spine, bro!”, she says “Omg this is why I love you so much!!” WTF?

11. So wait, you’re telling me that despite living in that massive-ass bungalow, Mr and Mrs Malhotra only have Rs 50,000 left in their account? How can someone who works at a bank make such poor financial decisions?

12. Did he just call his sons his “four fixed deposits”?! Somebody’s gonna be broke real soon!

13. For someone who didn’t realise it was his retirement day, that’s quite an “impromptu” speech Raj. We all know you’ve been practising it in front of the mirror for months.

14. Did this dude just turn down an offer for an extension despite the fact that he’s bankrupt?

15. The two older sons are discussing what should be done about the “large sum of money” their father is about to get. Oh, what a rude shock they’re in for!


16. The kids were expecting money but the looks on their faces were PRICELESS when they realised that their parents wanted to come live with them instead.

17. Wow, these kids are seriously evil with their plan to suggest their parents live apart. Joke’s on them, Pooja thinks they’re doing this because they love their parents SO much, so she convinces Raj to accept their offer.

18. Honestly the landlord’s speech about how he “can’t let anyone else live in that house anymore” is a good back-up plan, Mr and Mrs Malhotra. Considering your kids’ “enthusiasm” to keep you around…

19. Okay, I get that the kids are shown as people who don’t care about their old, retired parents, but Raj getting offended just because he can’t sit at the “head of the family” chair is pushing it too far.

20. Also, I understand that you’re sad about being separated after 40 years, but do you REALLY need to sing a sad song to each other over the phone?

21. Pooja lecturing her son about how he should always keep track of where his wife and daughter are is so cringe-worthy.

22. DId Sanju just ask Raj “what have you even done for your kids?” Wasn’t he the one who borrowed 50k from him for his car?

23. I don’t know who’s worse here - the parents who think their kids owe them their life, or the kids who are ungrateful little b*tches. Honestly, my favourite characters so far are the dogs. And the music-cafe owning Gujarati couple.

24. Honestly, I’m done with Pooja constantly spying on her granddaughter and then telling her parents “the world never changes for a woman”. Are you kidding me? Having a boyfriend is not a crime!

25. Sanju and his wife complaining about not being able to sleep is legit. They DO need to wake up early and go to work! Can’t Raj just write his book during the day?

26. The music cafe is hosting a Valentine's day celebration but it’s looking like a rave party, tbh.

27. Okay, so he’s hallucinating that his wife is there. It’s *definitely* a rave party.

28. I get that Pooja’s intentions were good and she just saved her Payal from getting molested but did she seriously just follow her granddaughter to a FREAKING NIGHTCLUB?!

29. Fine, I get that Raj keeping a fast for Pooja on karva chauth is feminist and maybe even romantic. But him pretending to eat food when there isn’t any is just extra af.

30. Of course, they just HAD to do a slow-mo running-towards-each-other-at-a-train-station scene, didn’t they?

31. I can’t believe they did the elaborate car test-drive scene only so that the salesman would push Raj and he would fall into the arms of his favourite child...Alok!


32. Alok, I understand you’re grateful to the Malhotras but keeping a picture of them in your mandir? Seriously?

33. Of course, the Gujarati couple found Raj’s Baghban manuscript and sent it to a publisher, who *surprise surprise* wants to publish it

34. Because this is a parallel universe, Raj’s book is not only a bestseller but his paycheque is worth *lakhs* of rupees. 

35. Okay, I’m GLAD this preachy movie is over. Can I please get the last three hours of my life back?

My final take: this movie is fantastic - if you’re masochists who enjoy torturing themselves. Otherwise, I’ll break the plot down for you: if you’re parents who are controlling, self-righteous and make terrible financial decisions, your biological children whom you spend all your money on will grow up to be super ungrateful, but your adopted child, whom you neglected your entire life will turn out to be “the good child”. And then you’ll feel sad about it, write a book and become a millionaire. Voila!

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