Border Hindustan Ka (2003)
Director: Yogesh Bharadwaj.
Starring: Faisal Khan (Lt. Rajvir Singh), Rajat Bedi (Hari Singh), Aditya Pancholi (Ranbir Singh), Priya Gill (Nargis), Mink Singh (Manjeet), Akshaye Khanna (Mobarak), Dara Singh (Jarnail Singh), Dina Pathak ('Dadi' - Nargis' grandmother), Dalip Tahil (Sarfaraz), Ashish Vidyarthi (Major Ansari), Sudesh Berry (Jaffer / Jaanissar), Mushtaq Khan (Subeidar Mushtaq), Navni Parihar (Mrs. Sarfaraz), Saurabh Dubey, Anil Nagrath.
love story set against the Pakistani and Indian struggle over the Indian province of Kashmir
"This story is about two families of army men that stayed under one roof as two bodies but one soul. The fiery storm that raged in 1947 split not only the land but also hearts. Thus Ahmed Khan left for Pakistan. His son Sarfaraz, who was born on Hinudstan soil is today an enemy of Hindustan. He has only one dream in life: to make Kashmir a part of Pakistan. But Kashmir isn't a mere piece of ice. It's an integral part of Hindustan. No power on earth can tear it apart from Hindustan. Kashmir belonged to Hindustan, it belongs to Hindustan and it shall belong to Hindustan. Never shall its enemy realize its dream. Let's see how they cross the border of Hindustan."
Pakistani military headquarters. Pakistani Major Ansari goes into see his superior officer. The superior officer stands before a map and says: "I was trying to join Kashmir with my motherland." The Major says he has brought in a man named Bashir Baig from Kashmir. The man knows the Kashmir territory and has a band of men who would lay down their lives for him. He is, however, a pain in the neck of the Indian administrators. The two men speak with Bashir Baig. They say they can provide him with weapons and money. Bashir can blast that side of the border from there, while they will blast it from this side. Bashir says that's what he's been doing. He adds: "God willing Kashmir will belong to us now."
Three Bashir Baig men on the border fire a bazooka at the Indian forces, killing the border guards. An Indian soldier cries over the death of his buddies.
Indian military headquarters. A high ranking officer, Ranbir Singh, comes to tell the Indian officers that the time has come to give a reply to the enemy's recent assault.
A Pakistani officer, Sarfaraz, returns home. His wife reminds him that they have to attend a function at their daughter Nargis' Jamia College Lahore. The husband says he has to attend a very important meeting, so the wife must go alone.
Nargis sings and dances with Mubarak for the audience. Later she shows her father what Mubarak gave to her. It's a model of the Taj Mahal. Dad doesn't like it because the Taj Mahal is in Hindustan.
Mubarak paints a picture of Nargis. He's in love with Nargis, but she doesn't know that. He gave her the model of the Taj Mahal hoping that this would tell Nargis that he loves her.
Nargis talks to her grandmother. Grandmother wants to go and meet with all her relatives in Hindustan before she dies. Nargis tells her she should talk to father about going. Grandmother says she won't, but perhaps Nargis could talk to her father on grandmother's behalf. Father loves Nargis and he just might listen to his daughter.
At breakfast, Nargis reminds her father that he said that he would give her anything she wishes after her exams. So, she wishes that grandmother could visit India once again. And she wants to go with grandmother to see the Taj Mahal. Father refuses. This puts Nargis in a sad mood. Father says he has fixed her wedding. This month she will become engaged to Mubarak. Nargis pleads with father saying that once she becomes engaged she will never be allowed to visit India. And she says that dad shouldn't break his promise to her. So dad gives in. He says he will get in touch with the embassy and organize security for her. Nargis doesn't want that because she thinks it will ruin their fun. Dad agrees to her wishes and Nargis is very happy.
Nagris now tells Mubarak that she is going to Hindustan. Mubarak says he's really going to miss her.
Indian military headquarters. Hari Singh reports to his commanding officer. He asks Hari on whose orders did Hari carry out the shootout last night? Singh protests that the enemy fires at and bombs their posts and Indian soldiers are killed Are they just supposed to sit around twiddling their thumbs? The commanding officer says that Hari is too zealous. Hari says he has no regrets about defending his country. The officer says okay to Hari and tells him to march off. The older man says to himself that Hindustan needs such men.
