Set against the pristine and picturesque backdrop of Simla, the McNallys are an Anglo-Indian family consisting of Paul and his wife, Catherine. Both are joyous and jubilant when Catherine gives birth to a baby girl, Michelle, but their joy is short-lived when they are told that Michellle cannot see nor hear.
Both attempt to bring up Michelle in their own protective way without knowing how to deal with her limitations. As a result, Michelle is not exposed to the real world, and becomes increasingly violent and volatile. Things only get worse when Catherine gives birth to Sara, and Paul considers admitting Michelle in an asylum.
It is here that Debraj Sahai enters their lives. Through his eager involvement, Michelle blossoms, grows, gives up her violence, even gets admitted in school with normal children.
The years pass by, but Michelle does not succeed in getting her graduation, and it is time for Debraj to bid adieu as he is having his own health problems. 12 years later, at the age of 40, Michelle does succeed in graduating in Arts, and it is shortly thereafter she will be re-united with her teacher.
However, he is no longer longer the same brilliant and passionate eccentric, but a frail older male, who cannot even remember speech, leave alone the intricacies of language he used to teach. Can Michelle bring light back into his 'black and blank' life?
Did you know?
Unusually for a work by Bhansali, there are no songs featured in this film. So the background score became of paramount importance to the composer, Monty. To create more of an uplifting aura for the deaf-blind-mute character of Michelle McNally, he used pianos and strings, but kept the voices in the chorus at a low octave. For Debraj Sehai's character, a fighting spirit needed to be vocalized, so Monty used a little-known Middle Eastern instrument called a duduk. Read More