November Issue 2009
When the other girls at the orphanage plan out the careers they want to pursue once they leave, Raina (Kareena Kapoor) decides to let God direct her course of life. God apparently decides she should fall in love with and marry Samir (Salman Khan) when she stumbles into his arms outside a church. And so when Samir decides they should move to Singapore for career advancement, Raina reluctantly agrees to leave Melbourne to save their failing marriage.
But at the airport she discovers that Samir has booked her ticket for Delhi; she is to stay with her in-laws while Samir works his way up and achieves his business goals to “give her all the happiness in the world.” Dejected and hurt, Raina doesn’t board the flight to Delhi. Instead, she resolves to stay in Melbourne and work until Samir returns for her. Raina’s first independent step, taken without consulting Samir and keeping her own best interests at heart, doesn’t mean she still isn’t the typical Indian wife: she loves her husband unconditionally and has a habit of making excuses, to others and herself, to justify why he has to do what he does.
It is at the airport in the middle of this crisis that she meets Akash (Sohail Khan), who lends her his phone. Coincidentally, she takes up a job at a jewellery store at the airport, close to Akash’s cafe. They strike up a friendship, Raina not realising that Akash has fallen madly in love with her, and Akash becomes her support system from then on. And just when Akash decides to confess his love to Raina, Samir returns to Melbourne. A series of light-hearted incidents follow with Akash trying to wedge differences between the husband and wife.
As with many Indian movies, Main aurr Mrs Khanna also goes overboard in exaggerating the possible. Raina, previously a waitress and then shop attendant, in no time, is able to buy a huge apartment, far better than her former abode. Raina is also easily convinced by her friends into contracting a paper marriage with Akash to renew her work permit. When Samir reads the court notice about the marriage that is to take place, he tells Raina to decide for herself whether she wants to go ahead with the court marriage or stick with him. Both these decision-making scenes are not in keeping with either of their characters.
Sohail Khan keeps the humour alive, and his and Kareena’s scenes are enjoyable. Salman’s acting is a pleasant change: he plays his role with maturity and a seriousness that is well-suited to his character and never seen in any of his earlier movies. Had the story been developed more, Main aurr Mrs Khanna could have turned into more than just a “time-pass.”
Farieha Aziz is a Karachi-based journalist and teacher. She joined Newsline in 2007, rising to assistant editor. Farieha was awarded the APNS award for Best Investigative Report (Business/Economic) for the year 2007-2008. She is a co-founder and Director at Bolo Bhi, an advocacy forum of Digital Rights.