The core conflict of the film, “Sharmaji Namkeen,” is the clashing sensibilities of two different generations, of two different lifestyles, and of two different perspectives. The current generation has become very pragmatic in their approach, and for them, life is a big calculation of profit gained and loss incurred. For them, constant change and upskilling are marks of success, and prosperity is directly proportional to material gains. Life has become fast-paced. In this hasty life, there is no time to breathe. There is no time for one another. Productivity does not allow you to invest in unremunerative associations. But as soon as high-rise buildings stood in all their pride in a concrete jungle and became a benchmark for advancement, the world lost those who dwelled in nostalgia and maybe did things for the love of it without looking into its cost-effectiveness. B.G. Sharma belonged to this world.
As compared to today’s generation, Mr. Sharma had lived a life of stagnancy. But that stagnancy has allowed him to savor each and every movement. For him, progress was not defined by the cost of tiles used in the house, but by the innumerable priceless moments cherished with those who resided in them.
“Sharmaji Namkeen,” directed by Hitesh Bhatia, was the last time we saw the megastar, Rishi Kapoor, on screen. Playing the protagonist, B. G. Sharma, Rishi Kapoor puts up a nuanced and organic performance that makes sure your world is a tad bit happier when you finish watching the film. Rishi Kapoor was not able to finish shooting the film as he was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease and to which he eventually succumbed to. Paresh Rawal came on board, and he shot the remaining scenes and completed the film. So this is one of the rare times when two actors play the same character in a film.
‘Sharmaji Namkeen’ Plot Summary
Sharma Ji was getting retired from his company, Madhuban Appliances. For all his life, he had worked for the same company. The company had asked him to take a voluntary retirement. B.G. Sharma didn’t want to stop working. Doing a 9 to 5 job, sitting in his cubicle, talking to his colleagues, was a huge part of his life. Sitting without any work at home, he didn’t know how to spend his time. All of a sudden, his life had changed drastically. He tries to keep himself engaged with household chores, but that is not enough. His friends tell him that this is what a retired life looks like, but Sharma isn’t ready to accept this sluggish life. He comes up with various ideas and options for what he could do to kill his time. But his son Rinku scorns it off as he feels that if his father does a petty job, it would tarnish his reputation in society.
Sharmaji’s close friend, K.K. Chaddha, comes up with a plan. A cook was needed in Manju Gulati’s house, who happened to be an acquaintance of Mr. Chaddha. He asked Mr. Sharma if he would be willing to do it. Sharmaji wanted to at least give it a shot, but he stopped himself, thinking about his son and what he would say if he came to know that his father was working as a cook at somebody’s house. He knew Rinku would look down upon it. But Sharmaji decided to act on his intuition and accepted the job. He was scared about whether he would be able to do the job properly. Though he used to cook for his sons, Rinku and Vincy, he had never cooked professionally.
Everybody at Manju Gulati’s house felt amazed looking at the chef. Sharmaji was a simple man. All his life, he had been taught to dress in formals for work, as that was the code of conduct. So when he reached for his cooking job, he wore a tie and carried a briefcase. He cooked food, and the ladies became fans of his exceptional skills as a chef. Mrs. Manchanda, who was also present at the party, finds him way too intriguing. Mr. Sharma was also besotted by Mrs. Manchanda, who bore a charming smile. He gets possessive when he sees her hanging out with Robbie Sachdeva. He saw Robbie as his nemesis.
Soon, Sharmaji was being called to every party as a specialist cook. The female gang were not only fond of his food but of his aura too. He had this exuberant personality, wrapped in a childlike fervor. But all this time, he hadn’t uttered a word about his newfound job to his family. On his birthday, when all his relatives had gathered in his house, one of the members stumbled upon a video on social media. In that video, Sharmaji was playing dumb charades and dancing around several ladies in a manner that Rinku found highly embarrassing. He asks his father what he had been hiding after the relatives left. Sharmaji told him that he was working as a cook in somebody’s house. Rinku got agitated as he didn’t understand the need to do such a job, which according to him, was petty.
In the argument, another revelation is made. Sharmaji comes to know that Rinku was planning to buy a house in a posh locality, as he felt that his current home didn’t match his social and financial status. But Sharmaji made it very clear that he wouldn’t go anywhere. For him, innumerable memories were attached to his house. It was a reminder of the beautiful times that he had spent with his wife. Sharmaji was done living his life under the covers. He unabashedly tells his sons that he would do what he felt like doing, and not what the others expected out of him. He was done living for others, and that’s when his second innings post-retirement actually started.
Major Spoilers Ahead
‘Sharmaji Namkeen’ Ending Explained – How Did Sharmaji Save His Son Rinku From The Police?
Rinku was planning to marry his colleague, Urmi. He had been looking for a flat, but at the last moment, due to a lawsuit filed against the builders, he didn’t get possession of his flat. He had paid Rs. 15 lakhs as an advance, which the builder refused to give back. Rinku was a bit stressed out as it was his life’s savings. He enters into an argument with Urmi, and, irritated by his helpless situation, goes to the builder’s office to ask for his money. He enters the premises and vandalizes the property. The police arrested Rinku and put him behind bars. A call was made to Mr. B.G. Sharma, who at that point was cooking for the ladies. He reaches the police station with Mrs. Manchanda, Mrs. Gulati, and other members of the group. The police still didn’t listen to them and took them into custody while putting Mr. Sharma behind bars with his son. He manages to sneak his phone inside the cell. Mrs. Manchanda signals to him, in gestures, to call Robbie Sachdeva. But how could he call his arch-enemy for help when he should have been the one to save everybody and increase his self-worth in front of his lady love?
Inevitably, he had to make the call. Robbie Sachdeva came, and it was revealed that he was the mayor of the area. To Sharmaji’s respite, he found out that Mrs. Manchanda was Robbie’s sister-in-law. Robbie also talked to the builder and asked him to allocate a flat to Rinku as soon as possible. The fiasco, which in all probability was destined to be a nightmare for the Sharma family, ended on a good note.
“Sharmaji Namkeen” is not going to create an avalanche in your chest, but it is going to leave you with a smile, and I think in times like these, that is all that matters. Juhi Chawla as Mrs. Manchanda, Satish Kaushik as K.K. Chaddha, and Sheeba Chaddha as Manju Gulati lit up the screen with their sparkling performances. The film is an ode to Rishi Kapoor, the icon and the legacy that he has left behind. It is a simple story about a simple man who lived in Subhash Nagar, Delhi, and had his own expectations from life. There is nothing special about Sharmaji, but he is still unique in his own way. He didn’t aspire to conquer the world, but he knew the world in which he wanted to live. Writers Hitesh Bhatia and Supratik Sen have created a world that captures the essence of a conventional middle-class family. The sensibilities of this world are relatable, and the narrative is able to keep you entertained with its genuineness and honesty.
“Sharmaji Namkeen” is a 2022 Indian Comedy Drama film directed by Hitesh Bhatia.