“Badhai Ho” means “Congratulations.” The story is about an Indian middle-class family, where a mother of two sons, Priyamvada, got pregnant in her early fifties. A society that feeds on gossip and boys who mature only in age; a mother-in-law who is never impressed—all reacted to the situation in the most realistic way. Will societal pressure, taunts from loved ones, and the risk of late pregnancy overcome motherhood? Will Priyamvada get to hear “Badhai Ho” again? Let’s find out.
Badhai Ho Movie Plot
Mr. Jeetender Kaushik is a TT in Indian Railways. The Kaushik family has five members: Mr. and Mrs. Kaushik, Mr. Kaushik’s mother (Durga Devi), and their two sons Nakul and Gullar. Nakul is in his late twenties and his younger brother is likely in high school. Nakul is dating Renee, who works with him. Renee comes from a posh family and lives with her mother after her father passed away.
The Kaushik family consists of simple people—none of them too good to be true. Mr. Jeetender brought some mangoes for his family from somewhere, and Nakul asked his dad to give one to the young boy who carried the box as a nice gesture. At first hesitant, Mr. Kaushik inspected it before handing over just one mango (making sure he didn’t give away the best one!). That’s not uncommon at all; I’ve seen older generations in our family do similar acts too. It’s not because they don’t want to help others; sometimes they’re so overprotective about their families that they forget these small things.
Mr. Kaushik’s mother, Durga Devi, could always find a reason to taunt Priyamvada. Her harsh words made Priyamvada cry and she ran to her room. The arguments were not as dramatic as those shown on daily soaps.
A few weeks later, Priyamvada was feeling weak. After consulting with the doctor, she found out about her pregnancy. She was in her late 40s or early 50s and the doctor warned her of the complications that might arise due to having a late pregnancy.
Mr Kaushik was embarrassed and afraid of society’s reaction to it, but Priyamvada seemed pro-life; there was no doubt in her mind and she was mentally prepared to be a mother again.
The couple retuned home and thought of sharing the news with their sons- Nakul, Gullar.
“A guest is coming to our house”, Mr. Kaushik blurted out.
“I am not gonna share my room”, replied Gullar.
“A little guest.” Gajender added further.
Nakul was in utter shock. He looked at his mother in disbelief. Gullar still didn’t understand until his elder brother explained it. Both brothers mocked their parents and left. Durga Devi scolded Priyamvada and Jitender too. Her response was golden: “Okay, so you have time for this but not your old mother!” The old lady kept rebuking them loudly, alerting everyone in the neighborhood. Mr. and Mrs. Kaushik went to a wedding with Durga Devi, but Nakul and Gullar refused to go along because they were embarrassed by their parents’ actions.
Everybody gossiped about Priyamvada and made fun of her, causing her to cry. Durga Devi opened her mouth in support for the first time and embraced Priyamvada. Nakul and Gullar couldn’t accept their parents being sexually active, feeling betrayed and embarrassed. As a result, Nakul took a leave from work for a few days; his girlfriend Renee was worried by his sudden disappearance.
She arrived at Nakul’s house and discovered his mom was pregnant. Renee didn’t seem to mind, but her mother was concerned. At the time, only Jeetender and Nakul were earning in the middle-class family; Mr. Kaushik was due to retire soon. Renee’s mother worried that the elderly couple wouldn’t be able to care for a newborn, so responsibility would fall on Nakul’s shoulders. She remarked, “Nakul seems like a good guy but his family is a circus—I don’t want a ticket to.”
Nakul overheard the conversation and confronted Renee’s mom. He sided with his family, showing support before leaving. Nakul and Renee broke up due to him speaking rudely to her mother. After many months, he went back and apologized sincerely, resolving the issue between them.
Gullar, who was in high school, was getting bullied by his seniors after the news of his mom’s pregnancy broke out. Nakul went with his brother to teach the bully a lesson! At last, Priyamvada gave birth to a baby girl. Nakul and Gullar, who had initially disliked their mom, couldn’t stop their tears of happiness. The family shared an emotional moment and the story ends.
My Final Thoughts:
I really liked the concept and detail of the movie’s characters. It slowed down a bit in the second half, and humor shifted to emotional scenes. In an Indian middle-class family where parents don’t give “the talk,” children build unrealistic images of their human parents. Making time for love is golden—even for couples who have grown old—and they too are allowed to live life on their own terms. The perfect casting and dialogue delivery in “Badhai Ho” brought the story to life; it was fun watching Gajaraj Rao on the big screen—I couldn’t think of anyone better for Mr Kaushik’s role. Ayushman Khuranna surprises us every time with unconventional movies like Badhai Ho, Neena Gupta (Priyamvada) fit her character perfectly, and Surekha Sikri as Durga Devi was a perfect blend of savage and sweet old lady.
Can you imagine being in Nakul’s position? Would you happily accept this news and welcome “the little guest” with all your love?
I’d rate Badhai Ho(2018) 8 out 10.
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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
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