Hari leaves headquarters and runs into his brother Ranbir, the officer that approved the Indian response to the Pakistani provocation. They say hello to each other, but Hari looks worried. The older officer asks what's there to worry about? Hari says he has to write a report on the incident. The higher ranking officer tells him he shouldn't worry about such trivial matters. That reassures the young man, and he now asks if there is any news about Raj? Ranbir says today Raj is to be commissioned making him one more son of their family to become a soldier.
At home Raj Singh reports to his grandfather as Lt. Rajbir Singh. His sister, nicknamed Chutki, appears by the stairs on the second floor and Raj tells her to come downstairs. Chutki is thrilled to see her brother in uniform. Raj asks where's sister-in-law? Chutki says she's reading the Holy Text.
Grandfather Jarnail Singh gets a telephone call from his sister, the grandmother of Nargis. She reminds him that she is the mother of Sarfaraz, and now Jarnail remembers her. She says she has just arrived in Delhi from Pakistan. Grandmother now says they are coming over to their house.
Nargis and grandmother arrive at the Singh home. Grandfather says he never thought he would see his sister again. Now grandmother introduces Nargis as the daughter of Sarfaraz to the family. Then grandfather introduces Raj and Manjeet as his two grandchildren. Raj and Nargis seem to have a natural attraction to each other.
Grandmother asks about Ranjeet, grandfather's son. Grandfather says Ranjeet sacrificed his life for his country.
Nargis tells grandmother that now she looks so happy. Grandmother agrees that she's happy.
The families look through a Singh family photo album. Grandmother says her husband Ahmed had four brothers. Grandfather says that he and Ahmed were like brothers, but then the partition of 1947 ripped them apart.
At dinner, grandfather says that grandmother and Nargis must stay to celebrate the wedding ceremony for Manjeet. The guests agree to stay.
Now brother Ranbir Singh shows up for dinner. He is happy to greet the other part of his family.
Raj flirts with Nargis, as he brings her to the group of women to apply the henna to Manjeet for the wedding ceremony. The wedding takes place and the recently married drive off in their car.
Grandmother and grandfather talk about a possible marriage between Nargis and Raj. Raj brings Nargis a rose. She tells him that his intentions are impossible. Between the two of them stand the walls of country and religion, and the border too. Raj says that love is his destiny.
Bashir Baig says welcome to Jafar-bhai. Bashir says he has brought his men with him Jafar-bhai shoots one of the men in the head because the man is supposedly a spy.
The Singh family gets a telegram. Raj will be posted to Ranbir's battalion. They will be going to the border together. Nagris speaks up saying she will go to Kashmir too. Raj says no because they are fighting up by the border. Grandmother speaks up saying that her brother Abdul lives in Kashmir and Nargis could visit some places in Kashmir. Nargis says that grandmother told her that Kashmir is a paradise. Grandmother tells Nargis that right now some people are trying to turn Kashmir into a hell. Ranbir now tells everyone that Nargis is coming with them to Kashmir. Also going to the front is the new brother-in-law.
Indian military headquarters, Kashmir. The commander says that on August 14 the enemy wants to hoist the Pakistani flag in Kashmir.
Jafar-bhai says that they have human bombs who will explode the moment they cross the border. The human bombs will head to a desolate bridge and cross over it. There they will find Bashir, who has made all the arrangements.
Indian Lieutenant Rajbir Singh has the mission of not letting the Pakistanis into Kashmir. A sentry says he saw a small light out there and he believes it's the enemy coming to head into Kashmir. The Indians lay an ambush for the oncoming enemy. They mow down most of the human bombs down with their automatic weapons. The Pakistani mission is a failure. Not one Pakistani flag flies over Kashmir.
Grandmother and Nargis are in Kashmir. Grandmother' notices that her brother Abdul is loved by the people of his village. The women say they will go in the truck with Abdul and Raj. Abdul wants to appeal to his Muslim people not to be attracted to the enemy. As the truck rolls along, a sniper puts a bullet through Abdul's head. Raj chases after the sniper. The sniper is none other than Bashir Baig. Bashir stumbles over a rock and Raj catches up with him. Raj takes Bashir to headquarters.
Raj beats Bashir with a cane, while asking him why did he kill Khan saheb (Abdul)? Bashir says that Khan was an obstacle on their path and by killing the man, Bashir has performed the duty of a true Muslim. One of the Indian soldiers is a Muslim and he says being a Muslim means to be a patriot, not a traitor.
Raj talks with Nargis. She asks Raj who are the men who killed uncle? Raj says some people from Nagris' country and some from his. The two lovers are sitting on top of a rock. Nargis sees a cute goat and Raj chases after it for Nargis. Meanwhile, three men sneak up on Nargis and kidnap her. They put her in their van and take off. Raj takes several shortcuts to catch up with the van. He is able to jump on the roof of the van. But when the driver starts zigzagging along the road, Raj is tossed off the roof.
Jafar-bhai calls up Ranbir Singh to tell him that they have his brother's girlfriend. Jafir says they will release the woman only when Bashir is released.
An exchange of prisoners is arranged and now both Bashir and Nargis are free.
Nargis now tells Raj that she doesn't want to go back to Pakistan now. Raj says Nargis will go back, but she will return for the sake of their love. She says, if she goes back, her father will marry her off to someone else. Raj says they will win her father over with their love. Nargis is very skeptical of that idea.
Nargis cries as she has to leave to go back to Pakistan with her grandmother. She and Raj hug each other.
And now the two lovers are separated.
Mubarak welcomes Nargis back to Pakistan. He says he loves her very much and they are to be engaged soon. Nargis tries to tell Mubarak that she loves someone else, but he keeps interrupting her to tell her how much she loves him. Then his father telephones him to come to a business meeting. He leaves.
Now the truth comes out about Nargis and Raj and dad really doesn't like it. Dad goes to grandmother and starts balling her out. Grandmother stands up to him saying that the Singh family is part of their family. Father's wife tells him that Nargis will marry Mubarak.
Bashir tells his men that Jafar will teach them how to use weapons. Jafar and Bashir refer to their mission as a jihad. The Indians, however, capture Jafar and start beating him badly. Jafar keeps his silence.
The Indians now bring in a man known as Jan Nisar. He looks very much like Jafar. The Indians are going to act like Jafar escaped from their custody. Then they will send Jan Nisar to the Pakistanis as Jafar. When they drop Jan Nisar off Jan has Singh shoot him to make it look more realistic for the Pakistanis. Now the fake Jafar starts walking to the Pakistani camp. The Pakistanis spot him and run down to help him.
Raj telephones Nargis and she tells him that her father is going to marry her off to another man. Dad comes in and grabs the phone out of her hands. Then dad slaps her. Nargis cries. She says that neither she nor Raj can live without the other.
The fake Jafar now leads a unit towards the border. They start walking over a swing bridge and, suddenly, Jafar turns on the men and mows them all down. Ansari reports about the ambush of Jafar's men to his commander, Nargis' father, who wants to take not only Kashmir, but also the life of Rajbir Singh.
Bashir complains to Ansari that Jafar seems to have lost his great will and desire to kill the Indians and drive them out of Kashmir. Ansari tells Bashir not to worry, because Jafar was raised up on the hatred of India and the Indians.
Jan Nisar now radios to headquarters about a large number of Pakistani terrorists going to attack outpost 256. A Pakistani overhears the radio call and looks to see who is making the call. The two men see each other and the Pakistani tries to get away. Jan Nisar catches him and slits his throat. Nisar now shoots down another group of Pakistanis. Ansari and Bashir see this happen. They start for Jafar and Nisar tries to kill the two men. He, however, is out of bullets and is captured. The men call Nisar a traitor, but Nisar tells them that he is an Indian soldier by the name of Jan Nisar. The two men now execute Nisar.
Since Jan Nisar had dropped the receiver instead of hanging up when making his radio call, the Singh brothers and some others hear the martyrdom of Jan Nisar. They send out a search party. They contact headquarters and the commander says to assemble the company together. The company is assembled and now they move up into the mountains. In the mountains they will camp and then in the morning they will strike the Pakistanis.
