When I saw Nikkah (1982) which means an Islamic marriage contract, I thought it really should have been called Talaq, Talaq, Talaq! So in my post movie online research, I found that it originally was to be titled Talaq Talaq Talaq (divorce). I thought, “Hey that’s what I thought it should be titled too!”
Nikaah is a 1982 Hindi film produced and directed by B. R. Chopra. The film stars Raj Babbar, Deepak Parashar and Salma Agha in her Hindi movie debut role. The film also had Asrani, Iftekhar and Gufi Paintal in support roles. The films music is by Ravi. The original name of the movie was Talaq Talaq Talaq, but was renamed Nikaah on the insistence of Islamic clerics. (wikipedia)
No one wants to get on the wrong side of an Islamic cleric. The movie begins with a series of rather sensual oil painting in the background. Some of the paintings are nudes!
As the paintings flash by, a woman recites the following:
I am a woman the daughter of Eve
Sent down from the heavens pure and sacred
I’ve bloomed the flowers in this world
I give birth to a man and train him to walk
As a sister I tell him amusing stories
As his beloved, I make his life melodious
I sacrifice the precious pearls of my life
In a need I walk along with him
By serving him like this I lose my entity
The story of my sacrifice is in all the holy books
All that I have said is an illusion
I’ve always had one fear after many centuries
I may be pushed into some brothel
I don’t know when I may be bet in gambling
I may be compelled to prove my chastity
I may be put to death just after my death
I may be auctioned in the flesh markets
I may be accepted as a wife after marriage
I may also be divorced and rejected
My chastity may be ravaged by the same men
This is all because I am a woman
Off to a dramatic start with that opening poem, right? That’s followed by some subtitles I’d never seen before using the word buttock, not buttocks, just buttock:
That’s Haider Raj Babbar and his college buddies talking about Nilofer (Salma Agha). Haider is actually a good guy and is a real Ghazal expert. Haider and Nilo had a bit of an attraction in college, but Nilo was set to marry the fancy Nawab Wasim (Deepak Parashar) who immediately gets a business deal for a 5 star hotel! I love how often the term “5 star hotel” appears in Bollowood movies. I’ve seen enough Bollywood to know that the 5 star hotel theme is quite ominous and those involved in the deal will eventually fall from their greedy quest for power. 5 star hotel = bad guy. 5 star hotel = bad scene.
And sure enough, the 5 star hotel deal interrupts the celebration of the honeymoon. While Nawab Wasim meets with his business partners, poor Nilo sits on the rocky Mumbai beach, watching other honeymooners as she scrawls “honeymoon” on a rock, the word eventually being washed away by the crashing waves.
As may be predicted, since Nilo and Wasim’s marriage starts of with a rocky honeymoon (sorry couldn’t resist) it only continues to have highs and lows like the waves of the ocean. Eventually things take a nasty turn when Wasim gives Nilo a tight slap to the face, and the highs are gone. Nilo spends most of her time waiting for her workoholic husband, and when he finally appears after standing her up repeatedly, he’s often in a foul mood. Although Nilo dedicates herself to the marriage, she realizes that it’s not working.
But fear not ladies, Nilo is a strong woman and doesn’t take this abuse and the next time that arrogant nawab raises his hand to her she puts him in his place!
Macho Wasim has to have the last word. In fact he has the last 3 words and says “Talaq! Talaq! Talaq!” Giving her the triple talaq = D-I-V-O-R-C-E! I warn you if you see this scene and are prone to seizures, this may trigger one as it flashes back and forth between these 2 pictures at a rapid rate of about 100 times in 30 seconds.
Nilo gets her talaq and goes on to marry Haider, who thinks she may still love Wasim. Haider then trys to reunite Nilo and Wasim in an act of sacrifice. Nilo’s not having that! These men making all the decisions and not consulting with her at all drives her to the edge and she declares the truth:
What I loved about this movie:
- More adabs and Subhan’allahs per scene than any movie ever!
- 5 star hotels mentioned
- Tight slaps to the face
- Johnnie Walker consumed by a bad guy
- Women triumph in the end
Thanks to anupkumar07 for the video.
Even more interesting than Salma being her own playback singer is the fact that she was discovered at Rishi Kapoor & Neetu Singh’s wedding. And it gets even better: Salma was already famous for recording the hits of ABBA in Hindi with her sister Sabina:
Listen to Salma and Sabina work their magic: