Honey Irani is a revelation in every scene of hers. She is so utterly cute and is perfect with her expressions, her naughtiness, her weeping and her clapping. She lisps hard but tries to utter her lines with as much gusto as her screen father Rajendra Kumar or screen mother Kamini Kadam. Just when you think that the story is going to pull itself towards a drab denouement, Honey jerks it back to the realms of interest with her childish sweetness. Mind you, I didn't find her syrupy. She is just so delectable and loving. I kept staring at her, amazed at her talent as such a tiny age!!
The father, an idler who frequents the local club every evening to play rummy and bridge, is not quite happy when he gets to know that a new tenant will be occupying the ground floor quarters. He tries to dissuade the youngster Ravi (Rajendra Kumar) but the lad is too clever for him. This also means that the upper floor tenants will have to suffer from the shortage of water when Ravi opens the washroom taps for water. This drive Radhakishan and his daughter crazy. Every single day, the old cantankerous man (and Radhakishan's nasal tone just exemplifies the effect) fights with Ravi so that he can have enough water in his house. On one such day, Ravi is extra naughty and keeps the tap running even when he goes out for work. This is partly to irk his neighbours and partly to attract Indu's attention. He already likes her quite a lot. And you can't blame him. Kamini Kadam is pretty attractive!
The family is really happy and soon Ravi and Indu are blessed with a bonny boy. Ravi is quite an adventurous and progressive lad and tutors his son, Ashwini, in the art of horseriding and swimming from a very young age. Radhakishan keeps instigating Indu because he feels that Ravi is wasting plenty of money doing that. He'd rather spend that money in the club playing rummy. With Radhakishan's antics in the picture, there cannot be a misunderstanding far away. Ravi scolds Indu for being a spendthrift, Radhakishan accuses Indu for her present state (he keeps reminding her that she should not have left her job) and the pesky man that he is, he interferes into the Ravi and Indu's domestic matters every time. This flares tempers and Ravi fights with Indu all the time.
Soon, Indu realises that she should start working again and rejoins the school. Ravi will have none of that (idiotic man who does not know how important it is for a woman to be financially independant) and leaves home with Ashwini. The bliss is lost and relationships sour. Ravi acts irrationally about Indu's career and Indu forgets all the lessons she used to teach her pupils. No one gauges that both parties are at fault...
The person who suffers the most amidst all this tension is Ashwini. He pines for his mother, is forced to listent to his father, is scared everytime his parents fight and loses a slice of his childhood. The scene where Tara is trying to make him drink his milk is awesome. Ashwini throws tantrums that he will only drink the milk from his mother's hand. When his mother returns, Ravi starts fighting with her. Recognising the gravity of the situation that it is not the time for him to grab attention indulgently, he picks up the glass himself and starts drinking the milk!! Great execution by Kaul about a child's trauma during a tense situation among his parents!!
Rajendra Kumar is growing on me as an actor. Here too he is very good. Except for the scenes where he shuns the idea of his wife going to work. I found that utterly ridiculous and outdated. What does a woman's career have to do with her dignity and respectabilty?!?!!?
Radhakishan is marvellous as always. But the winner surely is Honey Irani. Your heart will go out to her. Her baby faced laughter, her earnest tears, her body movements, her actions, her immaculate expressions make her character so believable. It is not for nothing that this performer was hence called the wonder child...