Nargis says she prays that the Indians and Raj will win. Her father hears this and gets really mad at her. He tells her that he has sworn to finish this Raj character. Nargis says: "And I have prayed for his life." Dad slaps her. Then he throws her into her bedroom.
Bashir and Ansari met up in the morning. They will later be joined by the jihadis. Bashir brags that on their way to the meeting place they killed five Indians.
The brother-in-law of the Singh brothers, leading a group of Indian soldiers, finds the bodies of the five dead soldiers.
Now father has decided to announce the engagement of Nargis to Mubarak. Nargis is despondent. Grandmother tells Mubarak to go see her. He goes to talk to Nargis. She tells him that she can't marry him. Mubarak is shocked. She is in love with someone else. Surprisingly, Mubarak stands up for Nagris at the engagement ceremony. He says no one has asked if Narguis wants to be engaged to Mubarak. He tells everyone that Sarfaraz, knowing that Nargis did not want to marry him, still went ahead with the engagement ceremony. And now Mubarak says he will take Nargis to the man that Nargis loves. The two young people walk outside. Sarfaraz grabs a gun to go after the couple. His wife stands blocking the door, so Sarfaraz slaps her across the face.
Pakistani soldiers now chase after the couple, who try their best to get away. They rush to the border with India. A group of soldiers stop them, but Mubarak grabs an automatic weapon from the leader and kills all the men.
The battle begins in the mountains. Raj's sergeant gives his life to save Raj from the bullets of Ansari. He threw his body in front of Raj and was killed. The brother-in-law of the Singh brothers has a long fight with Bashir. Bashir gets back his automatic weapon, but before he can fire, Ranbir Singh over powers Bashir and wounds him with a large knife. Ranbir kills three other Pakistanis, but then he is badly wounded by Ansari. Then an enemy bayonets Ranbir from behind. Ranbir grabs the man and uses his body as a shield for another blast of bullets from Ansari. Ranbir then finishes the man with a knife to the stomach area. Still using the man's body as a shield Ranbir thrusts the body at Ansari. He grabs both of Ansari's hands and then starts thrusting his head into the head of Ansari. He then goes to choke Ansari to death, but Ansari stabs him twice with a knife. Ranbir throws down Ansari, grabs an automatic weapons and kills a number of Pakistanis. Ranbir's weapon is now empty. Bashir gets up with an automatic weapon and fires four bullets into Ranbir, but Ranbir reaches Bashir, takes his weapon from him and shoots Bashir in the head.
Ansari is running away. The brother-in-law chases after him and catches him. Meanwhile, Raj goes to speak with his dying brother Ranbir, who dies in Raj's arms.
Brother-in-law is still battling with Ansari. Raj now takes over the fight with Ansari. He beats the hell out of Ansari. Then he grabs a rifle with a bayonet. He thrusts the bayonet into Ansari once and then once again. Now Ansari is dead.
Now Raj and Nargis are reunited with the help of Mubarak. But now Sarfaraz shows up. He tries to kill Raj with an automatic weapon, but Mubarak throws his body in front of Raj and takes the bullets. He takes an automatic weapon, and shoots at the Pakistanis, but only to back them up. Mubarak talks about how love must triumph over hate. He keeps talking on this theme while Sarfaraz comes close with his automatic weapon. Sarfaraz drops his weapon. And now Mubarak falls to the ground. Nargis cries over his dead body.
The division between India and Pakistan and East Pakistan separated a lot of families. In many families Muslim family members were split from Hindu family members. This is the case of Nargis' family. Her grandmother does so want to see her Hindu relatives before she dies. So Nargis makes the trip a reality of grandmother. They both go to India. There Nargis falls in love with her Hindu cousin Raj. It's one thing to visit India, it's quite another thing for a Muslim woman from Pakistan to marry a Hindu man from India. The young couple's plan are made even tougher by the fight between Pakistan and India over the Indian state of Kashmir. To make things worth both Nargis' father and her beloved Raj are military men who will both be involved in the fighting in Kashmir. It's a nice love story set against many, many obstacles to marriage. The acting was good. Very watchable.
Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.
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