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Directed by Gulzar
Starring Sharmila Tagore
Shabana Azmi
Waheeda Rehman
Sanjeev Kumar
Country India
Language Hindi

Namkeen (Devanāgarī: नमकीन), directed by Gulzar was released in the year 1982. It was yet another movie by Gulzar made on some very sensitive but untouched aspects of Indian society especially in rural areas.



This is a story of three unmarried sisters and their old mother. The eldest one is Nimki (Sharmila Tagore) and she is a spinster in this movie. The middle sister is Mitthu (Shabana Azmi) and she cannot speak. The name of the youngest one is Chinki and the role has been played by Kiran Virale. Mother's role (Jugni) has been played by (Waheeda Rehman). Kishanlal(played by T. P. Jain) is their father and he does not live with them. He always wants to take his daughters with him to make them drama dancers, which Jugni never wanted. All four live in a very old house outside the village. Gerulal (Sanjeev Kumar) is a truck driver and he comes to live in their house on rent. As time progressed, he sees the difficulties and problems they were facing being women. He found that even among the crisis of money and facilities, all the sisters were capable of maintaining moral values and diginified behavior towards the outer world. He began to like Nimki. But, somehow, Mitthu also began to like Gerulal. Mitthu's feeling cannot exactly be called as love with Gerulal as it was more a sympathitical attitude of Gerulal toward her, which she was missing for very long. Since Gerulal was a driver so he had to go one day. Before going, he expressed his feelings to Nimki and proposed her to marry him. But she turned down his proposal citing the responsibility of her sisters and her mother, and asked him to marry Mithu instead. Gerulal could not comply with Nimki's request. When he left, their lives also changed. It all started with the suicide of Mitthu as she lost her mental balance in the absence of Gerulal. Jugni could not bear the shock of Mithu and died. Taking the benefit of the situation, Dhaniram succeeded in convincing Chinki to take her with him. Nimki was left alone in that house. Years later, Gerulal ran into Chinki at a drama and came to know that things didn't go well with the family. He came to Nimki's house at once to find her all alone and took her away from there.


The main characters of the movie are Gerulal and Nimki. Gerulal was depicted as a thread who brought together all the sporadic pearls of that family. Nimki is a person who is always ready to sacrifice and she always puts her interests after her sisters and mother. This is why she refuses to marry Gerulal. All in all, a woman may be weaker than a man physically but she is far greater emotionally.


Studio album by R.D. Burman
Released 1982
Genre Soundtrack/Filmi
Label Saregama-Hmv

The soundtrack was composed by and sung by playback singers Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhonsle.

Composed by R.D. Burman and lyrics by Gulzar unless noted
  1. "Baankee Chalee Zhaankee Chalee" – Asha Bhonsle
  2. "Phir Se Aaiyo Badaraa Bidesee" – Asha Bhonsle
  3. "Aisaa Lagaa Koee Suramaa Nazar Maa" – Alka Yagnik
  4. "Badee Der Se Meghaa " – Asha Bhonsle
  5. "Raah Pe Rahte Hai" – Kishore Kumar


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